Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Future of Liberalism: A Conference Held on October 11-12, 1989, W. Averell Harriman Conference Center, Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, New York

Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Future of Liberalism: A Conference Held on October 11-12, 1989, W. Averell Harriman Conference Center, Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, New York

Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Future of Liberalism: A Conference Held on October 11-12, 1989, W. Averell Harriman Conference Center, Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, New York

Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Future of Liberalism: A Conference Held on October 11-12, 1989, W. Averell Harriman Conference Center, Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, New York

Excerpt

On October 11 and 12, 1989, the Roosevelt Institute held a conference on "FDR and the Future of Liberalism" in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library. The purpose of the conference was to stimulate a dialogue about American liberalism, its history, and the contemporary issues with which it must now deal. Including the speakers, the conference involved sixty invited participants from the fields of politics, labor, journalism, economics, political science, public policy, and history. It was a dynamic group, and since each conference session was organized in roundtable fashion with a minimum of presentation, there was much lively debate. The Roosevelt Institute hopes that the publication of the papers delivered at the conference will stimulate the continuation and expansion of that debate.

The conference opened with keynote addresses by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. and Alan Brinkley and a report by Louis Harris on polls assessing the attitude of the American public toward liberalism. The body of the conference consisted of five sessions: "New Opportunities in Foreign Policy," "The United States in a Global Economy," "Crime and Drugs: Reclaiming a Liberal Issue," "Can Liberal Government Work?," and "Liberalism and Social Class." John Kenneth Galbraith delivered some closing remarks on winning elections. The conference also included a lively debate between Mark Green and Ben Wattenberg on "Where Stands Liberalism Today?" moderated by William J. vanden Heuvel.

On October 13, the day following the conference, the Roosevelt Institute presented the 1989 Four Freedoms Awards to William J. Brennan, Jr. (FDR Freedom Medal), Walter Cronkite (Freedom of Expression), Raphael Lemkin (posthumously, Freedom of Worship), Dorothy Height (Freedom from Want), and J. William Fulbright (Freedom from Fear). Hyman Bookbinder accepted the award for Raphael Lemkin and received an award for his own work in bringing about the ratification by the United States of the Genocide Convention. Justice Brennan's address in accepting the Freedom Medal was such an eloquent statement of liberal principles that it is being printed here as an introduction to the conference papers.

The Franklin D. Roosevelt Library's research and conference room, where the conference was held, was named in honor of W. Averell Harriman at a ceremony held on October 12. Harriman, who was governor of New York from 1955-58, first became involved in public service during the New Deal and received several high appointments from President Roosevelt, including Ambassador to the Soviet Union during World War II. He went on to . . .

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