The answer to that question is the stuff of tragedy, with that central tragic idea, hubris, at the center of it.
In 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt became president of a nation mired in the most horrendous economic depression in American history. It was a global phenomenon, ultimately traceable to the massive wounds that the nations of Europe, with some help from the United States, had inflicted on each other during World War I. England, heretofore the world's richest nation, had seen all the wealth she had accumulated in a century of economic supremacy annihilated in those four nightmare years.
An unparalleled bankruptcy gripped the industrial nations that had created Europe's hegemony. In 1929, after a few years of fevered prosperity that the rest of the world did not share, the American stock market had crashed, wiping out billions of in