The Critical Press and the New Deal: The Press Versus Presidential Power, 1933-1938

By Gary Dean Best | Go to book overview

Conclusion

Despite the jubilation of its opponents, the New Deal had not been sunk by the 1938 elections, only grounded. It remained on the surface, its captain determined to resist scuttling, its guns intact, capable of making a great deal of noise and scoring a few lucky hits. For those attempting to navigate the economic waters, the New Deal remained a substantial obstacle to safe passage in 1939.

Away from the captain's bridge, however, the situation had changed, even though Roosevelt seemed unaware of it. The crew, in the form of Congress, had already turned from submissive galley slaves into sullen mutineers. They would no longer leap to obey their skipper's command. Worse yet for the SS New Deal, there were now plotters in the officers' quarters who were determined to make peace with the enemy. There had, of course, been "doves" among the officers before, but the "hawks" had known how to deal with them. This time, however, the doves were converts from the ranks of the ablest and most-experienced hawks, and they had the support of a majority of the crew. The fight would be more fair than in the past.

Roosevelt's conduct had not changed since 1937, despite the altered circumstances. The difficulty of the president's position had, Walter Lippmann wrote in February 1939, become "so evident to all experienced observers in Washington that not even his friendliest supporters deny it." Roosevelt was "following a course of personal conduct which if carried any further, will almost certainly paralyze the operation of the government and illustrate once more the weakness of democracy." 1 He was, Lippmann concluded, "a man who badly needs a vacation. . . . He needs to see things again in perspective. He needs to recover his poise."2

-147-

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The Critical Press and the New Deal: The Press Versus Presidential Power, 1933-1938
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction ix
  • The Critical Press and the New Deal xvii
  • Chapter 1 the Use and Misuse of the Press I 1
  • Chapter 2 the Use and Misuse of the Press II 19
  • Chapter 3 the Honeymoon of the Hundred Days 35
  • Chapter 4 Increasing Doubts 49
  • Chapter 5 a Marriage on the Rocks 61
  • Chapter 6 a Bitter Divorce 79
  • Chapter 7 Name Calling 93
  • Chapter 8 Assault and Defense 113
  • Chapter 9 a Shoulder to Lean On 131
  • Conclusion 147
  • Epilogue: the Psychology of Disability 153
  • Notes 167
  • Bibliography 189
  • Index 193
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