accomplishments and shortcomings of the Little New Deal? Who benefited from it? What gave reform its momentum during the 1930s? What role did Herbert H. Lehman play in adoption of the Little New Deal? These are the questions this study seeks to answer through its focus on state legislation in the period 1933-42.
In the preparation of this work, I have benefited from the help and guidance of several people who deserve mention but naturally bear no responsibility for the judgments expressed herein. My greatest debt is to William E. Leuchtenburg, De Witt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University, who first directed me to the Lehman Papers and subsequently gave unfailing advice and encouragement during the completion of this study. His careful readings at every stage not only strengthened the analysis but also improved the style. The Curator of the Lehman Papers, William B. Liebmann, immensely facilitated the research for this project through his knowledge of Herbert Lehman and his determination to make archives serve the student of history. His friendship and enthusiasm helped me in countless ways. Thomas McDaid, Assistant Curator of the Lehman Papers, generously offered suggestions which aided me at a number of points. My wife, Joèle, will probably never fully realize the importance of her contribution, but above all, she shared the burden, as well as the joy, involved in researching and writing this work. Finally, I would like to emphasize that the dedication to George H. Mayer is but a small expression of my gratitude to the man who first sparked my interest in history and then encouraged me to pursue that interest.