I BECAME IDENTIFIED with the New Deal in 1934. Previously I had spent one and a half years on a scientific mission in all parts of the Amazon basin and the Andes of northern South America--usually alone. On my field radio--needed for checking my chronometers--I had heard all the speeches of the 1932 presidential campaign, as well as a constant, unvarying stream of dramatic reports on riots and strikes, more riots, more strikes, farmers' concerted actions to forestall mortgage foreclosures, the growth of shacktowns everywhere, hunger marches, veterans' marches, the great Battle of Anacostia Flats, and the organized sale of unemployed apples on the streets of New York as a means of restoring public confidence in the nation's imminent prosperity. From my shifting vantage points in the Amazon jungles and the Andes of northern South America, the United States had seemed chaotic and on the verge of collapse. Alone for the better part of eighteen months, I had enjoyed the great boon of having opportunity and time to think. I became determined to get into things on my return, to participate in the affairs of my country.
Morris Llewellyn Cooke hired me for his Mississippi Valley Committee, and I learned something about the aims and techniques of sound governmental planning--as a means toward