The Fall of the House of Roosevelt: Brokers of Ideas and Power from FDR to LBJ

Kobo ebook | August 22, 2009

byMichael Janeway

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In the 1930s a band of smart and able young men, some still in their twenties, helped Franklin D. Roosevelt transform an American nation in crisis. They were the junior officers of the New Deal. Thomas G. Corcoran, Benjamin V. Cohen, William O. Douglas, Abe Fortas, and James Rowe helped FDR build the modern Democratic Party into a progressive coalition whose command over power and ideas during the next three decades seemed politically invincible.

This is the first book about this group of Rooseveltians and their linkage to Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society and the Vietnam War debacle. Michael Janeway grew up inside this world. His father, Eliot Janeway, business editor of Time and a star writer for Fortune and Life magazines, was part of this circle, strategizing and practicing politics as well as reporting on these men. Drawing on his intimate knowledge of events and previously unavailable private letters and other documents, Janeway crafts a riveting account of the exercise of power during the New Deal and its aftermath. He shows how these men were at the nexus of reform impulses at the electoral level with reform thinking in the social sciences and the law and explains how this potent fusion helped build the contemporary American state. Since that time efforts to reinvent government by "brains trust" have largely failed in the U.S. In the last quarter of the twentieth century American politics ceased to function as a blend of broad coalition building and reform agenda setting, rooted in a consensus of belief in the efficacy of modern government.

Can a progressive coalition of ideas and power come together again? The Fall of the House of Roosevelt makes such a prospect both alluring and daunting.

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In the 1930s a band of smart and able young men, some still in their twenties, helped Franklin D. Roosevelt transform an American nation in crisis. They were the junior officers of the New Deal. Thomas G. Corcoran, Benjamin V. Cohen, William O. Douglas, Abe Fortas, and James Rowe helped FDR build the modern Democratic Party into a prog...

Michael Janeway is professor of journalism and arts at Columbia University and is the author of Republic of Denial: Press, Politics, and Public Life. He has been special assistant to Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, editor of The Boston Globe, and dean of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.
Format:Kobo ebookPublished:August 22, 2009Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231505779

ISBN - 13:9780231505772

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Table of Contents

Preface: Public and Private
1. The Partners
1. Government by Brains Trust
"God Bless You; Keep Scheming"
2. Tommy Corcoran and the New Dealers Gospel
"You're Beginning to Be an Operator-How Do You Like the Water?"
3. Making the New Deal Revolution
"The Sense of Being Special"
4. The Fight for the Rooseveltian Succession
"Douglas's Army"
5. 1945, The New Dealers Government-in-Exile
"I Got the Circuit Moving"
2 In My Father's House
6. Rise of an Insider
"We're Going to Get Hubert Some Dough"
7. Ends and Means
"Baby, You're Superb!"
8. Forbidden Version
"Continue Janeway Inquiry"
3 Receivership
9. Enter LBJ, Stage Center
"Average in Honesty, Above Average in Ability"
10. 1960-Checkmate
"Looking Back, the Result Was Inevitable"
11. President of All the People
"You Can't Deal with Him Any Longer"
12. Last Act
"We Got Your Man"
Epilogue

Editorial Reviews

This book offers a useful portrait of an era that may seem less complex but really wasn't.