Where Democracy Meets Fear

How the New Deal sheds light on today's politics

Fear and the Legacy of the New Deal 2

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Franklin D. Roosevelt's first inaugural address, in 1933.

Reminding us that "all historians are prisoners of their own experience," one of the most eminent historians of the New Deal, Arthur Schlesinger Jr., observed late in his life: "Conceptions of the past are far from stable. They are perennially revised by the urgencies of the present."

With rising concerns about religious zealotry, military insecurity, and volatility in capitalist economies, it has become important to re-examine the borderlands where