THE COMING OF THE NEW DEAL

VOL. II - THE AGE OF ROOSEVELT

The Crisis of the Old Order, (1957) which launched this monumental assessment of a relatively contemporary era in American social, political and economic life, was an epitaph to a period which ran its opulent but progressively more ruinous course from 1919-1933. Upon that sustained and anguished epitaph — though independent of it- Schlesinger, probably the one historian who most fully realizes the structural and organic values of 20th century American history, recounts the tumultuous years of Roosevelt's first term. He analyzes the solid facts of Rooseveltian legislation, the cabinet personalities, and the kinds of administrative youngbloods surging upon Washington, the methods and tasks of economic recovery, the social the massive reorganization of labor, agriculture and Wall Street. But if Schlesinger details abundantly the circumstances, individuals, policies which signalized the early New Deal, he expresses, above all, the inspiring and inspiriting sense of rededication which came over the United States, the moral torments and gronings toward a new social conscience, the yielding of regionalism and the regional mind to the interests of the country as a whole, within a widening circle of the world community. Conservatives may feel that as a historian, Schlesinger's weakness is a tendency towards clutter, a lack of sensitivity in an indulgence toward trivial information which has comparatively little earnest relevance. They may even feel he is neither tidy nor consistent. But his great gift is in not letting the meaning and the magnificence of events be carried away by their own rushing and violent, tide. Schlesinger seizes and epitomizes, as perhaps no other American historian, the wonder and the consequence of his subject. The evolution of a president, the complexity of a man, come through with extraordinary perception. The Coming of the New Deal is impelling, an achievement as much in its sensitivity as in its scholarship. The selection as January Book of the Month (and for this reason postponed from its original December publication date) will give it the impetus it deserves. But on its own merits it is essential reading for this and any period and season.

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 1958

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 22, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1958

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A Churchill-ian view of native history—Ward, that is, not Winston—its facts filtered through a dense screen of ideology.

AN INDIGENOUS PEOPLES' HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

Custer died for your sins. And so, this book would seem to suggest, did every other native victim of colonialism.

Inducing guilt in non-native readers would seem to be the guiding idea behind Dunbar-Ortiz’s (Emerita, Ethnic Studies/California State Univ., Hayward; Blood on the Border: A Memoir of the Contra War, 2005, etc.) survey, which is hardly a new strategy. Indeed, the author says little that hasn’t been said before, but she packs a trove of ideological assumptions into nearly every page. For one thing, while “Indian” isn’t bad, since “[i]ndigenous individuals and peoples in North America on the whole do not consider ‘Indian’ a slur,” “American” is due to the fact that it’s “blatantly imperialistic.” Just so, indigenous peoples were overwhelmed by a “colonialist settler-state” (the very language broadly applied to Israelis vis-à-vis the Palestinians today) and then “displaced to fragmented reservations and economically decimated”—after, that is, having been forced to live in “concentration camps.” Were he around today, Vine Deloria Jr., the always-indignant champion of bias-puncturing in defense of native history, would disavow such tidily packaged, ready-made, reflexive language. As it is, the readers who are likely to come to this book—undergraduates, mostly, in survey courses—probably won’t question Dunbar-Ortiz’s inaccurate assertion that the military phrase “in country” derives from the military phrase “Indian country” or her insistence that all Spanish people in the New World were “gold-obsessed.” Furthermore, most readers won’t likely know that some Ancestral Pueblo (for whom Dunbar-Ortiz uses the long-abandoned term “Anasazi”) sites show evidence of cannibalism and torture, which in turn points to the inconvenient fact that North America wasn’t entirely an Eden before the arrival of Europe.

A Churchill-ian view of native history—Ward, that is, not Winston—its facts filtered through a dense screen of ideology.

Pub Date: Sept. 16, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8070-0040-3

Page Count: 296

Publisher: Beacon Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2014

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A standout immigrant coming-of-age story.

THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US

A MEMOIR

In her first nonfiction book, novelist Grande (Dancing with Butterflies, 2009, etc.) delves into her family’s cycle of separation and reunification.

Raised in poverty so severe that spaghetti reminded her of the tapeworms endemic to children in her Mexican hometown, the author is her family’s only college graduate and writer, whose honors include an American Book Award and International Latino Book Award. Though she was too young to remember her father when he entered the United States illegally seeking money to improve life for his family, she idolized him from afar. However, she also blamed him for taking away her mother after he sent for her when the author was not yet 5 years old. Though she emulated her sister, she ultimately answered to herself, and both siblings constantly sought affirmation of their parents’ love, whether they were present or not. When one caused disappointment, the siblings focused their hopes on the other. These contradictions prove to be the narrator’s hallmarks, as she consistently displays a fierce willingness to ask tough questions, accept startling answers, and candidly render emotional and physical violence. Even as a girl, Grande understood the redemptive power of language to define—in the U.S., her name’s literal translation, “big queen,” led to ridicule from other children—and to complicate. In spelling class, when a teacher used the sentence “my mamá loves me” (mi mamá me ama), Grande decided to “rearrange the words so that they formed a question: ¿Me ama mi mamá? Does my mama love me?”

A standout immigrant coming-of-age story.

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4516-6177-4

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: June 12, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2012

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