This is the third volume in Schlesinger's study The Age of Roosevelt, and it continues the domestic history of the F.D.R. administration. It is a masterful and absorbing discussion of the ideological, economic and political life of the years 1933-1936, in relation to the aims and functions of the New Deal. The beginning of the New Deal found a people in despair- shaken, disillusioned, apathetic -- a propitious moment for demagogues and rabble-rousers. Beating drums they came- Father Coughlin, Gerald K. Smith, Dr. Townsend Huey Long. All had panaceas for despair while need and want clouded the senses of the public. Some were swayed by the peculiar appeal of the fascist-inspired crackpots (still to be found today) and there was the adulation of Hitler and Mussolini by men such as Hearst who, like McCarthy in a later decade, spearheaded the anti-communist scares of the '30's. There was the consolidation of divers political thought, the delineation of the radicals and progressives, the intellectual discovery of communism and socialism; and, shaping the emergency legislation of the new American government, the experimental pragmatism of the New Deal. Here the character and quality of the men who drove the New Deal are incisively portrayed, and Schlesinger's interpretation of the facts is always logical, astute and psychologically sound. Seen in perspective the struggles and victories of this program seem gargantuan. And Schlesinger is one of our most sophisticated historians as he attempts again to interpret history in terms of the meaning and function of democracy. It is exciting material and particularly pertinent on the eve of the election to come.