THIS WAS NORMALCY by Karl Schriftgiesser


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The word coined by Harding is used by Karl Schriftgiesser to define- somewhat cynically -- the years bracketed by the Republican emergence after Wilson. From the ""smoke-filled room"" where Harding was chosen as a safe candidate to the rebellion against what the Republican administrations had come to stand for, in 1932, here is the picture, drawn in colorful, dramatic terms. Here also- for the record, is the venal crooked administration of Harding, who didn't know what it was all about; here the administration wrapped in the silence for which Coolidge was famous; here the fumbling of ineptness, the wrong guesses of Hoover. Paralleling- in political terms- the panorama of Frederick Allen's Only Yesterday, this presents almost blow by blow the personalities not only of candidates, and elected representatives, to the highest offices in the land, but the members of the Cabinets, the leaders of Congress, the Supreme Court. There is the record of legislation, the processes by which the country settled into lethargy and isolationism, the relations of government to labor, industry, finance. It is an indictment, in quotable, rather than notable, phrases that occasionally become fighting words. It is vital, lively, pungent reading, and given a chance to serve in a good fight, this book might be an excellent piece of documentation for the opposition to a return to ""normalcy"".

Pub Date: April 12th, 1948
Publisher: Little, Brown