THE BRAINS TRUST by Rexford Guy Tugwell


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Tugwell, a politically naive economist when he joined the Brains Trust (sic)/(its original name), reviews FDR's 1932 push toward the nomination and thence to the Presidency, avoiding pitfalls of bias and pitfalls of memory to produce a really fascinating chronicle. It centers around Tugwell's theories of the Depressions's causes and his efforts to persuade Roosevelt to agree and, more difficult, to implement cures, rather than sticking to Hooverish economic orthodoxies or reverting to Brandeisian progressivism. While the reconstructed sessions are anything but dull; the book has much more to offer: vignettes of the gubernatorial menage (Tugwell is not an Eleanorophile); crisp judgments on Baruch, Morgenthau, Lippmann, Berle, LaFollette, Long, et al. . . . and the exhilarating campaign with its speeches and blunders which kept Tugwell and Raymond Moley wringing their hands at FDR's insouciance and his half-baked ideas. Tugwell concludes that the New Deals were ""not enough, and he knew it."" This history of the crucial eight months is, however, more than enough--a triumph of evocation and analysis which affords a significant perspective on the 60's, the economic planning and concentration Tugwell favored, and the Democratic-business partnership LBJ consummated.

Pub Date: July 11th, 1968
ISBN: 1597404381
Publisher: Viking