What did it all mean, that hundred-ring circus which went on in Washington from March, 1933 almost until the outbreak of World War II? Countless books have already tried to tell us, but few with such clarity and fairness as this one manages to show throughout. When FDR first used the term ""New Deal"", in his nomination acceptance speech in 1932, he attached no special significance to it. Yet it has since come to stand for a phenomenon which has no equal in U.S. history, previous or subsequent. In 8 years this phenomenon had ""almost revolutionized the agenda of American politics"". It is the word ""almost"" here which reveals Mr. Leuchtenburg's constant approach; he never overstates his case, or presumes to tell us what was going on in the minds of the men whose stories he recounts, or asks us to take anything on faith. His mastery of the mountains of pertinent material is obvious, yet seldom obtrusive. He emphasizes the compromising, pluralistic features of the administration; and Roosevelt's ""predilection for balanced government"". His quotations, always apt and lively, illustrate all possible shades of opinion. This is certainly a distinguished contribution to ""The New American Nation Series"". A fine one-volume study.