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The End of Reform is both a trenchant analysis of the New Deal and an indispensable guide to today's political landscape. Brinkley, professor of American History and Columbia University, shows how the liberalism of the early New Deal--which set out to repair and, if necessary, restructure America's economy--gave way to its contemporary counterpart, which was less hostile to corporate capitalism and more solicitous of individual rights. Soon after the 1936 election, the New Deal began to encounter a series of crippling political and economic problems that stalled its reformist agenda and forced an agonizing reappraisal of the liberal ideas that had shaped it. The wartime experience helped complete the transformation of the New Deal liberalism. It muted Washington's hostility to the corporate world and diminished liberal faith in the capacity of government to reform capitalism. As he chronicles a critical moment in modern American politics, Brinkley speculates that the New Deal's retreat from issues of wealth, class, and economic power has contributed to present-day liberalism's travails.
"An eloquent book that will transform out understanding of what the New Deal did and did not accomplish--and how its fate continues to shape our politics.... A landmark history."
"As sophisticated an analysis of the politics of Roosevelt's second and third term as we are likely to get.... It is an uncommonly effective intellectual history of reform in these years."
--The Journal of American History
"[Brinkley] has written what will likely become the definitive history of the origin of contemporary liberalism."
--Cleveland Plain Dealer
Introduction: The Concept of New Deal Liberalism
The Crisis of New Deal Liberalism
"An Ordered Economic World"
The "New Dealers" and the Regulatory Impulse
Spending and Consumption
The Struggle for a Program
The Anti-monopoly Moment
Mobilizing for War
The New Unionism and the New Liberalism
Planning for Full Employment
Epilogue: The Reconstruction of New Deal Liberalism