FDR and The New Deal For Beginners will shed new light upon a story now regaining visibility thanks to the recent economic crisis and prominent reformer, President Obama, in the White House, in a profusely illustrated, popularly-written volume with original comic art.
The history of the precedent-making FDR administration through the bitter economic depression, with expansive programs empowering artists and working people, comes alive as the grandest social experiment in the history of American democracy. For the first time, the lives of the president, the first lady and the ordinary people of the time will be seen through an inventive comic narrative accompanying historic illustrations and a sympathetic but not uncritical text.
"The incredibly farsighted and productive presidential career of Roosevelt is handled in smart, dramatic fashion in this long-overdue addition to Steerforth's impressive "For Beginners" line of introductions to concepts, thinkers, and historical events. Buhle (The Beats) gives a clean overview of FDR's early years before heading into the meat of his story about America's most populist president. Dividing Buhler's text chapter are graphic renditions of many of the events by Jones (The Real Cost of Prisons), whose dramatic, woodcut-inspired art recalls political broadsides of the early 20th century. While avoiding lecturing, Buhle and Jones proudly speak from the left of the spectrum, a tricky balancing act. An introductory note states that the writer and artist were moved to create this book by the 2008 election of President Obama, which "created a popular, democratic and egalitarian excitement that, even now, after a considerable letdown, has hardly faded in memory." Buhle and Jones do such a good job of illustrating FDR's staggering legacy, however, that shutting the book and returning to 2010 comes as a considerable letdown."
- Publishers Weekly
"FDR and The New Deal For Beginners is an important experiment in comics as history, also a study of the grand reform era that readers need for today's and tomorrow's hopes. Get this book!"
-Robert W. McChesney, co-author, The Death and Life of American Journalism
"This is a terrific narrative that will teach new generations about the hardships Americans faced during one of the most trying eras in their history and the social movements and president who struggled to help them. The team of Buhle, Pekar, and Jones illustrate the benefits of having a president who, whatever his limits, truly cared about the welfare of working people. In elegant prose and dramatic pictures, they do more than make the past come alive; they make sense of it."
-Michael Kazin, author of A Godly Hero:The Life of William Jennings Bryan and professor of history, Georgetown University