Readers of this feed may know that I believe Roosevelt campaigned on the New Deal in 1932—contrary to a widespread impression he did not. George Selgin of Cato says "Rauchway ought to supply direct proof.… But he never does"
A general observation first: one really should take extra special care when asserting a negative—like Roosevelt didn't campaign on the New Deal in 1932 or, for that matter, Rauchway "never" presents documentary evidence for his thesis.
Especially when many of the documents in question are publicly available. To illustrate this point, I'll link to places with no paywall wherever possible—which will be most of the time.
In 1932, the Commissioner of Labor Statistics was a long-serving civil servant named Ethelbert Stewart. Herbert Hoover had signed off on Stewart's appointment through December, 1933. But then Stewart disputed the Hoover administration’s declaration that unemployment was falling.
Reporters asked Stewart if it was so, and he said the data did not support that view. The Secretary of Labor called Stewart on the carpet in front of reporters. And then Stewart was out of a job.
As the New York Times reported, “'All I will say now,’ he stated, ‘is that I have a contract with the government and it has been broken. Retired!’ he shouted ‘Please don’t put it that way. It is not a proper word.’"
Stuck in your house and can’t go places? Maybe you want to travel in your imagination via the American Guide Series of the WPA, which was after all written for a people often unable to travel, first because of depression and then because of war.
The one for Florida (the Southernmost State) was written by, among others, Stetson Kennedy and Zora Neale Hurston.
It is full of practical information—legal speed limits, where to find lodging and cinemas, for god’s sake stay out of the roadside bushes because of snakes and redbugs
Early on, Hoover often denied the crisis was a crisis; e.g., "Any lack of confidence in the economic future or the basic strength of business in the United States is foolish." Statement announcing conferences with business, November 15, 1929
Once it was clear it was a crisis, Hoover said there was nothing he could do about it. "Economic depression can not be cured by legislative action or executive pronouncement." Message to Congress, December 2, 1930
Roosevelt’s first action of repairing the banks and the dollar restored confidence in the banks and the currency. People brought their gold back to the Federal Reserve and their money back to banks. gettyimages.com/consumer/share…
"Yet, for all the talk of the poor and students of color at the Ivy League, the real institutions of mobility in the United States are underfunded public universities" newyorker.com/culture/cultur…
"During the Depression, the New York municipal-college system opened two flagship campuses: Brooklyn College and Queens College. These schools built the middle class, took in refugees from Nazi Germany, remade higher education, and transformed American arts and letters."
NB: California's public universities have a pretty impressive history, too.
"In Los Angeles, Mayor Eric M. Garcetti has proposed using the crisis as a catalyst to achieve free higher education and to mitigate inequality. Invoking Franklin D. Roosevelt … Mr. Garcetti said … 'is normal really what we want to come back to?’” nytimes.com/2020/05/04/us/…
love it when the Ottawa speech gets a shout-out, we really can’t get enough of the good stuff there
“Far-sighted people told them long ago that here was a human emergency that demanded action. But they were at all times hoping—guessing—that things would somehow get better and that they would not be brought to a stern reckoning for the consequences of their acts.…
“On this tombstone of the present Republican leadership will be written for all time the words ‘Too late.’”
"In 1930 the president of the United States authorized the burglary of private property for strictly personal reasons," writes Jeffery Dorwart about Herbert Hoover and the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) in CONFLICT OF DUTY (1983)
I'm assured this is widely known by historians of intelligence, though little or not known by political historians (it appears in Charles Rappleye's Hoover bio).
By 1930, Hoover already had confidence he was receiving undue blame for the Depression.