Eric Rauchway Profile picture
Distinguished Professor, officially. Writes books (see link below). Florida man.🌴 Proud to serve the people of California. My views are but mine own.
☘️Mike McGraw🇨🇦#Mask Up! Profile picture Aviva Gabriel Profile picture Patricia Tidwell Wilkinson Bell Profile picture jlmcmd/#GOPocrisy Profile picture 4 added to My Authors
22 Jun 20
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"

I disagree.
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.
Read 39 tweets
20 May 20
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.’"
Read 9 tweets
18 May 20
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
Read 11 tweets
13 May 20
As @dkarol says there are differences between the current reaction to an invisible, impersonal enemy and that of the Hoover administration, but there are some similarities …
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
Read 13 tweets
11 May 20
"Biden Is Planning an FDR-Size Presidency”…
"His advisers agreed: If they were going to talk about lessons from history, their future calls might as well dive into the Great Depression and World War II."
Historians who know about these lessons are standing by
Read 3 tweets
9 May 20
The New Deal spurred a recovery that proceeded at a record rate of economic growth but, per the below, people will say otherwise.
On the timing of recovery:…
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.…
Read 17 tweets
7 May 20
Are you under a polar vortex? It’s time for a virtual fireside chat with a new issue of “The Roosevelts at Home” ft. yrs. truly!…
even if you’re not under a polar vortex, it’s fine reading/listening wherever you are
Speaking of good weather I mean just look at this banner photo
Read 5 tweets
7 May 20
"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"…
"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.
Read 3 tweets
6 May 20
To be honest, "grandma killer" doesn't do justice to "Nazi-chummy"
I mean if you're out there befriending Nazis and then you pop up with "let's kill the weak and elderly for the good of our culture" it's kind of an argument against befriending Nazis
not to be a crude consequentialist but you know
Read 4 tweets
6 May 20
Also, Marathon Man is the best movie about historians.
It has come to my attention that some of you are unaware that this movie—all of it, the entirety—is about historians, history, and the relationship of the former to the latter.
I would try to explain it? but I think it would be better for you to watch it again with that thought in mind.
Read 4 tweets
6 May 20
Taking of Pelham One Two Three, Marathon Man, and When Harry Met Sally are all better choices.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Moonstruck, The Apartment.
Do the Right Thing, Inside Man, Serpico
Read 4 tweets
5 May 20
"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?’”…
love it when the Ottawa speech gets a shout-out, we really can’t get enough of the good stuff there
"I have distinct reservations as to how good 'the good old days' were. I would rather believe that we can achieve new and better days.”…
Read 3 tweets
5 May 20
“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.’”
—Franklin D. Roosevelt, October 25, 1932
Read 3 tweets
4 May 20
[extremely quietly] I think there is a difference between a professional historian retaining fraudulent books for research purposes and an ordinary reader displaying such books prominently on shelves
I mean I think the U.S. government should retain a bit of smallpox in a vault but I wouldn't want you to have it
much less keep it in a vial on the spice rack
Read 3 tweets
27 Apr 20
For people interested in a good faith, as it were, debate, let me say a few things
First of all, if there's a paper (or op ed citing an underlying paper) of more than a decade ago, you'd want to look for subsequent scholarship
There is, as it happens, a lot. It points out, in brief, several concerns with C&O
Read 23 tweets
26 Apr 20
My working hypothesis is that all opinions of the form "x must reopen" are really just riffs on "we sure need tests, where the hell are the tests?"
The New York Times has an op ed by the president of Brown saying colleges and universities must reopen in the fall…
After explaining why it's bad that colleges and universities are closed (and it is bad!), a dozen paragraphs in, "Testing is an absolute prerequisite."
Read 5 tweets
24 Apr 20
This is the guy who thought lower taxes made Henry Ford less anti-Semitic, right?
Literally, the argument was yes, Ford was a big Jew hater but think how much worse he would have been if there had been a wealth tax; I’m not misremembering that, am I?
Read 3 tweets
7 Apr 20
The Roosevelt administration tried to federalize voting in 1944
The United States had about 9.2m service personnel of voting age that year, dispersed all over the world
Once, the US army had organized units by home state but by WW2, that was no longer true
Read 20 tweets
14 Mar 20
The problem with this slow cooker coq au vin recipe is that you’re opening the wine quite early in the day.

(What Would Julia Child Do)
I mean don’t tell me about Shakespeare or Newton’s quarantined accomplishments.
Read 9 tweets
9 Dec 19
"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.
Read 23 tweets
29 Nov 19
all of this but especially that public-sector higher-ed tuition is a novelty
can’t be repeated enough; people are acting as if a policy that lasted a century or so (in much of this country) is some kind of weird, socialist import
Just for fun here’s UC Davis, for twenty years, from "hardly anything" to "quite substantial"
Read 13 tweets