The New Deal - A Story For Our Times

Episodes

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01The Confidence Man20201009In 1933 American's clamoured for new leadership and direction. Their nation was at the epicentre of a global financial crisis. A quarter of the working population unemployed. Farmers and workers in revolt, war veterans marching on the nation's capital. The siren song of populists filled the airwaves. Franklin D. Roosevelt came to office amidst deep gloom with the banks about to fail. 'If I read the temper of our people correctly... we cannot merely take...we must give as well.' Historian & writer Marybeth Hamilton explores the decade long experiment that was America's New Deal. There was no blue print for restoring the nation's fortunes or fortitude but to Roosevelt, and those he gathered around him, it was clear that the future of capitalism & democracy were at stake.

With the voices of Tony Badger, Steve Fraser, Gary Gerstle, Gardiner Means, Eric Rauchway, Rob Snyder and Elizabeth Wickenden.
Producer: Mark Burman

Marybeth Hamilton explores how America responded to the Great Depression with The New Deal

02Thunder From The Left20201016Marybeth Hamilton explores the New Deal's most progressive & controversial period. Was a new alliance between workers and government really emerging for the first time in American history? Might they be fashioning a world together, if not free from fear & want, then bound for a more just & equitable America. Millions now went to work for the the W.P.A.. Building the nation's infrastructure. Anything from airports to dog pounds whilst artists & writers documented the voiceless & the land itself. Perhaps for the first time in history labor's voice was being heeded in Washington. Could this 'fragile' juggernaut stay on course?

With the voices of: Tony Badger, Ken Byndas, Zach Carter, Kristin Downey, Steve Fraser, Gary Gerstle, Tom Girdler Jr, Ahmed White, Mason Williams

Producer: Mark Burman

Marybeth Hamilton explores the New Deal's most progressive moment & America is rebuilt.

Marybeth Hamilton explores how America responded to the Great Depression with The New Deal

03Waitin' On Roosevelt20201023The decade of profound change brought about by the New Deal began & ended in the age of Jim Crow apartheid. Yet by its end Black American's had significantly shifted their political allegiances from the party of Abraham Lincoln to the Democratic party of F.D.R. as many found their lives altered by a raft of initiatives.

Abject poverty, discrimination & lack of representation was something millions of black Americans had experienced well before the Depression began, especially in the South. And in the first years of the New Deal little changed. Southern Democrats, a crucial part of FDR's New Deal coalition, benefited enormously from New Deal programmes but were insistent that nothing would affect the racial order of the South & would consistently block relief & resist attempts to include agricultural and domestic workers (black men and women) in major pieces of legislation whilst elsewhere F.D.R.'s pet project, the C.C.C., was effectively segregated.

But by the time of Roosevelt's second election some 75% of black voters, those who could actually vote, backed the New Deal. Black representation in Federal departments increased & many found the First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, an enthusiastic supporter and listener in the struggle for equality as the New Deal sort to expand its inclusion of minorities in the national project. New flagship schemes like the W.P.A. were to be free from discrimination; a million black Americans would go to work for it. The Federal One Arts project gave black artists, writers, actors and musicians recognition & a degree of autonomy as never before. But repeated attempts to convince the President to push for Federal anti-lynching legislation always foundered on his need for Southern support.

Marybeth Hamilton explores the fate and fortunes of Black Americans under the New Deal.

Marybeth Hamilton explores how America responded to the Great Depression with The New Deal