Fear Itself by Ira Katznelson
The New Deal and the Origins of Our Time

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Readers of this insightful book may feel that the past, albeit in new ways, lives on.
-The Economist

Synopsis

“A powerful argument, swept along by Katznelson’s robust prose and the imposing scholarship that lies behind it.”—Kevin Boyle, New York Times Book Review


A work that “deeply reconceptualizes the New Deal and raises countless provocative questions” (David Kennedy), Fear Itself changes the ground rules for our understanding of this pivotal era in American history. Ira Katznelson examines the New Deal through the lens of a pervasive, almost existential fear that gripped a world defined by the collapse of capitalism and the rise of competing dictatorships, as well as a fear created by the ruinous racial divisions in American society. Katznelson argues that American democracy was both saved and distorted by a Faustian collaboration that guarded racial segregation as it built a new national state to manage capitalism and assert global power. Fear Itself charts the creation of the modern American state and “how a belief in the common good gave way to a central government dominated by interest-group politics and obsessed with national security” (Louis Menand, The New Yorker).
 

About Ira Katznelson

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Ira Katznelson is Columbia University’s Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History. Having served as president of the American Political Science Association, he is a member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.
 
Published March 1, 2013 by Liveright. 721 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Fear Itself
All: 3 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 0

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Kevin Boyle on Apr 05 2013

It’s a powerful argument, swept along by Katznelson’s robust prose and the imposing scholarship that lies behind it.

Read Full Review of Fear Itself: The New Deal and... | See more reviews from NY Times

Financial Times

Good
Reviewed by Duncan Kelly on May 10 2013

Fear – real and imagined, domestic and international – structured the entire period, and this is what gives Katznelson’s book its focus.

Read Full Review of Fear Itself: The New Deal and... | See more reviews from Financial Times

The Economist

Good
on Mar 09 2013

Readers of this insightful book may feel that the past, albeit in new ways, lives on.

Read Full Review of Fear Itself: The New Deal and... | See more reviews from The Economist

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