Freedom from Fear by David M. Kennedy
The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945 (Oxford History of the United States)

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 3 Critic Reviews



Between 1929 and 1945, two great travails were visited upon the American people: the Great Depression and World War II. This book tells the story of how Americans endured, and eventually prevailed, in the face of those unprecedented calamities.

The Depression was both a disaster and an opportunity. As David Kennedy vividly demonstrates, the economic crisis of the 1930s was far more than a simple reaction to the alleged excesses of the 1920s. For more than a century before 1929, America's unbridled industrial revolution had gyrated through repeated boom and bust cycles, wastefully consuming capital and inflicting untold misery on city and countryside alike.

Freedom From Fear explores how the nation agonized over its role in World War II, how it fought the war, why the United States won, and why the consequences of victory were sometimes sweet, sometimes ironic. In a compelling narrative, Kennedy analyzes the determinants of American strategy, the painful choices faced by commanders and statesmen, and the agonies inflicted on the millions of ordinary Americans who were compelled to swallow their fears and face battle as best they could.

Both comprehensive and colorful, this account of the most convulsive period in American history, excepting only the Civil War, reveals a period that formed the crucible in which modern America was formed.

The Oxford History of the United States

The Atlantic Monthly has praised The Oxford History of the United States as "the most distinguished series in American historical scholarship," a series that "synthesizes a generation's worth of historical inquiry and knowledge into one literally state-of-the-art book. Who touches these books touches a profession."
Conceived under the general editorship of one of the leading American historians of our time, C. Vann Woodward, The Oxford History of the United States blends social, political, economic, cultural, diplomatic, and military history into coherent and vividly written narrative. Previous volumes are Robert Middlekauff's The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution; James M. McPherson's Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era (which won a Pulitzer Prize and was a New York Times Best Seller); and James T. Patterson's Grand Expectations: The United States 1945-1974 (which won a Bancroft Prize).

About David M. Kennedy

See more books from this Author
David M. Kennedy is the director of the Center for Crime Prevention and Control and a professor of criminal justice at John Jay College. Kennedy has received two Webber Seavey awards from the International Association of Chiefs of Police, two Innovations in American Government awards from the Kennedy School of Government, and a Herman Goldstein Problem-Oriented Policing Award. His work has been used as a model or source for safety and drug intervention initiatives by the Clinton and Bush administrations, and by the Bureau of Justice. Kennedy lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Published May 6, 1999 by Oxford University Press. 990 pages
Genres: History, War, Business & Economics. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Freedom from Fear

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

The latest volume of the Oxford History of the United States, an exhaustive survey spanning 16 years of crises, ordeals, fears, and insecurities.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Freedom from Fear: The Americ...

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Rarely does a work of historical synthesis combine such trenchant analysis and elegant writing as does Kennedy's spectacular contribution to the Oxford History of the United States. A Stanford history

May 03 1999 | Read Full Review of Freedom from Fear: The Americ...


The pattern of institutional arrangements that came out of that period, according to Kennedy, can be summarized in one word: security security for vulnerable individuals, to be sure .

Jul 09 2014 | Read Full Review of Freedom from Fear: The Americ...

Reader Rating for Freedom from Fear

An aggregated and normalized score based on 142 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review