Catalogue


Designs within disorder [electronic resource] : Franklin D. Roosevelt, the economists, and the shaping of American economic policy, 1933-1945 /
William J. Barber.
imprint
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1996.
description
ix, 178 p. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0521560780 (hardcover)
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1996.
isbn
0521560780 (hardcover)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
8359968
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 172-173) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1997-05:
Controversy is the lifeblood of intellectual debate and research, and this book contains plenty to provoke and stimulate the reader. For example, economic historians might grumble that this work perpetuates the myth (first debunked some 40 years ago by E. Cary Brown in the American Economic Review, a judgment confirmed by more recent analyses) that Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal economic policy was heavily influenced by the ideas of John Maynard Keynes. Similarly, few would be as sympathetic to the policy makers implicated in the disastrous tightening of economic policy in 1937, which precipitated a further sharp and deep recession in the midst of the Great Depression. Designs within Disorder, though, is not economic history but intellectual history--a history of economic thought--focusing on the role played by economists in the formulation of Roosevelt's economic and social policy during the 1930s. It is a study of the inputs--the ideas and musings of economists advising the Roosevelt administration (whether in an official or unofficial capacity)--rather than a study of the implementation and outcomes of their policies. Nontechnical and highly recommended to all. J. Atack; Vanderbilt University
Reviews
Review Quotes
'A society that grants enormous authority to economists in government had better pay attention to what and how they think. In this fine study, one of our leading historians of economic thought, William Barber, cuts to the core of the connection between economic knowledge and public policy during the New Deal. Barber shows how the dream of a full-fledged 'Fisc' to match the 'Fed' was blighted, and his emphasis on 'economic learning' - theoretical breakthroughs achieved experimentally, through the deliberative processes of governance - adds an important dimension to the typical new institutionalist preoccupation with structural constraints such as federalism. Barber;s shrewd observations about the not-so-positive implications for today of the low-savings, high-consumption lessons the Keynesians taught are thought-provoking. In all, this is an important book for all those interested in the critical debates that shaped the course of modern liberalism.' Mary O. Furner, University of California, Santa Barbara
"...a well written, intelligently conceived description of how the Roosevelt administration experimented with and then discarded various schools of economic thought, to end up with a domesticated version of Keynesiansim." James S. Olson, The Journal of American History
'Barber has written a fascinating sequel to his From New Era to New Deal. Together, these books give us a superb - indeed, our very best - history of the role economists played in shaping federal policy between 1921 and 1945. Because he has done his homework in the archives, Barber is able to document the clash of competing ideas within the federal government, to demonstrate the linkages between ideas and policy, and to show us how the experiences of New Deal economists shaped the development of economic knowledge. In the process of explaining how Franklin Roosevelt organized the work of the economists, Barber favors us with a novel interpretation of Roosevelt - as 'an uncompromising champion of consumer sovereignty'.' W. Elliot Brownlee, University of California, Santa Barbara
"...highly recommended to all..." J. Atack, Choice
"This most interesting, enjoyable book continues William Barber's exploration into the role of economists as they tried to and did influence policy during the Hoover and Roosevelt years....This is a book many no doubt thought of writing. Barber did it and did it well." Frank G. Steindl, Southern Economic Journal
"William Barber has written an interesting work on the importance of economic thinking during the Great Depression years. In so doing, his efforts remain worthwhile." Michael V. Namorato, EH.NET BOOK REVIEW
"...[later generations of economists]...will find in it a source of pride at the status their forebearers achieved....Barber has performed a valuable service in synthesizing much that was already known and unearthing much that was new from his study of the archival material." Herbert Stein, Journal of Economic Literature
"...the book accomplishes its goals well and deserves high marks for its scholarship and engaging prose. It should have an interdisciplinary audience of historians of the period, social scientists interested in bringing a historical component into policy analysis, and economists who would understand the evolution of their discipline and its place in Barber's earlier work." Ellis W. Hawley, Jrnl of Interdisciplinary History
Advance praise: 'A society that grants enormous authority to economists in government had better pay attention to what and how they think. In this fine study, one of our leading historians of economic thought, William Barber, cuts to the core of the connection between economic knowledge and public policy during the New Deal. Barber shows how the dream of a full-fledged 'Fisc' to match the 'Fed' was blighted, and his emphasis on 'economic learning' - theoretical breakthroughs achieved experimentally, through the deliberative processes of governance - adds an important dimension to the typical new institutionalist preoccupation with structural constraints such as federalism. Barber;s shrewd observations about the not-so-positive implications for today of the low-savings, high-consumption lessons the Keynesians taught are thought-provoking. In all, this is an important book for all those interested in the critical debates that shaped the course of modern liberalism.' Mary O. Furner, University of California, Santa Barbara
Advance praise:'Barber has written a fascinating sequel to his From New Era to New Deal. Together, these books give us a superb - indeed, our very best - history of the role economists played in shaping federal policy between 1921 and 1945. Because he has done his homework in the archives, Barber is able to document the clash of competing ideas within the federal government, to demonstrate the linkages between ideas and policy, and to show us how the experiences of New Deal economists shaped the development of economic knowledge. In the process of explaining how Franklin Roosevelt organized the work of the economists, Barber favors us with a novel interpretation of Roosevelt - as 'an uncompromising champion of consumer sovereignty'.'W. Elliot Brownlee, University of California, Santa Barbara
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, May 1997
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Summaries
Description for Bookstore
Franklin D. Roosevelt drew heavily on the thinking of economists as he sought to combat the Great Depression, to mobilize the American economy for war, and to chart a new order for the post-war world. This book explains how divergent analytic perspectives competed for official favour and the manner in which Roosevelt opted to pick and choose among them when formulating economic policies.
Description for Library
More than any of his predecessors in the White House, Franklin D. Roosevelt drew heavily on the thinking of economists as he sought to combat the Great Depression, to mobilize the American economy for war, and to chart a new order for the post-war world. Designs Within Disorder is an inquiry into the way divergent analytic perspectives competed for official favour and the manner in which the President opted to pick and choose among them when formulating economic policies.
Main Description
More so than had any of his predecessors in the White House, Franklin D. Roosevelt drew heavily on the thinking of economists as he sought to combat the Great Depression, to mobilize the American economy for war, and to chart a new order for the postwar world. Designs within Disorder is an inquiry into the way divergent analytic perspectives competed for official favor and the manner in which the President opted to pick and choose among them when formulating economic policies.
Main Description
More than any of his predecessors in the White House, Franklin D. Roosevelt drew heavily on the thinking of economists as he sought to combat the Great Depression, to mobilize the American economy for war, and to chart a new order for the post-war world. Designs Within Disorder is an inquiry into the way divergent analytic perspectives competed for official favour and the manner in which the President opted to pick and choose among them when formulating economic policies. During the Roosevelt years, two 'revolutions' were underway simultaneously. One of them involved a fundamental restructuring of the American economy and of the role government was to play in it. A second was an intellectual revolution which engaged economists in reconceptualizing the nature of their discipline. Most of the programmatic initiatives Roosevelt put in place displayed a remarkable staying power for over half a century.
Main Description
More than any of his predecessors in the White House, Franklin D. Roosevelt drew heavily on the thinking of economists as he sought to combat the Great Depression, to mobilize the American economy for war, and to chart a new order for the post-war world. Designs Within Disorder, published in 1996, is an inquiry into the way divergent analytic perspectives competed for official favour and the manner in which the President opted to pick and choose among them when formulating economic policies. During the Roosevelt years, two 'revolutions' were underway simultaneously. One of them involved a fundamental restructuring of the American economy and of the role government was to play in it. A second was an intellectual revolution which engaged economists in reconceptualizing the nature of their discipline. Most of the programmatic initiatives Roosevelt put in place displayed a remarkable staying power for over half a century.
Bowker Data Service Summary
Designs Within Disorder explains how economists helped to give shape to the American economy during the years of the New Deal and the Second World War.
Description for Bookstore
Franklin D. Roosevelt drew heavily on the thinking of economists as he sought to combat the Great Depression, to mobilise the American economy for war, and to chart a new order for the post-war world. This book explains how divergent analytic perspectives competed for official favour and the manner in which Roosevelt opted to pick and choose among them when formulating economic policies.
Description for Bookstore
Franklin D. Roosevelt drew heavily on the thinking of economists as he sought to combat the Great Depression, to mobilize the American economy for war, and to chart a new order for the post-war world. This 1996 book explains how divergent analytic perspectives competed for official favour and the manner in which Roosevelt opted to pick and choose among them when formulating economic policies.
Table of Contents
Preface
Guide to abbreviations in citations of sources
Prologuep. 1
Stage setting in the presidential campaign of 1932p. 4
Curtain raising in the first hundred daysp. 23
Deployments in the second half of 1933p. 36
Rethinking the structuralist agenda (I): The fate of NRA, 1934-35p. 53
Rethinking the structuralist agenda (II): The fate of the Agricultural Adjustment Administration 1934-36p. 69
Rethinking macroeconomic strategies, 1934-36p. 80
Shock tremors and their repercussions, 1937-38p. 102
Toward a new "official model," 1939-40p. 116
Designs for the management of an economy at warp. 132
Designs for the postwar worldp. 153
Epiloguep. 169
Bibliographical notep. 172
Indexp. 174
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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