Magazine April 25, 2016, Issue

Misreading Prosperity

The Great Exception: The New Deal and the Limits of American Politics, by Jefferson Cowie (Princeton, 288 pp., $27.50)

‘Democrats want to go back to the 1950s so they can work there. Republicans want to go back to the 1950s so they can live there.”

It’s an old saying, and there’s some truth to it. With his thoughtful new book, scholar Jefferson Cowie seeks to show the cause of such longing. Cowie’s conclusion, in a phrase: “collective economic rights.” In the 1950s, and indeed the 1930s before them, writes Cowie, “the central government used its considerable resources in a systematic, if hardly consistent, fashion on behalf of the economic interest of nonelite Americans in ways that it had not done

In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners


Politics & Policy


Why Banks Hate Bucks In his piece “The Abolition of Cash” (April 11), Andrew Stuttaford left out the “drag” on the economy imposed by the “cut” that the banks and processing ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ Lindsey Graham has proven he’s willing to do just about anything to stop serving in the Senate alongside Ted Cruz. ‐ Could Paul Ryan emerge from the Republican convention with ...
The Long View

Choose Your Adventure!

The Republican Party Edition™ BEGIN HERE Republican-party front-runner Donald J. Trump pads into the “thinking room” in his elegant, palatial Palm Beach estate, Mar-a-Lago. As he sits on his gilded and intricately ...
Politics & Policy


WHO IS THE STRANGER WHO OVERTAKES ME Who is the stranger who overtakes me On a dark street and taps me on the shoulder? I turn and there is nobody there but me, And ...


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