Rezension: Kiran Patel, The New Deal

Kiran Klaus Patel, The New Deal. A Global History, Princeton: PUP 2016.

Rezensiert für den Arbeitskreis Historische Friedensforschung bei H-Soz-u-Kult von: Quinn Slobodian, Department of History, Wellesley College.

The cover of Kiran Klaus Patel’s book, “The New Deal: A Global History”, features President Franklin D. Roosevelt pointing at a large globe. What seems like a perfect image for the book actually points to its central tension. The caption betrays its origin in 1942 – four years after the New Deal’s end and a year after the U.S. entry into the Second World War. The gifting of the globe to the Roosevelt is symbolic – hailing a president to demonstrate an international-mindedness judged as either deficient or heretofore politically imprudent to broadcast.

Perhaps a more fitting cover image would have been FDR without a globe. This would express more accurately Patel’s challenge, namely, how to make the case for global links when, as he puts it, “Roosevelt and the New Dealers had an interest in presenting their political actions, especially the more unorthodox ones, as being deeply rooted in the tradition of American government” (p. 120). If every history book is a detective story, we could say in the spirit of metaphorical permissiveness exhibited by Patel himself, that his unravels the mystery of the globe that didn’t bark.

Patel’s past work on labor corps, Europeanization, competition law, and agriculture investigated state-driven and scientifically-informed projects of rationalization without neglecting the scrum of interest group clashes, political personalities, and institutional frictions that foreclose the easy translation of ideas into reality. He is a historian of Foucault in the swamp – a skill set well designed to take on the largest-scale social engineering project in American history. weiterlesen

Empfohlene Zitierweise
Quinn Slobodian: Rezension zu: Patel, Kiran Klaus: The New Deal. A Global History. Princeton 2016 , in: H-Soz-Kult, 05.05.2017, <>.