The New Deal administration of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a critical watershed in the development of the welfare-warfare state in the United States. Precedents concerning public policy and ideology set during that period are still with us today. However there is much mythology and misunderstanding regarding FDR and the New Deal found in academic and popular historical accounts. Educated readers must sift through the volume of published works trying to ascertain the truthfulness and accuracy of these studies. Dr. Gary North recently pointed out that there exists no single critical analysis of this history, written on a scholarly academic level, which treats both domestic and foreign policies of Roosevelt’s New Deal and their consequences. While this is indeed true, there does in fact exist many volumes in print which undertake to explore and explain this period. This annotated bibliographic guide is an attempt to acquaint attentive readers with this literature regarding Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal. It is not meant to be the final word on historical documentary sources. Most of these titles can be found at Amazon.com or online at Mises.org.
The methodology this guide will follow is that of Libertarian Class Analysis as presented in such seminal works as Albert Jay Nock’s Our Enemy, The State, William Morrow and Company, 1935; Murray N. Rothbard’s Wall Street, Banks, and American Foreign Policy, Center for Libertarian Studies, Inc., 1996; and Rothbard’s pathbreaking article, “The Anatomy of the State.” (All three items are available online at Mises.org.) An understanding of Libertarian Class Analysis is the “litmus test” separating real libertarians from alternative lifestyle dilettantes dabling in free market theory. Sometimes labeled “Power Elite Analysis” or “Establishment Studies,” this examination of causal relationships regarding the nature and scope of political power, who has it and how it is exercised, is crucial to understanding Roosevelt’s New Deal. There are three great scholars who have mastered this mode of analysis. Any real understanding of our subject must begin with a grasp of their tremendous contributions to this endeavor. They are Murray N. Rothbard, Thomas Ferguson, and Phillip H. Burch, Jr. Each of these authors freely praised and cited each others work in this undertaking. The central fact guiding our study of FDR and the New Deal was stated by economist and historian Rothbard at the beginning of his chapter, “From Hoover To Roosevelt: The Federal Reserve and the Financial Elites,” found in his A History of Money and Banking in the United States: The Colonial Era To World War II, Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2002:
“This (analysis) is grounded on the insight that American politics, from the turn of the twentieth century until World War II, can far better comprehended by studying the interrelationship of major financial groupings than by studying the superficial and often sham struggles between Democrats and Republicans. In particular, American politics in this period was marked by a fierce struggle between two major financial-industrial groupings: the interests clustered around the House of Morgan on the one hand, and an alliance of Rockefeller (oil), Harriman (railroad), and Kuhn, Loeb (investment banking) interests on the other. ”
Dr. Rothbard proceeds in this chapter, and in two subsequent chapters, “The Gold-Exchange Standard in the Interwar Years,” and “The New Deal and the International Monetary System,” to further detail this internecine warfare between the J. P. Morgan bloc and the Rockefeller/Harriman/Kuhn, Loeb bloc for control of the U. S. Political economy.
We next consider political scientist Thomas Ferguson, in his Golden Rule: The Investment Theory of Party Competition and the Logic of Money-Driven Political Systems, The University of Chicago Press, 1995. In his first chapter, “Party Realignment and American Industrial Structure: The Investment Theory of Political Parties in Historical Perspective,” Dr. Ferguson presents his general theory of the dynamics of modern American politics. However it is in his second chapter, “From u2018Normalcy’ to New Deal: Industrial Structure, Party Competition, and American Public Policy in the Great Depression,” and his fourth chapter, “Industrial Structure and Party Competition in the New Deal: A Quantitative Assessment,” that most parallels Rothbard and Burch. His essay, “Industrial Conflict and the Coming of the New Deal: The Triumph of Multinational Liberalism in America,” found in Steve Fraser and Gary Gerstle’s The Rise and Fall of the New Deal Order, 1930-1980, Princeton University Press, 1990, is also must reading in this regard.
Lastly, we turn to political scientist Philip H. Burch, Jr. Dr. Burch is the author of the outstanding three volume series, Elites in American History: The Federalist Years to Civil War, Elites in American History: The Civil War to the New Deal, and Elites in American History: The New Deal to the Carter Administration, Holmes & Meier Publishers, Ltd., 1980. Professor Burch, by his exemplary scholarship and meticulous research into the elite structure of the American Establishment, has written the landmark definitive series in the exploration of power in America. It is the third volume, which Rothbard described as “sparkling” and “encyclopedic,” that we focus upon here. In fact, Rothbard’s Wall Street, Banks, and American Foreign Policy, cited above, is in many ways a condensation and amplification of Burch’s pioneering research, within his own insightful, rigorous framework of Libertarian Class Analysis.
3. Background of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
There are multitudes of biographies of FDR by court historian partisans, acolytes, and apologists. However there are two contemporary critical studies by John T. Flynn which are in a class by themselves in regards to de-mysticification of their subject.. Flynn’s Country Squire in the White House, Doubleday, Doran and Company, 1940, placed the author on the White House enemies list. FDR, in a vindictive act of revenge, tried to destroy Flynn’s journalistic career. The second book, The Roosevelt Myth, Devin-Adair, 1948, published several years after Roosevelt’s death, gives Flynn the last word. Both are must reading. Ralph Raico’s brilliant LewRockwell.com series, “Fascism Comes To America,” is an illuminating commentary.
4. The Great Depression.
Murray N. Rothbard, America’s Great Depression, Van Nostrand, 1963. The definitive scholarly analysis of why the Great Depression happened and the policy failures which tried to alleviate its tragic consequences.
Garet Garrett, A Bubble That Broke The World, Little Brown and Company, 1931. The real story behind the Crash. Still a classic account.
Albert U. Romasco, The Poverty of Abundance: Hoover, the Nation, the Depression, Oxford University Press, 1969. A totally discredited and flawed book – see Murray N. Rothbard’s devastating review, “The Hoover Myth,” in James Weinstein and David Eakin’s For A New America: Essays in History and Politics From u2018Studies on the Left,’ 1959-1967, Vintage Books, 1970.
Studs Terkel, Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression, Avon Books, 1971. A true classic! Exceptional oral history of a wide strata of Americans caught up in the “hard times” of the Great Depression.
Jim Powell, FDR’s Folly: How Roosevelt and His New Deal Prolonged the Great Depression, Crown Forum, 2003. Powell’s fine study destroys many myths concerning FDR, the Great Depression, and the New Deal.
Amity Shlaes, The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression, HarperCollins, 2007. This new analysis critically examines the domestic policy aspects of the New Deal.
5. The New Deal.
Ronald Radosh and Murray N. Rothbard, editors, A New History of Leviathan: Essays on the Rise of the American Corporate State, E. P. Dutton and Company, 1972. Brilliant synthesis of New Left/Old Right analysis of the origins of corporativism in America. In particular, see Rothbard’s “War Collectivism in World War I,” and “Herbert Hoover and the Myth of Laissez-Faire;” and Radosh’s “The Myth of the New Deal,” demolishing conventional interpretations by court historians Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. Carl N. Degler, and William E. Leuctenburg.
G. William Domhoff, The Higher Circles, Vintage, 1971. Contains an excellent chapter, “How The Power Elite Shape Social Legislation” on the background of Social Security and other New Deal legislation and social-engineering programs. Much of this pioneering research was later used by Ronald Radosh in his essay, “The Myth of the New Deal,” in the above book. See also Gregory Bresiger, “The Revolution of 1935: The Secret History of Social Security,” Essays in Political Economy, Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2002. Available online at Mises.org.
Garet Garrett, The People’s Pottage, The Caxton Printers, 1953. Garrett’s masterpiece is the most powerful critique of FDR’s domestic and foreign policies. He has no equal in pointing out the callous, corrupt, and politically expedient nature of Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman and their New Deal-Fair Deal schemes to regiment America and ensnare the globe.
Garet Garrett, Salvos Against the New Deal, The Caxton Press, 2002. Exceptional collection of editorial essays from The Saturday Evening Post, the publication beloved by millions during the dark days of America’s Great Depression.
Garet Garrett, Insatiable Government And Other Old-Right Commentaries 1923-1950, Liberty Cap Press, 2005. Terrific collection of vintage pieces from Garet Garrett, the grand old man of the “Old Right.”
Arthur A. Ekirch, Jr., Ideologies and Utopias: The Impact of the New Deal on American Thought, Quadrangle Books, 1969. A masterful interpretative study of the impact FDR’s New Deal had on America and the World.
Arthur A. Ekirch, Jr., The Decline of American Liberalism, Atheneum, 1971. Ekirch’s excellent historical overview charts the decline of classical liberalism in the United States. His two chapters on the New Deal are particularly illuminating.
John T. Flynn, As We Go Marching, Doubleday, Doran and Company, 1944. John T. Flynn’s magnificent testament to how fascism came to America disguised in democratic garb. Powerful, must reading.
Wolfgang Schivelbusch, Three New Deals: Reflections of Roosevelt’s America, Mussolini’s Italy, and Hitler’s Germany, 1933-1939, Metropolitan Books, 2006. Award-winning historian Schivelbush compares Roosevelt’s New Deal welfare-warfare state with Mussolini’s Corporate State and Hitler’s National Socialist Reich and finds many disturbing things in common in theory and practice. Excellent companion to the Flynn book above and the Best book below.
Gary Dean Best, The Retreat From Liberalism: Collectivists Versus Progressives in the New Deal, Praeger Publishers, 2002. FDR’s retreat from liberalism towards collectivism alienated many old-time progressive reformers.
Raoul E. Desvernine, Democratic Despotism, Dodd, Mead and Company, 1936. Contemporary critique of New Deal collectivism, comparing it with Fascism (Italy), Nazism (Germany), Sovietism (the Soviet Union), and Kamalism (Turkey).
Justus D. Doenecke, The New Deal and Its Critics, Krieger Publishing Company, 2003. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was not universally beloved and esteemed as the Third Person of the Trinity. Here’s why.
Walter Karp, Indispensable Enemies: The Politics of Misrule in America, Franklin Square Press, 1993. Compare Walter Karp’s engaging discussion of the motives behind FDR’s nefarious scheme to pack the Supreme Court with supporters of his New Deal with that of Robert Shogan, Backlash: The Killing of the New Deal. Did Roosevelt deliberately create his own “backlash” and opposition to his social-engineering programs?
Barton J. Bernstein, Towards a New Past: Dissenting Essays in American History, Vintage Books, 1969. A New Left anthology on U. S. history. See especially, Bernstein, “The New Deal: The Conservative Achievements of Liberal Reform,” and contrast it with the analysis of Garet Garett in his essay, “The Revolution Was,” found in The People’s Pottage above.
J. C. Furnas, Stormy Weather: Crosslights on the Nineteen Thirties: An Informal Social History of the United States 1929-1941, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1977. Fascinating and sweeping account of the social history of the 1930s. Much here not found in other accounts.
Curtis B. Dall, FDR: My Exploited Father-In Law, Christian Crusade Publications, 1967. Roosevelt’s former son-in-law spills the beans in this gossipy classic of invective and revelation.
Byron Hunt, From Alphabet Soup to W. P. A. Nuts, The Hudler Press, 1939. A very amusing satire of the multitude of “alphabet agencies” created by FDR’s New Deal.
Emanuel M. Josephson, The Strange Death of Franklin D. Roosevelt: A History of the Roosevelt-Delano Dynasty – America’s Royal Family, Chedney Press, 1948. A quirky curiosity. Did FDR really die on April 12, 1945, or was that his mysterious double?
6. The Plot To Overthrow FDR.
Murray N. Rothbard, A History of Money and Banking in the United States: The Colonial Era to World War II. Rothbard provides the fascinating background to the fierce internecine warfare between the elite Morgan and Rockefeller/Kuhn, Loeb/Harriman financial blocs central to the anti-FDR Wall Street plot exposed by Smedley Darlington Butler discussed below. The New Deal was an alliance of major financial forces against the reigning empire of the House of Morgan. When FDR took office he took America off the Gold Standard. He launched the vicious Pecora Congressional hearings against the Chase National Bank (previously controlled by the Morgans and seized in a coup by Rockefeller kinsman Winthrop Aldrich). Finally the New Deal enacted the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, specific legislation aimed directly at the heart of the Morgans, by separating investment banking from commercial banking. (See Alexander Tabarrok, “The Separation of Commercial and Investment Banking: The Morgans vs. the Rockefellers,” Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, Vol. 1, Number 1. Online at Mises.org.) The Morgans and their corporate allies, such as the DuPonts, sought revenge.
Jules Archer, The Plot To Seize The White House, Skyhorse Publishing, Inc., 2007. One of the most important books you will ever read. It tells the shocking story of how former Marine Major General Smedley Darlington Butler was the savior of our Republic from a fascist coup d’etat by Wall Street plutocratic militarists in the early 1930s. The plotters included key elements from the Morgan and DuPont financial bloc.
The Plot To Overthrow FDR, The History Channel, 2000. Excellent video based on Jules Archer’s brilliant book, The Plot To Seize The White House, details the Wall Street/American Legion coup against FDR heroically exposed by Smedley D. Butler. Author Jules Archer is featured in this History Channel documentary as the major historical expert on this true conspiracy.
Hans Schmidt, Maverick Marine: General Smedley D. Butler and the Contradictions of American Military History, University Press of Kentucky, 1998. More in the incredible saga of Smedley D. Butler, twice awarded the Medal of Honor, who saved our nation from a 1930s fascist coup d’etat, and spoke out against American imperial adventurism. Schmidt’s fine biography has much richness and detail not found in other volumes on Butler, and places him in the historical context of his times.
Antony C. Sutton, Wall Street and FDR, Arlington House Publishers, 1975. Sutton provides an alternative perspective on the attempted Wall Street coup. Was the Wall Street-connected Franklin Roosevelt an acquiescent participant in this domestic fascist conspiracy? Was he witting or unwilling to go along with the plotters?
George Seldes, Facts and Fascism, In Fact Publications, 1943. Investigative journalist George Seldes was one of the few courageous reporters to continue to uncover the shocking story of the Wall Street plot against FDR. Seldes names names, dates, and details of the powerful men who pushed for a corporatist fascist state in America.
Charles Higham, Trading With the Enemy: An Expose’ of the Nazi-American Money Plot 1933-1949, Delacorte Press, 1983. Excellent reference work on American corporate/banking cooperation with Nazi Germany before and during WWII. Higham discusses the Wall Street plot against FDR exposed by Butler.
Paul Dickson, The Bonus Army: An American Epic, Walker & Company, 2004. Smedley Butler was a great supporter and champion of the Bonus Marchers and was beloved by these forgotten veterans of the Great War. That is why he was singled out by the plotters to organize and lead an army in the coup attempt. Here is the Bonus Marchers’ little-known story and how it impacted America.
Smedley Darlington Butler, War Is A Racket, Roundtable Press, 1935. As with George Washington, Smedley D. Butler was “first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.” Here Butler candidly and courageously speaks out against militarism and the horror of war.
7. The Red Decade.
Eugene Lyons’ classic work, The Red Decade, Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1941, gave a name to this era. Since the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe and the collapse of the Soviet Union, a new historiography has emerged that has relied on Soviet archival primary sources and declassified American decrypted documents not available to previous generations of researchers.
We now know Roosevelt’s New Deal was indeed a hotbed for hundred of spies for the Soviet Union during the 1930s and 1940s. The Communist Party of the United States was a ripe recruiting ground for espionage, from the top leadership cadre down to the rank and file Party membership. Courageous Americans who broke with the Party, such as former CPUSA General Secretary Benjamin Gitlow, author of The Whole of Their Lives: Communism in America: A Personal History and Intimate Portrayal of Its Leaders, Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1948, have been vindicated in their warnings to the American people of this Trojan Horse within our country.
Some of the more notable scholarly works which have documented these facts include: Harvey Klehr, John Earl Hayes and Fridrikh Igorevich Firsov, The Secret World of American Communism, Yale University Press, 1995; Harvey Klehr, John Earl Hayes and Kyrill M. Anderson, The Soviet World of American Communism, Yale University Press, 1998; Allen Weinstein and Alexander Vassiliev, The Haunted Wood: Soviet Espionage in America – The Stalin Era, Random House, 1999; John Earl Hayes and Harvey Klehr, Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America, Yale University Press, 1999; Herbert Romerstein and Eric Breindel, The Venona Secrets: Exposing Soviet Espionage and America’s Traitors, Regnery Publishing, 2000; Joseph Albright and Marcia Kunstel, Bombshell: The Secret Story of America’s Unknown Atomic Spy Conspiracy, Crown, 1997; and Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin, The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB, Basic Books, 1999.
An excellent paper summarizing this voluminous research was delivered at the International Communism and Espionage’ session, European Social Science History Conference, March 2006, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, by John Earl Hayes and Harvey Klehr. It was entitled, “The Historiography of Soviet Espionage and American Communism: from Separate to Converging Paths.” It is available online.
The shocking new revelations of factual evidence unearthed by these researchers has not always been welcomed in the larger scholarly community. Two of the most intrepid of these historians, John Earl Hayes and Harvey Klehr, have documented this on-going Battle of the Books in their celebrated, definitive work, In Denial: Historians, Communism & Espionage, Encounter Books, 2003.
For various reasons outlined in their book, many members of the academy have not let go of Cold War mythology and ideological distortions, and have actively sought to deny the new truths that emerged from these clandestine cloisters and dispute the documentary record. They see controversy where none should exist. Refusing to believe that a new post-Cold War historiographic paradigm has emerged, they hold fast to an outdated interpretative status quo.
One of the most disturbing and challenging books to this status quo is Stephen Koch, Double Lives: Spies and Writers in the Secret Soviet War of Ideas Against the West, The Free Press/Macmillian, Inc., 1994 (republished as Double Lives: Stalin, Willi Muzenberg and the Seduction of the Intellectuals, Enigma Books, 2004).
Professor Koch meticulously details the manipulation by the Soviets’ master propagandist Willi Munzenberg of thousands of European and American progressive intellectuals in the inner-war period of the 1920s and 1930s by his vast publishing network and interlocking front organizations under the covert direction of the Communist International (Comintern) and the Soviet secret services of the NKVD and the GRU. He particularly concentrates upon the intellectual elite that fell under Munzenberg’s sway in this cultural war against the West. This includes such persons as Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, Andre’ Malraux, Andre’ Gide, Pablo Picasso, Dorothy Parker, George Grosz, Lincoln Steffens, John Dos Passos, Bertolt Brecht, Lillian Hellman, Dashiell Hammett and Sidney and Beatrice Webb.
This volume shatters myth after historical myth of this critical period.
Munzenberg, Koch states, “developed what may well be the leading moral illusion of the twentieth century: the notion that in the modern age the principal arena of the moral life, the true realm of good and evil, is political.” The notion that – the ethical is the political – and that the highest form of ethical expression was “anti-fascism,” – with the Soviet Union as the publicly-identified, ideologically most dedicated opponent of fascism, thus holding the moral high ground. This myth was actually built upon the basest of lies.
As Koch demonstrates, from the earliest days of the National Socialist regime in Germany, beginning with the Reichstag Fire less than a month after Hitler became Chancellor, a sinister covert relationship between Nazi secret intelligence and their Soviet counterpart existed.
This clandestine cooperation continued throughout the decade. Hitler’s massacre of Ernst Rohm and his S. A. leadership in the Night of the Long Knives. Stalin’s terror purge of CPSU party members, feckless intellectuals, military officers (most notably Field Marshal Tukhachevsky’s betrayal by documents forged in a Gestapo laboratory), and the murder of tens of millions of ordinary Soviet citizens, reaching its culmination in the Hitler-Stalin Non-Aggression Pact of August, 1939. Publicly the Soviet Union and their international Popular Front network (of what were secretly designated “useful idiots” or “Innocents’ Clubs”) preached “anti-fascism.” Covertly Stalin sought accommodation, appeasement, and eventual alliance with Hitler.
Besides fascinating details dealing with the duplicitous Reichstag Fire trials, the Cambridge Five British espionage scandal, the Spanish Civil War as an international component to Stalin’s Great Terror, and finally Muzenberg’s own mysterious murder, one of the most intriguing aspects of Koch’s study involves the use of women espionage agents.
“Many of the ‘Muzenberg-men’ were women. The Russian writer and historian Nina Berberova writes with astringent authority about a cohort of agents or near-agents, the women whom she calls the Ladies of the Kremlin.” These were women who became influential figures in European and American intellectual life partly on their own, but above all through the men in their lives. The men, most often, were famous writers, ‘spokesmen for the West,’ Meanwhile, the consorts whom they most trusted were guided by the Soviet services.
“Leading this list were two members of the minor Russian aristocracy: the Baroness Moura Budberg, who was mistress to both Maxim Gorky and H. G. Wells, and the Princess Maria Pavlova Koudachova. Moura Budberg’s links to the Soviets were shadowy, and remained secret for decades, until they were at last exposed by the Russian historian Arkady Vaksberg in his 1997 book, The Gorky Secret. We have more certain knowledge about the Princess Koudachova, who first became secretary, later mistress, wife, and at last widow to the once enormously celebrated pacifist novelist Romain Rolland.
“Maria Pavlova Koudachova was an agent directly under Soviet secret service control. There is some questionable evidence to suggest that she was trained and assigned to Rolland’s life even before she left Russia after the Revolution. . . That she was a secret service operative, however, and one expressly planted in Rolland’s life, cannot be doubted. Babette Gross (common-law wife of Willi Munzenberg) put it to me plainly in the summer of 1989. ‘She was an apparatchik,’ she said flatly. ‘And she ran him.'” (Koch, page 28).
Koch proceeds to discuss other women deep within the Communist apparat, such as the American Ella Winter, and their distinguished men of distinction. In Winter’s case, the men were pioneer muckraking journalist Lincoln Steffens, and upon his death, Hollywood screenwriter Donald Ogden Stewart, part of Hemingway’s circle immortalized in The Sun Also Rises. Stewart was the Academy Award-winning author of The Philadelphia Story, and one of the highest-paid screenwriters of the day, notes Kenneth Lloyd Billingsley in Hollywood Party: How Communism Seduced the American Film Industry in the 1930s and 1940s, Crown Forum, 1998. He was also one of “the most vociferous guardians of the Party line,” especially through the vexatious days of the Nazi-Soviet Pact (Billingsley, page 82).
Upon reading these various accounts a pattern soon develops. The profiles were remarkably similar. The men were all internationally known novelists, artists, playwrights, etc. celebrated for their independence of mind, their supposed integrity of spirit, but in actuality men who were manipulated by their muses.
The technique proved very successful in this inner war period.
There is no reason to believe that the Communist intelligence services ceased to use these agents of influence during the years of the Cold War.
“Yoko Ono, phone your office.”
8. Prelude To War.
James J. Martin, American Liberalism and World Politics 1931-1941: Liberalism’s Press and Spokesmen on the Road Back to War Between Mukden and Pearl Harbor, Two Volumes, Devin-Adair, 1964. Dr. Harry Elmer Barnes stated that “This book is unquestionably the most formidable achievement of World War II Revisionism,” while Dr. Murray N. Rothbard observed:
Professor Martin’s American Liberalism and World Politics, 1931-1941 is an exhaustive study of the changes in liberal views toward war and peace, and toward Europe and Asia, in the 1930’s, as reflected mainly in the pages of the Nation and the New Republic. It reveals to us the transformation of Liberal opinion from a policy of peace and neutrality to one of intervention and war – and from support of peaceful revision of the Versailles treaty to armed defense of the status quo it had impaired.
“Here is the record spread out for us to ponder today: of intellectuals abandoning the path of peace and reason, to lead the American people into an hysterical and disastrous crusade to obliterate foreign social systems which these intellectuals found repugnant.
It has never been more timely reading.
Charles Callan Tansill, Back Door To War: The Roosevelt Foreign Policy, 1933-1941, Henry Regnery Company, 1952. Tansill’s classic detailing the diplomatic duplicity of FDR and Churchill in maneuvering the unsuspecting American public into the Second World War.
Thomas E. Mahl, Desperate Deception: British Covert Operations in the United States, 1939-1944, Brassey’s, 1999. The shocking story of how British intelligence, FDR, and America’s Northeastern Anglophile ruling elite engineered America’s entrance into WWII.
Justus D. Doenecke, Storm on the Horizon: The Challenge to American Intervention, 1939-1941, Rowman and Littlefield, Inc., 2000. The courageous story of the gallant men and women who fought against FDR’s duplicity and deception concerning American intervention in the Second World War.
Justus D. Doenecke, In Danger Undaunted: The Anti-Interventionist Movement of 1940-1941 As Revealed in the Papers of the America First Committee, Hoover Institution Press, 1990. In-depth scholarly examination of the AFC papers relating to the fight against American participation in the Second World War.
Bill Kauffman, America First: Its History, Culture, and Politics, Prometheus Books, 1995. A gem!
Wayne S. Cole, America First: The Battle Against Intervention 1940-1941, Octagon Books, 1971. The true story behind the dedicated men and women of the America First Committee’s crusade to battle the lies and subterfuge in behind our intervention in WWII.
Michele Flynn Stenehjem Gerber, An American First: John T. Flynn and the America First Committee, Arlington House Publishers, 1976. Sound biographical study of Flynn focusing upon his activities with the New York chapter of the America First Committee.
John E. Moser, Right Turn: John T. Flynn and the Transformation of American Liberalism, New York University Press, 2005. A more comprehensive biography of Flynn concentrating on his entire career as liberal journalist and commentator.
Justin Raimondo, Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement, Center for Libertarian Studies, 1993. Before it was destroyed in the early 1950s by the CIA’s phony “Conservatives,” there was the anti-New Deal-Fair Deal “Old Right” coalition of Americans opposed to the welfare-warfare state and proponents of a non-interventionist foreign policy. This book tells their heroic story.
Murray N. Rothbard, “The Foreign Policy of the Old Right,” Journal of Libertarian Studies, Volume 2, Number 1, Pages 85-96, provides the most concise summary of this important opposition movement against the foreign policies of intervention, militarism, and war. Available online at Mises.org.
James T. Patterson, Mr. Republican: A Biography of Robert A. Taft, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1972. Senator Robert A. Taft, son of President and Chief Justice of the United States William H. Taft, was the leader of the non-interventionist “Old Right” forces in the Congress.
Richard Norton Smith, The Colonel: The Life and Legend of Robert R. McCormick, 1880-1955, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1997. Colonel Robert McCormick’s Chicago Tribune was the commanding editorial voice of Midwestern “Old Right” non-interventionism and opposition to the New Deal-Fair Deal welfare-warfare state.
Garet Garrett, Defend America First: The Antiwar Editorials of The Saturday Evening Post, 1939-1942, The Caxton Press, 2003. Classic antiwar editorials from The Saturday Evening Post, one of America’s most widely read publications, by the brilliant “Old Right” defender of liberty, Garet Garrett.
Harry Elmer Barnes, editor, Perpetual War For Perpetual Peace: A Critical Examination of the Foreign Policy of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Its Aftermath. The Caxton Printers, Ltd., 1953. One of the first major WWII revisionist books to penetrate the Establishment’s “historical blackout,” with essays by William Henry Chamberlain, Percy L. Greaves, Jr., George A. Lundberg, George Morgenstern, William L. Neumann, Frederic R. Sanborn, and Charles Callan Tansill.
Richard M. Ebeling and Jacob G. Hornberger, editors, The Failure of America’s Wars, The Future of Freedom Foundation, 1996. One of the finest collections of essays and reviews examining the consequences of America’s interventionist foreign policy in the 20th century. The material concerning World War Two is particularly impressive..
Leonard P. Liggio and James J. Martin, editors, Watershed of Empire: Essays on New Deal Foreign Policy, Ralph Myles Publisher, 1976. Superb collection of revisionist essays on New Deal foreign policy by Murray N. Rothbard, Robert J. Bresler, Robert Freeman Smith, Lloyd C. Gardner, Justus D. Doenecke, William L. Neumann, and James T. Patterson.
James J. Martin, The Saga of Hog Island And Other Essays in Inconvenient History, Ralph Myles Publisher, 1977. Fifty years of political assassinations, the framing of Tokyo Rose, Mussolini and the Mafia, are only a few of the topics covered in this unusual collection.
William Henry Chamberlain, America’s Second Crusade. Henry Regnery Company, 1950. FDR’s deceptive path to intervention and war is charted in this classic account.
Robert Stinnett, Day of Deceit: The Truth About FDR and Pearl Harbor, The Free Press, 1999. The incredible details of how, as Congresswoman Clare Boothe Luce stated, “FDR lied us into war.”
Charles A. Beard, President Roosevelt and the Coming of the War, 1941: Appearance and Realities, Yale University Press, 1948. America’s most celebrated historian, Charles Austin Beard, had his career destroyed because of this book, and the unseasonable truths it revealed.
George Morgenstern, Pearl Harbor: The Story of the Secret War, Devin-Adair, 1947. Pioneer revisionist investigation remains very informative and on-target.
John Toland, Infamy: Pearl Harbor and Its Aftermath, Berkley, 1986. Toland’s best-seller helped inspire the superb BBC documentary film, Sacrifice at Pearl Harbor. Watch it instead of the atrocious, ahistorical Ben Affleck feature film, Pearl Harbor.
Thomas E. Woods, Jr., The Politically Incorrect Guide To American History, Regnery Publishing, 2004. This celebrated New York Times best-seller has marvelous chapters on the Great Depression, the New Deal, Communist apologists and espionage, and the approach and consequences of the Second World War.
9. World War Two.
There are thousands of books which focus upon the Second World War. Here are thirteen that are particularly notable:
Thomas J. Fleming, The New Dealers’ War: FDR and the War Within World War II, Basic Books, 2001. Fleming lays bare the corrupting mendacity of the FDR of legend and textbooks.
Paul Fussell, Wartime: Understanding and Behavior in the Second World War, Oxford University Press, 1990. Fussell’s brilliant, earthy account of the lives of everyday soldiers in WWII is vastly superior to the shallow pap of Tom Brokaw’s The Greatest Generation.
John V. Denson, editor, The Costs of War: America’s Pyrrhic Victories, Transaction Publishers, 1999. The savagery of war and its apologists exposed! One of the most important books published in the past thirty years.
Michael Burleigh, The Third Reich: A New History, Hill and Wang, 2000. In the grand tradition of Eric Voegelin, Burleigh has written our generations most bold and extraordinary history of the aggressive imperialism, malignant racism, and base criminality of the Nazis.
David S. Wyman, The Abandonment of the Jews: America and the Holocaust, Pantheon Books, 1984. As a history teacher I have discovered that one of the most enduring myths of younger Americans not versed in the history of their country preceding their birth, is that the United States entered the Second World War in order to save the Jews of Europe. In fact, the very opposite was the case. The government deliberately chose not to save the Jews until it was much too late. After FDR’s callous immigration authorities illegally obstructed and surreptitiously slammed the door to freedom for vast numbers of potential refugees, his administration continued its policy of deliberate betrayal of the millions of European Jews in Hitler’s death camps until the “Final Solution” was almost finalized. A masterpiece in meticulous scholarship, this brilliant book formed the basis for the powerful PBS documentary, America and the Holocaust: Deceit and Indifference.
Arthur D. Morse, While Six Million Died: A Chronicle of American Apathy, Random House, 1968. This is an excellent companion volume to Wyman’s The Abandonment of the Jews, documenting the acquiescence and complicity of the Roosevelt administration in the Holocaust.
Michi Weglyn, Years of Infamy: The Untold Story of America’s Concentration Camps, University of Washington Press, 1996. FDR’s imprisonment of persons of Japanese heritage was the greatest wholesale violation of civil liberties since slavery and the Trail of Tears.
Patrick Washburn, A Question of Sedition: The Federal Governments’s Investigation of the Black Press During World War II, Oxford University Press, 1986. Believing the Black community was a seedbed of pro-Japanese treason, this book tells of FDR’s shameful but little-known inquisition and racist persecution of African-American journalists during WWII.
Maximilian St. George and Laurence Dennis, Trial on Trial: The Great Sedition Trial of 1944, National Civil Rights Committee, 1946. In an effort to destroy his domestic enemies and critics, FDR instigated the Great Sedition Trial of 1944. It was a disastrous and embarrassing failure.
Benjamin Colby, ‘Twas a Famous Victory: Deception and Propaganda in the War With Germany, Arlington House Publishers, 1974. Sobering revisionist expose’ of Allied wartime lies, cover-ups, vindictiveness, and propaganda.
Anthony Kubek, How the Far East Was Lost: American Policy and the Creation of Communist China, 1941-1949, Henry Regnery Company, 1963. Professor Kubek’s comprehensive, incisive analysis of the American foreign policy debacle in Asia is a modern classic. Although written in 1963 at the height of the Cold War, it has an unsettling relevance to the stultifying quagmire we find our nation bogged down in today in the Middle East.
Dr. Kubek keenly observes:
Recent decades have been characterized by retreat from the liberal ideal of the freedom of man. Retreat to the debilitating habit of the ages – magnification of the State and a consequent shrinking of man – has been all too evident. This reactionary reversal of the most promising social and political endeavor in history has characterized itself by the customary devices of oppression: private affairs of citizens encompassed by mounting taxes, controls, and interference; military conscription; perpetual involvement in foreign interventionism and war. Precisely such conditions impelled a hardy people of European stock to settle the New World and to establish therein a government denied the powers to reinstitute the baneful practices from which these people had fled.
The doctrines of ‘collective security’ and ‘indivisible peace’ are those of Soviet Foreign Commissar Maxim Litvinov. These entangling doctrines are antithetical to the ideas of Washington, Madison, Jefferson, and Monroe, which permitted flexibility in the matter of national conduct and enabled the dictate of peaceableness, honor, and principled reason to be followed. Committed to a libertarian and pacific course, America’s conduct among the nations of the world could, consistent with her liberal ideal, command unsought respect and influence. Conversely, today’s hollow preachments, belied by our practice, garner the type of respect and influence customarily enjoyed by a wealthy hypocrite. (Kubek, pages 439-440)
George N. Crocker, Roosevelt’s Road To Russia, Henry Regnery Company, 1959. This classic examines the sordid partnership of “Uncle Joe” Stalin and Franklin “Duplicitous” Roosevelt in prosecuting World War II. After recent revelations of the extent of Soviet espionage networks at work in the United States during the New Deal, this study is even more crucial to understand and place within the context of the time. An excellent companion volume to Crocker, is Robert A. Nisbet, Roosevelt and Stalin: The Failed Courtship, Henry Regnery Company, 1989.
The distinguished jurist and historian John V. Denson observes in his book, A Century of War: Lincoln, Wilson, And Roosevelt, Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2006:
A huge monument has been erected in Washington, D. C., to celebrate the u2018greatness’ of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. On the monument s a quotation from Roosevelt – u2018I hate war’ – indicating falsely to the public that he was a president who sought peace rather than war. It is an example of false propaganda that is being perpetrated upon the American people. We learn from the investigation of the Pearl Harbor matter that after the attack ended, some of the crew of the battleship Oklahoma were still alive and trapped inside the hull of the partially sunken ship. The survivors outside could hear the trapped men knocking against the hull with metal objects desperately seeking rescue, but no rescue was possible. A recording should be made to duplicate their desperate sounds and have it played every hour at the Roosevelt Memorial to remind Americans of the treachery of their commander-in-chief. (Denson, page196)
August 1, 2007