Compromise 4: Whittling Down The New Deal

Compromise upon compromise whittled FDR’s dreams down considerably but enabled him to pass his Social Security Act, perhaps the most sweeping social reform of the 20th century

Not long after Franklin D. Roosevelt was sworn in on March 4, 1933, he began work on his “big bill.” It embraced several of his highest aspirations: universal health care, old-age pensions, unemployment insurance, and more, including a provision to make the federal government the employer of last resort in what many economists considered a “mature” economy whose private-sector employment component was destined to be chronically deficient. Read more »

Old Glory In New York City

The Stars and Stripes take to the streets

Everyone knows New Yorkers love New York, but perhaps it’s not as well known that New Yorkers love America. Wherever you go in Manhattan, you can see the Stars and Stripes: in the storewindow displays on Fifth Avenue, rumbling by on subway cars, draped from fire escapes, on everything from baseball caps to rhinestone pins, and even in graffiti.

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The Dangerous Summer of 1940

For a few weeks Hitler came close to winning World War II. Then came a train of events that doomed him. An eloquent historian reminds us that however unsatisfactory our world may be today, it almost was unimaginably worse.

In the summer of 1940 Adolf Hitler could have won the Second World War. He came close to that. Had he won, we would be living in a world so different as to be hardly imaginable. So let us contemplate that dangerous summer. It was then that the shape of the world in which we now live began to take form. Read more »

To The Flag

Invented as part of a magazine promotional scheme in 1892, the Pledge of Allegiance has had a controversial career right from the start

It has been said that true patriotism never flags; Dr. Samuel Johnson went further, declaring that “patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” Certainly, in the panorama of American history, many a rogue can be detected peering from behind the American flag, and today a red, white, and blue decal is no guarantee of anything. Read more »