Archives Library Information Center (ALIC)

The New Deal

Links to web sites relating to the New Deal era and to Reference at Your Desk web resources for research on New Deal agriculture, labor, and arts programs.


"The New Deal", Painting/Mural by Conrad A. Albrizio. Dedicated to President Roosevelt. Placed in the auditorium of the Leonardo Da Vinci Art School, 149 East 34th Street, New York, New York,& ca. 1934 (FDR Presidential Library NLR-PHOCO-A-59333)

General history

Selected topics


Selected Bibliography

* Available in the library at Archives I.

Historical dictionary of the new deal: from inauguration to preparation for war. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, c1985. viii, 611 p.
E806 .H5
Reference work containing about 700 entries describing people, laws, agencies, court decisions, political groups, and other topics related to the New Deal era.

Hope restored: how the New Deal worked in town and country. Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, c1999. 247 p.
HC106.3 .H654 1999
A collection of journal articles that describe the effects of New Deal programs on various locales from rural communities to large cities.

The New Deal and the triumph of liberalism. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, c2002. vi, 338 p.
JC574.2.U6 N48 2002
A collection of essays that analyze the ways in which New Deal policies changed the role of the federal government in the conduct of domestic and foreign affairs as well as the theory and practice of government.

Albertson, Dean. Roosevelt’s farmer: Claude R. Wickard in the New Deal. New York: Columbia University Press, 1961 [c1955]. ix, 424 p.
E748.W63 A5
A biography of Claude R. Wickard, who served in the Department of Agriculture throughout the New Deal years, and was Secretary during World War II. The book is based on Wickard’s personal papers and interviews with persons such as Frances Perkins and Henry Wallace.

Arnold, Joseph L. The new deal in the suburbs; a history of the greenbelt town program, 1935-1954. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1971. xiii, 272 p.
HT164.U6 A8
An in-depth history of the New Deal’s experiment with Greenbelt towns. The author makes use of unpublished historical and sociological studies, as well as papers and taped interviews of some of the officials involved with the program.

Billington, David P. Big dams of the New Deal era: a confluence of engineering and politics. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, c2006. xiv, 369 p.
TC556 .B55 2006
This book discusses the construction of dams in four western river basins, focusing on the multiple factors that produced them, including engineering, politics, and each river’s particular characteristics.

Cohen, Adam. Nothing to fear: FDR’s inner circle and the hundred days that created modern America. New York: Penguin Press, 2009. 372 p.
E806 .C5925 2009
The story of President Franklin Roosevelt’s first one hundred days in office, focusing on five trusted aides.

Conkin, Paul Keith. The New Deal. 2nd ed. Arlington Heights, IL: H. Davidson, 1987, c1975. xiii, 114 p.
E806 .C6 1987
A study of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s domestic policies with descriptions of Roosevelt and other policy makers of the era.

Cutler, Phoebe. The public landscape of the New Deal. New Haven: Yale University Press, c1985. xv, 182 p.
SB470.53 .C8
A study of the role of landscape architects in the programs of the New Deal, including the work of the CCC and the TVA. The author describes the kinds of parks and buildings created, and the nature of the profession of landscape architecture during the Depression.

Edsforth, Ronald. The New Deal: America’s response to the Great Depression. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 2000. 324 p.
E806 .E456 2000
The author discusses the programs of the New Deal as a series of reform movements designed to produce economic security and social justice.

Fagette, Paul Harvey. Digging for dollars: the impact of the New Deal on the professionalization of American archaeology. Thesis (Ph. D.); University of California, Riverside, c1985. x, 411 leaves.
CC101.U6 F342 1985
The author describes how the relief programs of the New Deal forged a relationship between state and federal governments and the discipline of archeology, bringing about the modern profession of archeologist.

Funigiello, Philip J. Toward a national power policy; the New Deal and the electric utility industry, 1933-1941. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1973. xvii, 296 p.
HD9502.U52 F86
Follows the development of power policy during the New Deal years, including studies of the Public Utility Holding Company Act, rural electrification, and the Bonneville Power Administration.

Grey, Michael R. New deal medicine: the rural health programs of the Farm Security Administration. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999. xvii, 238 p.
RA771.5 .G74 1999
A study of the health care programs of the Farm Security Administration. The author makes use of oral histories, archival records, and medical journals from the Depression years to describe the economics, demographics, and politics of the programs designed to bring medical care to the poor.

Hauptman, Laurence M. The Iroquois and the New Deal. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1981. xvi, 256 p.
E99.I7 H3*
Analysis of the ways in which New Deal policies and programs affected the Iroquois culturally, economically, and politically.

Hayes, J. I. South Carolina and the New Deal. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, c2001. xvi, 290 p.
F274 .H39 2001*
An examination of the effects of New Deal programs on many aspects of life in South Carolina. The author traces the people’s opinions of the initiatives, from initial support to increasing suspicion of the liberal policies.

Irons, Peter H. The New Deal lawyers. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, c1982. xiv, 351 p.
KF6020 .I7
This book describes the legal strategies employed by three New Deal agencies as they grappled with Constitutional challenges.

Knepper, Cathy D. Greenbelt, Maryland: a living legacy of the New Deal. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001. xvii, 275 p.
F189.G7 K58 2001*
A description of the development of a planned community designed to provide not only homes and jobs for low income families, but also help with the formation of business cooperatives and social organizations.

Kornbluh, Joyce L. A new deal for workers’ education: the workers’ service program, 1933-1942. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, c1987. xii, 175 p.
LC5051 .K67 1987
An analysis of the difficulties of establishing a federal workers’ education program. Problems included conflicting goals of the program and variations of content employed at the local level.

Lash, Joseph P. Dealers and dreamers: a new look at the new deal. New York: Doubleday, 1988. x, 510 p.
E806 .L32 1988
This book focuses on the less well-known figures involved with New Deal policies legislation, such as Thomas G. Corcoran, Benjamin V. Cohen, Raymond Moley, Rexford Tugwell, and Adolf Berle.

Lasser, William. Benjamin V. Cohen: architect of the New Deal. New Haven: Yale University Press, c2002. xvi, 385 p.
E748.C65 L37 2002
Biography of one of the first modern presidential assistants, who played a major role in the passage of such New Deal legislation as the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935.

Leuchtenburg, William Edward. Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal, 1932-1940. New York: Harper & Row, 1963. 393 p.
E178 .A543 v.38*
A history of the development of New Deal policies and programs, and a discussion of the ways in which FDR’s initiatives changed the nature of American society.

Lowitt, Richard. The New Deal and the West. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, c1984. xviii, 283 p.
HC107.A17 L68 1984
The author describes the effect of New Deal programs on the American West.

Mertz, Paul E. New Deal policy and southern rural poverty. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, c1978. xiii, 279 p.
HC107.A133 P6
An analysis of the reasons why the progressive policies of the New Deal era were unable to eradicate the poverty of the rural south.

Morgan, Chester M. Redneck liberal: Theodore G. Bilbo and the New Deal. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, c1985. 274 p.
E748.B5 M6
Biography of the Mississippi senator who, despite his reputation as racist demagogue, supported almost all of the New Deal’s progressive social and economic programs.

Ohl, John Kennedy. Hugh S. Johnson and the New Deal. Dekalb, IL: Northern Illinois University Press, 1985. xi, 374 p.
E748.J735 O3
Biography of the man who went from being head of the National Recovery Administration to opposing Franklin Roosevelt and his programs.

Parman, Donald Lee. The Navajos and the New Deal. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1976. xiii, 316 p.
E99.N3 P3*
An assessment of the successes and failures of New Deal programs and policies toward the Navajo.

Purcell, Aaron D. White collar radicals: TVA’s Knoxville Fifteen, the New Deal, and the McCarthy era. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, c2009. xxvii, 258 p.
HN90.R3 P87 2009
A study of fifteen young people holding entry-level positions at the Tennessee Valley Authority who became involved in union organizing and the Communist Party, and the consequences of their activities.

Ritchie, Donald A. Electing FDR: the New Deal campaign of 1932. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, c2007. x, 274 p.
E805 .R58 2007
This book examines the election of 1932 in detail, and traces its influence on America’s political and economic future.

Salmond, John A. The Civilian Conservation Corps, 1933-1942; a New Deal case study. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1967. vi, 240 p.
SD143 .S2
A study of one of the best known agencies of the New Deal, describing its establishment, expansion, adminstration, popularity, decline, and dissolution.

Shesol, Jeff. Supreme power: Franklin Roosevelt vs. the Supreme Court. New York, NY: W.W. Norton, c2010. x, 644 p.
KF8742 .S495 2010
A history of the political battle between President Franklin Roosevelt, the Supreme Court, and the Senate over Roosevelt's failed attempt to reform the Court.

Sklaroff, Lauren Rebecca. Black culture and the New Deal: the quest for civil rights in the Roosevelt era. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, c2009. xiv, 312 p.
E185.6 .S62 2009*
This volume discusses how President Franklin Roosevelt, while opposing civil rights legislation, used the Federal Arts Projects and several war agencies to provide opportunities to black artists and intellectuals.

Smith, Jason Scott. Building New Deal liberalism: the political economy of public works, 1933-1956. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006. xiv, 283 p.
HC106.3 .S537 2006
An analysis of the ways the public works programs of the New Deal changed the American economy and political system.

Solomon, Burt. FDR v. the Constitution: the court-packing fight and the triumph of democracy. New York: Walker & Co., 2009. viii, 337 p.
KF8742 .S585 2009
This history of President Franklin Roosevelt’s attempt to reform the Supreme Court reveals political maneuvers as well as the Court’s own internal politics.

Swain, Martha H. Ellen S. Woodward: New Deal advocate for women. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, c1995. xviii, 275 p.
HQ1413.W68 S93 1995
Biography of the head of the Division of Women’s and Professional Projects of the Works Progress Administration. She advocated and worked for the economic security of women, with the goal of enabling women to get jobs.

Taylor, Graham D. The New Deal and American Indian tribalism: the administration of the Indian reorganization act, 1934-45. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, c1980. xiii, 203 p.
E93 .T3*
This book provides an overview of the Indian reorganization act, and discusses the problems encountered with respect to Indian tribal organization.

Tobey, Ronald C. Technology as freedom: the New Deal and the electrical modernization of the American home. Berkeley: University of California Press, c1996. xviii, 316 p.
HD9685.U5 T63 1996
The author describes how New Deal policies and programs created a mass market for electrical applicances, especially the refrigerator, which was seen as a tool for better health, greater household wealth, and improved housekeeping.

Waddell, Brian. The war against the New Deal: World War II and American democracy. DeKalb: Northern Illiois University Press, 2001. x, 226 p.
E806 .W17 2001
In this book, the author posits that World War II, with the emphasis on national security and the rise of industry’s political power, put an end to New Deal progressivism.

Watkins, T. H. Righteous pilgrim: the life and times of Harold L. Ickes, 1874-1952. New York: H. Holt, c1990. ix, 1010 p.
E748.I28 W37 1990
Biography of Franklin Roosevelt’s Secretary of the Interior, who, as director of the Public Works Administration, directed funds to projects designed to help pull the country out of the Depression.

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Related Web Sites

The 1930s "examines America’s response to the unprecedented economic crisis that threatened the nation during one of history’s most tumultuous decades." This collection from the PBS series American Experience includes several films that can be viewed online, articles, photographs, and a teacher’s guide.

The Library of Congress offers American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers’ Project, a collection of manuscripts representing the work of over 300 writers. Interviews with people in 24 states are presented in various formats such as narrative, dialogue, and case history. The project resulted in about 2900 documents describing life in America during the Depression.

By the People, For the People: Posters from the WPA, 1936-1943 is a Library of Congress collection consisting of 908 original posters produced from 1936-1943 as part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal.

Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Val-Kill (ERVK), a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting humanitarian causes, maintains a web site with information about the organization’s history and activities as well as information about and links to web sites concerning the life and work of Eleanor Roosevelt.

The web site of the Roosevelt Institute provides information about the lives of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, digital photographs, and speeches as well as information about the institute itself.

The Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum features information for scholars, students and teachers, and the general public. Sections of interest include Digitized Collections, Special Exhibition, and the Grace Tully Archive.

The Civilian Conservation Corps Legacy hosts a web site that has information about the research center and museum in St. Louis, Missouri, and about the history of the CCC as well as aids for researchers, including a bibliography of materials related to the CCC and a list of CCC camps. This organization represents CCC alumni.

The New Deal Era and Its Origins web site, sponsored by H-Net Humanities and Social Sciences OnLine, provides a forum for research and teaching the history of the United States from 1918 to 1945.

The New Deal Network web site features lesson plans and education tools related to the New Deal, on-line photographs and documents, and more in-depth information on a variety of featured topics.

The National New Deal Preservation Association is a non-profit organization whose goal is to raise awareness about the legacy of New Deal programs and encourage the preservation of materials related to these projects. The association maintains a web site with information about the organization, its activities, and various New Deal topics, as well as links to other web resources.

The University of Tennessee Frank H. McClung Museum and the Libraries created WPA/TVA Archaeological Photographs, a database of "information describing photographs taken by Works Progress Administration (WPA) workers of archaeological projects conducted in preparation for Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) dam construction in the 1930s." The database can be either searched or browsed.

The Reference at Your Desk resources for the New Deal were compiled by Melissa Rohde, an ALIC intern during the summer of 2001. Melissa Rohde is a graduate of Kalamazoo College.

The above photograph is available on-line through NARA’s ARC database.

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