Books

FDR Goes to War

Did World War II really end the Great Depression—or did President Franklin Roosevelt’s poor judgment and confused management leave Congress with a devastating fiscal mess after the final bomb was dropped? This book is the sequel to New Deal or Raw Deal, picking up the story of FDR in 1940: Did FDR maneuver the United States into World War II? Did he know that the Japanese would attack Hawaii? The authors, Burton and Anita Folsom, answer those questions and pull back the curtain on the wartime presidency of Franklin Roosevelt, even as they examine the heroic efforts of American troops, entrepreneurs, and workers who won the war.

New Deal or Raw Deal

In this groundbreaking text, economic historian Burton W. Folsom exposes the truth behind the legend of Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal. With FDR’s questionable moral character and a vendetta against the business elite, his economic programs fostered inconsistent planning, wasteful spending, and opportunity for political gain, at a time when America needed an economic uplift. FDR used federal programs to win elections in swing districts, while manipulating public opinion of his administration. Folsom takes a critical, revisionist look at Roosevelt’s presidency, his economic policies, and his personal life.

The Myth of the Robber Barons

This book describes the role of key entrepreneurs in the economic growth of the United States from 1850 to 1910: Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D. Rockefeller, James J. Hill, Andrew Mellon, Charles Schwab, and the Scranton family. Most historians argue that these men, and others like them, were Robber Barons. The story, however, is more complicated. The author, Burton Folsom, divides the entrepreneurs into two groups: market entrepreneurs and political entrepreneurs. The market entrepreneurs succeeded by producing a quality product at a competitive price. The political entrepreneurs were men who used the power of government to succeed, and they tried to gain subsidies or in some way use government to stop competitors. This text discusses why the United States became an industrial giant between 1850 and 1910, when free markets allowed entrepreneurs to invent and market their ideas for the benefit of all citizens.


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