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Edward A. Purcell

Author

The New Deal ‚ÄúConstitutional Revolution‚ÄĚ as an Historical Problem

Spring 2002 | Essays

The past quarter century has witnessed a major shift in the structures of American politics, often characterized as the passing of "the New Deal order." G. Edward White's superb new book The Constitution and the New Deal is a monument to that sea change, a clear-eyed effort to assess the significance of the New Deal and its iconic "constitutional revolution" from a self-consciously removed perspective that regards the New Deal as truly "past" and its well-established historiography as largely apologetic. Most prior accounts of the New Deal and its "constitutional revolution," White tells us, are "triumphalist narratives" that have had a "powerful and distorting historiographical effect."