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The Crisis of the Old Order: 1919-1933, The Age of Roosevelt, Volume I Paperback – July 9, 2003

4.3 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Age of Roosevelt Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

While a lot of ink has been spilled profiling FDR, Schlesinger's three-volume work remains among the best efforts. Released in the late 1950s, the trio begins with a broader overview of his early political career and then moves into dissections of far shorter, distinct periods in his ascent to the White House and first term as president. These reprints sport new introductions by the author. Essential for all history and political science collections. 
(Library Journal ) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

ARTHUR M. SCHLESINGER, JR., the author of sixteen books, was a renowned historian and social critic. He twice won the Pulitzer Prize, in 1946 for The Age of Jackson and in 1966 for A Thousand Days. He was also the winner of the National Book Award for both A Thousand Days and Robert Kennedy and His Times (1979). In 1998 he was awarded the prestigious National Humanities Medal.
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Product Details

  • Series: The Age of Roosevelt (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; 1st edition (July 9, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618340858
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618340859
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.4 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #624,240 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By James Gallen VINE VOICE on February 8, 2008
Format: Paperback
"Crisis of the Old Order" is the outstanding first volume of Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.'s trilogy, the "Age of Roosevelt." Unlike some biographies, this volume provides the reader with the background to understand the world into which FDR strode. After a Prologue of Inauguration Day in 1933, Schlesinger takes the reader back to the Age of Wilson as the world tried to emerge from the horror of World War I. Following that, he follows the nation into the Age of Normalcy presided over by Harding and Coolidge.

While narrating the events of the U.S., Schlesinger skillfully weaves the story of the rising Franklin D. Roosevelt. Part biography, he primarily follows the political career of FDR as he rises from the State Senate to Assistant Secretary of the Navy to Governor of New York. While Roosevelt is rising, Herbert Hoover is shown as losing touch with the nation and the demands of the presidency. The evolving relationship between Roosevelt and Al Smith is revealed layer by layer. This book ends where it began, on Inauguration Day, 1933.

I appreciate a book which helps me to see things differently than I had before. This one meets that test. I had long viewed Roosevelt's unwillingness to support Hoover's initiatives to meet the crisis as a petty politician's use of the nation's misery for personal gain. Schlesinger explains Hoover's messianic belief that only he and his policies can change America and shows his post- election proposals for action to be in the nature of a last attempt to snatch policy victories from the ashes of political defeat. It gives me a greater respect for FDR than I had before this reading.
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Format: Paperback
This book won the Francis Parkman Prize by the Society of American Historians for excellence in history and the Bancroft Prize for historical excellence at the same time. The historical research is so good that this book is considered practically a primary source itself. It is an essential book of the era. The three-volume "Age of Roosevelt" is an essential history of the Great Depression era, written by a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author.

This renowned book is also an important look at the American political process and, in general, political science. If you are student of American history or politics, this book is essential reading.

However, general readers interested in President Franklin Roosevelt should read a good biography of Franklin Roosevelt first before reading this history of the Great Depression era. The best FDR biographies tend to have more information.

"The Crisis of the Old Order" brilliantly covers the years leading up to the Great Depression and then the three long years of Depression under the Republican Congress and Herbert Hoover. The facts are reported as if you were there. Hoover callously said that unemployed people desperately selling apples in the streets were actually doing so because selling apples paid more than their regular jobs. His image was made worse by the Hoovervilles where unemployed people lived in small shacks. The tone of the book is slightly sympathetic to Roosevelt.

By the way, during the economic contraction, Hoover's Secretary of Treasury, Mellon, deliberately sought a policy of contraction, waging war on workers, when he should have been providing liquidity to the system. Hoover's treasury secretary was the worst. He came out and said to squeeze them all, which was a disaster.
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Format: Hardcover
"The Crisis of the Old Order" is well written and researched. It captures the times and era of great depression and the stock market crash of 1929, so vivdly that no other book on the subject can compare to it. This book is definetly worth buying and reading, also check out the other two volumes of the trilogy, "The Coming of the New Deal" and "The Politics of Upheaval."
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I have read a lot of U.S. history covering the New Deal and World War II, so I am quite familiar with Franklin D. Roosevelt and his presidency. This very well written history of the period between World War I and Roosevelt coming to power in 1933 filled in an important gap for me, and I found some very interesting parallels between Hoover and G.W. Bush, which has helped me further understand why our current president acts as he does. The events leading up to, and immediately following, the Great Depression impact today's politics and issues in ways I did not understand prior to reading this book. I find the author, Arthur M. Schlesinger, to be very readable and a very fine writer. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it has helped me to further understand and appreciate the first half of the 20th Century in America.
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Schleisinger does an admirable job of setting the context for FDR's rise to the top in American politics. This is not an academic book but it is detailed. I just watched Ken Burns documentary and this book fills in the background wonderfully, The concluding chapter, which describes the tensions between Hoover and FDR (and their conflicting views on how to deal with the depression) was especially illuminating. I grew up in a Republican household and my grand-father, who was a banker in the 1930's, hated FDR with a passion, This book helped me understand where the heated feelings came from.
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