- Series: The Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science (Book 99)
- Hardcover: 280 pages
- Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press; First Edition edition (January 1, 1981)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0801823730
- ISBN-13: 978-0801823732
- Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 0.6 x 9.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,050,014 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Twilight of Progressivism: The Western Republican Senators and the New Deal (The Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science) Hardcover – January 1, 1981
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Feinman, a protege of the unabashed New Dealer and prolific historian, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., has grounded his conclusions in extensive archival research conducted in New York, California, Washington DC, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Missouri, and other locales. Contemporary newspapers and periodicals, congressional debates, and oral history interviews round out his assortment of primary sources. Straightforward and entirely devoid of highfalutin jargon, this book defies the so-called "cultural turn" then pervading the academy (and wisely so). Feinman is at his best when demonstrating the complex motivations and beliefs of these progressive Republicans. At times, they are hard to pin down as they didn't always vote as a bloc. Their influence, as Feinman argues, seems to have peaked in Roosevelt's first term, when many of them supported aspects of the so-called "First New Deal." They gravitated away from FDR and often joined conservative opponents of the New Deal when the president proposed his "court-packing" scheme as a response to the recalcitrant, pro-business members of the Supreme Court, who were consistently striking down New Deal legislation as unconstitutional based on their stubbornly narrow reading of the Constitution's commerce clause. Critics looking for an example of academic history that proves irrelevant and inaccessible to a lay public should look elsewhere. One need not hold an advanced degree to understand this book. Fans of political history, in particular, will find this book enjoyable and illuminating.