Inthe chapter, TheNew Deal and the Redefinition of Freedom,Eric Foner likens freedom to the widening authority of the nationalstate where more focus is on industrial and social independence, inplace of political liberty. Foner portrays the NewDealas a quest for economic freedom.
Accordingto Foner, American freedom in the 1930s was comprehended as anassurance of constant employment, and provision of decent livingstandards and ample security for all Americans, by the administration(197). Freedom is viewed as ensuring that all individuals desiring towork were able to get employment resulting in freedom from materialinsecurity (Foner 198). The NewDealfreedom meant not just increased earning, rather constant and solidemployment, an abolition of management totalitarianism andrealization of the collective bargaining freedom (Foner 200). Thechapter’s comprehension of freedom differs from past manners ofthinking in America. Previously, freedom was viewed as politicalfreedom, where Americans were free from dictatorship. In the 1930s,the idea of freedom from administrative power implied the governmentcreating jobs and economic stability for its civilians. Politicslargely concentrated on labor injustices.
Thechapter enhances the subject on the malleability of the idea offreedom. The author employs historical events in portraying freedomsas a malleable idea (Klarman 267). Evident is the enveloping topic ofAmerican Freedom during the NewDealof the 1930’s as an economic dispute. Roosevelt’s challengersfrom the Liberty League, as well as the Republican Party criticizeliberty from apprehension as NewDealfreedoms. The challengers push for the addition of freedom of formingprivate enterprises in American freedoms (Kennedy 363). The text’sargument is persuasive because it employs illustrations of happeningsduring the emergence of NewDealfreedom.
Foner,Eric. TheStory of American Freedom.New York: W.W. Norton, 1998. Print.
Kennedy,David M. Freedomfrom Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929- 1945.Oxford:Oxford University Press, 1999. Print.
Klarman,Michael J. Rethinking the History of American Freedom. Williamand Mary Law Review42.1 (2000): 265-288.