Nina Silber: The Lost Cause in the New Deal Era

Today we welcome a guest post from Nina Silber, author of This War Ain’t Over:  Fighting the Civil War in New Deal America, just published by UNC Press. The New Deal era witnessed a surprising surge in popular engagement with the history and memory of the Civil War era. From the omnipresent book and film… Continue Reading Nina Silber: The Lost Cause in the New Deal Era

Nina Silber: ‘Slavery’ in Depression Era America

Today we welcome a guest post from Nina Silber, author of This War Ain’t Over:  Fighting the Civil War in New Deal America, just published by UNC Press. The New Deal era witnessed a surprising surge in popular engagement with the history and memory of the Civil War era. From the omnipresent book and film… Continue Reading Nina Silber: ‘Slavery’ in Depression Era America

Beth Tompkins Bates: What Happened the Last Time Detroit Faced Bankruptcy

In the end, it was the federal government that made the difference between bankruptcy and [Detroit] emerging out of the crisis, as Murphy put it, with credit and honor. Throughout the crisis, Murphy practiced his belief that government’s primary responsibility was to serve the social and economic welfare of people, whose basic needs must not be subordinated to corporate America’s agenda. Continue Reading Beth Tompkins Bates: What Happened the Last Time Detroit Faced Bankruptcy

Beth Tompkins Bates: What is Society’s Obligation to Those in Distress?

Murphy attacked the tight-fisted policy of Ford Motor Company (FMC) and its indifference toward unemployed workers. Henry Ford publicly maintained he would never cut wages or jobs, even as he proceeded to do both. Employment at the largest facility of FMC in Dearborn, just outside Detroit, fell nearly 50 percent between 1929 and 1932. But the overwhelming majority of laid-off Ford workers resided in Detroit, raising the question, who bore responsibility for assisting them? Continue Reading Beth Tompkins Bates: What is Society’s Obligation to Those in Distress?

Kristin Celello: Divorce and the Recession’s “Silver Lining?”

Marriage and divorce during times of economic downturn: should we celebrate if people stay together just because divorce is expensive? Continue Reading Kristin Celello: Divorce and the Recession’s “Silver Lining?”

Dear Mister President

[ed. note: see updates from 2/24 and 2/25 at bottom of post] ABC reports that President Obama is reading ten letters a day from all kinds of people all across the country, “to help him get outside of the bubble,” says press secretary Robert Gibbs. Each day he is handed a purple envelope containing the… Continue Reading Dear Mister President