Thirty-second President of the United States

Articles

How Franklin Roosevelt Lied America Into War, by William Henry Chamberlin, Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, 1953
"One is left, therefore, with the inescapable conclusion that the promises to 'keep America out of foreign wars' were a deliberate hoax on the American people, perpetrated for the purpose of insuring Roosevelt's re-election and thereby enabling him to proceed with his plan of gradually edging the United States into war."
The New Deal and Roosevelt's Seizure of Gold: A Legacy of Theft and Inflation, Part 1, by William L. Anderson, Future of Freedom, Aug 2006
"... the New Deal as we know it would not have been possible without the issuance of Executive Order 6102 in 1933. With Roosevelt's signature, gold as legal money disappeared in the United States ... Historians generally pass by EO 6102, but without it Roosevelt's economic programs never would have gained traction."
The New Deal and Roosevelt's Seizure of Gold: A Legacy of Theft and Inflation, Part 2, by William L. Anderson, Future of Freedom, Sep 2006
"... early in his presidency, on April 5, 1933, Roosevelt signed Executive Order 6102, which ordered people to turn in their gold to the government at payment of $20.67 per ounce. ... Furthermore, the president's order nullified all private contracts that called for payment in gold ..."
Related Topic: Gold Standard
The Nightmare of the New Deal, Part 1, by George C. Leef, Future of Freedom, Dec 2007
Review of The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression by Amity Shlaes
"Shlaes isn't the first writer to try to set the historical record straight and undermine the fawning adulation usually given to Roosevelt, but her book may succeed more than all the others put together because it's (a) nonacademic and (b) published by a major house. Except for die-hard statists, this book will at least cause readers to smirk next time they read that Franklin Roosevelt was one of our 'great' presidents."
The Nightmare of the New Deal, Part 2, by George C. Leef, Future of Freedom, Jan 2008
Review of The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression by Amity Shlaes
"Shlaes recounts a radio debate Willkie had with one of Roosevelt's lawyers, Robert Jackson, later named to the Supreme Court. Willkie had come to see that, as Shlaes writes, 'while Roosevelt might call himself a liberal, the inexorable New Deal emphasis on the group over the individual was not liberal in the classic sense.'"
Three New Deals: Why the Nazis and Fascists Loved FDR, by David Gordon, Mises Daily, 22 Sep 2006
Review of Three New Deals: Reflections on Roosevelt's America, Mussolini's Italy, and Hitler's Germany, 1933-1939 by Wolfgang Schivelbusch
"Critics of Roosevelt's New Deal often liken it to fascism. Roosevelt's numerous defenders dismiss this charge as reactionary propaganda; but as Wolfgang Schivelbusch makes clear, it is perfectly true. Moreover, it was recognized to be true during the 1930s, by the New Deal's supporters as well as its opponents."
Albert Jay Nock: A Gifted Pen for Radical Individualism, by Jim Powell, The Freeman, Mar 1997
Biographical essay, including his early life, editorship of The Freeman, and notable books and essays
"Nock became an implacable foe of Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal. In May 1934, he wrote: 'Probably not many realize how the rapid centralization of government in America has fostered a kind of organized pauperism. The big industrial states contribute most of the Federal revenue, and the bureaucracy distributes it in the pauper states wherever it will do the most good in a political way. ...' ... He affirmed his authentic radicalism in many of the 48 articles he wrote between 1932 and 1939 for American Mercury, hotbed of opposition to FDR."
America as Utopia, by Robert Nisbet, Reason, Mar 1987
Historical survey of the "American Religion" (America as "the city upon a hill") from the Pilgrims to the present and questions whether it will progress further in the near future
"In Roosevelt's view—a view helped a great deal by his man Harry Hopkins, ever vigilant to Soviet interest and welfare—Stalin was precisely the kind of world leader Roosevelt could work with after the war against Nazi Germany was won. After all, the Soviets had (yet) no record of imperialism, and despite such misfortunes as the liquidation of the peasantry, the purges, and the 1939 pact with Hitler, they were clearly on the way to becoming a nation like the United States. So FDR thought to the very end of his life, and by so thinking brought the Cold War upon America ..."
A Tribute to John T. Flynn, by Adam Young, 31 Jan 2003
"Flynn was a critic of Roosevelt's New Deal ... viewing the entire program as a copy of Mussolini's Fascist State corporatism. ... Unlike the so-called New Right, Flynn remained an anti-interventionist during the Cold War, opposing the Korean war and the creeping Vietnam quagmire, and predicted that the Soviet leviathan would collapse on its own ..."
Related Topic: John T. Flynn
Capitalism Saves Us All, by Bernard Chapin, 14 Jun 2004
A review of How Capitalism Saved America: The Untold History of Our Country, from the Pilgrims to the Present by Thomas J. DiLorenzo
"... this author's facts, charts, and argumentation are more than enough to dash our society's unwarranted worship of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Unemployment never fell below 14.6 percent between 1932 and 1940 and between '1930 to 1940 net private investment was minus $3.1 billion.' What The New Deal really represented was masterful electioneering and showcased, once again, that while FDR was a brilliant politician, he knew little about how to improve the economic health of our citizenry"
Related Topics: Capitalism, Property Rights
Democracy Versus Liberty, by James Bovard, The Freeman, Aug 2006
Discusses the dangers of equating liberty with "self-government" as majority rule
"Roosevelt perennially invoked freedom as a pretext to increase government power. His promises of freedom for the entire world distracted attention from how his administration was subjugating Americans. Partly because Americans in the 1930s and early 1940s were less politically astute than those of the Founding era, FDR's bait and switch worked like a charm ..."
Emergencies: The Breeding Ground of Tyranny, by William L. Anderson, Future of Freedom, Nov 2006
Examines the long history of "emergency powers" claimed by U.S. Presidents, including recent examples such as sanctions stemming from the International Economic Powers Act and the so-called War on Terror
"After Franklin Roosevelt took office in 1933, he invoked the 'emergency powers' that had been written into the Trading with the Enemy Act in 1917 to seize privately held gold in order to inflate the dollar. Presumably he thought that inflation would stimulate consumer spending and 'revitalize' the moribund U.S. economy. Like his other New Deal policies, this one provided little relief but instead further undermined private enterprise."
H. L. Mencken, America's Wittiest Defender of Liberty: Mencken Was America's Foremost Newspaperman and Literary Critic, by Jim Powell, The Freeman, Sep 1995
Biographical essay, highlighting Mencken's tenure at the Baltimore Sun, the books he authored, the founding and his work at the American Mercury monthly and his brief relationship with Sara Haardt
"Mencken expressed outrage at violence against blacks and as Hitler menaced Europe, Mencken attacked President Roosevelt for refusing to admit Jewish refugees into the United States: 'There is only one way to help the fugitives, and that is to find places for them in a country in which they can really live. Why shouldn't the United States take in a couple hundred thousand of them, or even all of them?'"
Interview with Karl Hess, by A. Lin Neumann, Reason, May 1982
Topics discussed include the Republican Party, National Review, AEI, Goldwater, Rothbard, anarchism, the Vietnam War, Carter and Reagan, fascism, urban enterprise zones, the environment, and authoritarianism vs. freedom
"I remember when Roosevelt was elected and my mother, who was a switchboard operator, had the good sense to realize he was a social fascist despite all the good things he said he wanted to do, specifically for people like my mother. She was poor but had once been married to a very rich man. I guess she had views of both worlds. But she understood that he was going to do this sort of stuff at the point of a gun and generally speaking was going to make the middle class pay for it, all of which was true."
Isabel Paterson's Place in History, by Doug French, 20 Jun 2011
Review of Stephen D. Cox's The Woman and the Dynamo: Isabel Paterson and the Idea of America
"She railed against FDR's gold seizure from a woman's point of view: 'Never shall we forget the line of women we saw turning in their savings, under threat of ten years in jail and ten thousand dollars fine, while the multimillionaire Senator Couzens stood up bravely on the floor of the Senate and promised to "hunt them down" if they tried to hold out a few dollars'"
Killing in the Name of Democracy, by James Bovard, Attention Deficit Democracy, 27 Jan 2006
Excerpt from the "Messianic Democracy" chapter, details various U.S. presidents' policies and actions from Wilson to Eisenhower
"Franklin Roosevelt painted World War II as a crusade for democracy — hailing Stalin as a partner in liberation. ... Roosevelt praised Soviet Russia as one of the 'freedom-loving Nations' ... The fact that the Soviet regime had been the most oppressive government in the world in the 1930s was irrelevant, as far as FDR was concerned."
Libertarianism Is the Key to Our Future, by Jacob G. Hornberger, Future of Freedom, Jul 2006
Examines three reasons (freedom, morality and pragmatism) that suggest that Americans will eventually return to their libertarian heritage
"This deception regarding the nature of freedom was undoubtedly one of the greatest achievements of the Franklin Roosevelt administration in the 1930s. ... But rather than convincing the American people of the virtues of socialism, paternalism, and government control, as other regimes in the world were doing, Roosevelt convinced Americans that their new system was, in fact, designed to save freedom and free enterprise."
No More Great Presidents, by Robert Higgs, The Free Market, Mar 1997
Discusses the results of a 1996 poll of historians asking them to rank U.S. presidents, focusing on those ranked Great, Near Great and Failure, and offers his own ranking
"Unfortunately, under FDR the Constitution suffered damage that none of his successors has repaired and most have made worse. Certainly since 1932--and, one might well argue, since 1896--no president has been true to his oath of office. Realizing the ambitions harbored by Teddy Roosevelt and Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt created the 'imperial presidency,' and we have been the worse for it ever since."
The American Heritage of "Isolationism", by Gregory Bresiger, Future of Freedom, May 2006
"Franklin Roosevelt, at the outbreak of World War II in September 1939, said the United States must be neutral. One year later, campaigning for a third term, he pledged that American boys wouldn't be sent to Europe to fight in World War II. This came while he was secretly scheming to help the British stay in the war."
The Federal Ripoff, by George C. Leef, Future of Freedom, Nov 2006
Review of The Big Ripoff: How Big Business and Big Government Steal Your Money by Timothy P. Carney
"Franklin Roosevelt is famous for his attacks on businessmen as 'economic royalists,' but many big business leaders were quite content to be thrown into his briar patch of governmental controls because they saw them as beneficial. Beneficial, that is, for their firms in the short run."
The Federal War on Gold, Part 3, by Jacob G. Hornberger, Future of Freedom, Oct 2006
Describes Franklin Roosevelt's executive order confiscating gold and nullifying gold clauses in contracts, its constitutional ramifications and subsequent related history
"It is impossible to overstate the significance of the Franklin Roosevelt administration's confiscation of gold and its nullification of gold clauses in contracts. ... On April 5, 1933, newly inaugurated President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 6102, which prohibited the 'hoarding' of gold by U.S. citizens. ... What the Congress had done is delegate its power to make certain laws to the president, essentially vesting Roosevelt with dictatorial powers."
The New Deal Made Them 'Right', by Damon W. Root, Cato Policy Report, Sep 2009
Discusses how various "prominent liberals" (Mencken, John T. Flynn, Al Smith, Burton K. Wheeler and Nock) found themselves categorized on the political right as a consequence of their opposition to Roosevelt's New Deal
"Addressing a national radio audience less than two weeks after FDR introduced the plan in Congress, Wheeler moved in for the kill: 'Every despot has usurped the power of the legislative and judicial branches in the name of the necessity for haste to promote the general welfare of the masses — and then proceeded to reduce them to servitude. I do not believe that President Roosevelt has any such thing in mind, but such has been the course of events throughout the world.' Against Wheeler's incendiary rhetoric and crafty legislative maneuverings, the court-packing bill failed to garner the necessary votes and died in the Senate by a final tally of 70-20."
The Secret State, by Carl Oglesby, 19 Dec 1991
Details various events from the establishment of the Gehlen Org after World War II to the 1991 death of Danny Casolaro that Oglesby says led to the creation of "a national-security oligarchy, a secret and invisible state within the public state"
"Wild Bill Donovan of the wartime Office of Strategic Services, the OSS, proposed to President Roosevelt before the war was over that the United States should setup a permanent civilian intelligence agency, but military foes of Donovan leaked his plan to a conservative journalist, Walter Trohan, who exposed the idea in the Chicago Tribune and denounced it as an 'American Gestapo.'"

Books

The Roosevelt Myth: A Critical Account of the New Deal and Its Creator [PDF], by John T. Flynn, 1948
Electronic text available at Ludwig von Mises Institute

Videos


Leonard Liggio on the Rise of the Modern American Libertarian Movement, by Leonard P. Liggio, 9 Mar 1995
Talk given at Vienna Coffee Club (Future of Freedom Foundation). Liggio starts off with the New Deal and covers many events and individuals both at the core and the periphery of the modern libertarian movement