List of critics of the New Deal

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The following is a list of critics of the New Deal.

From the Left (Liberals to far left)[edit]

  • Huey Long. Governor and senator from Louisiana; supported Roosevelt in 1932; broke and was setting up a presidential campaign on the left in 1936
  • William Lemke, North Dakota, Picked up Huey Long support in 1936
  • Norman Thomas, frequent presidential candidate on the Socialist ticket. Disagreed with Roosevelt’s economic theory.
  • John L. Lewis, leader of Mineworkers and CIO; strong supporter of Roosevelt in 1936; in opposition 1940 because of Roosevelt's foreign-policy opposing Germany[clarification needed]

From the Right (Conservatives)[edit]


  • John Nance Garner, supported Roosevelt in 1932; elected vice president 1932 and 1936; broke with Roosevelt in 1937 over his court packing plan.
  • Carter Glass, Senator from Virginia, came from his death bed to the 1940 Democratic Convention to nominate Franklin Roosevelt's campaign manager James Farley as the Democratic Party's candidate for the Presidency. Glass was against Roosevelt's third term candidacy.
  • William Randolph Hearst, former leader of left-wing of Democratic party; owned nation's largest newspaper chain; major supporter of Roosevelt in 1932, broke with Roosevelt in 1935 over Roosevelt's proposal to greatly increase taxes on the inheritances of the wealthy, and to close several tax loopholes used by the wealthy to avoid paying taxes.
  • Hugh S. Johnson, first head of the National Recovery Administration see [1]. Johnson fell out with Roosevelt after Roosevelt fired him in 1935.
  • George N. Peek, farm leader; supported Roosevelt in 1932[clarification needed]
  • Al Smith, Democratic nominee for U.S. president in 1928; founded American Liberty League in 1934 to attack New Deal programs as fostering unnecessary "class conflict".
  • Rush D. Holt, Sr., Democratic West Virginian Senator; opposed Roosevelt's domestic and foreign policies.
  • Robert A. Taft, powerful Republican Senator from Ohio from 1939 to 1953. Taft was the leader of the Republican Party's conservative wing; he consistently denounced the New Deal as "socialism" and argued that it harmed America's business interests and gave ever-greater control to the central government in Washington. Before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor Taft, a non-interventionist, vigorously opposed Roosevelt's attempts to aid Britain in World War II.
  • Barry Goldwater, Republican 1964 presidential candidate; succeeded Taft as the leader of Republican conservatives in the 1950s. Goldwater consistently opposed the expansion of government welfare programs modeled after the New Deal; he criticized President Eisenhower for offering a "dime-store New Deal".
  • Ronald Reagan, Hollywood film actor; strong New Dealer in 1940s; started opposing New Deal programs in the 1950s as a spokesman for the General Electric company.
  • Dean Acheson, Treasury official in 1933; Assistant Secretary of State 1944
  • Lewis Douglas, Budget Director, 1933
  • Harry F. Byrd, Democratic Senator from Virginia
  • Frank Knox, Republican Vice Presidential candidate in 1936; joined Roosevelt's cabinet as Secretary of the Navy, 1940–44
  • Henry Stimson, Hoover's Secretary of State; joined Roosevelt's cabinet as Secretary of War, 1940–45
  • Wendell Willkie, Republican presidential candidate in 1940; supported Roosevelt 1941–43

Writers and speakers[edit]

Books with an anti-New Deal point of view[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Richard Davis and Diana Owen. New Media and American Politics, Oxford University Press, 1998, ISBN 0195120612, p. 9.
  2. ^ a b "Coughlin, Charles Edward" in Martin J. Manning and Herbert Romerstein (eds) Historical Dictionary Of American Propaganda Greenwood Publishing Group, 2004 ISBN 0313296057, pp. 71–72
  3. ^ "Commanding Heights : Milton Friedman | on PBS". Retrieved 2019-05-06.
  4. ^ Robert J. Robinson Jeffers, dimensions of a poet, Fordham Univ Press, 1995, ISBN 0-8232-1566-0 (p. 25)
  5. ^ Andrew Himes, The Sword of the Lord: The Roots of Fundamentalism in an American Family Chiara Press, 2011 ISBN 1453843752, (p. 271).
  6. ^ "Attacks Advisers of the President" (PDF). New York Times. September 17, 1934. Retrieved April 25, 2015.
  7. ^ Heidenry, John. Theirs was the Kingdom : Lila and DeWitt Wallace and the story of the Reader's Digest. New York, W.W. Norton, 1993. ISBN 0-393-03466-6 (pp. 130–35).

Other references[edit]

  • Gary Dean Best; The Critical Press and the New Deal: The Press Versus Presidential Power, 1933–1938 Praeger Publishers 1993. online edition
  • Brinkley, Alan. Voices of Protest: Huey Long, Father Coughlin, & the Great Depression (1983)
  • Graham, Otis L. and Meghan Robinson Wander, eds. Franklin D. Roosevelt: His Life and Times. (1985), an encyclopedia
  • Kennedy, David M. Freedom From Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929–1945. (1999) the best recent scholarly narrative.
  • McCoy, Donald * R. Landon of Kansas (1966) standard scholarly biography
  • Paterson, James. Mr. Republican: A Biography of Robert Taft (1972), standard biography
  • Ronald Radosh. Prophets on the Right: Profiles of conservative critics of American globalism (1978)
  • Schlesinger, Arthur M. Jr., The Age of Roosevelt, 3 vols, (1957–1960), the classic pro-New Deal history, with details on critics. Online at vol 2 vol 3
  • Rudolf, Frederick. "The American Liberty League, 1934–1940," American Historical Review, LVI (October 1950), 19–33 online at JSTOR
  • Smith, Richard Norton. An Uncommon Man: The Triumph of Herbert Hoover (1987) biography
  • White, Graham J. FDR and the Press. 1979.
  • Winfield, Betty Houchin. FDR and the News Media 1990
  • Williams, T. Harry. Huey Long (1969), Pulitzer Prize biography
  • Wolfskill, George. The Revolt of the Conservatives: A History of the American Liberty League, 1934–1940 (1962)
  • Anna Peterpants. Thesis Statement on the Depression-Era Programs (1951)
  • Brandon Streaker. The Man and the Deal (1964)
  • Carl McCarthy. The Great Wisconsin Brainwash (1954)