Learning From the Successes and Failures of the New Deal

Category: AuthorsCategory: Speakers & Lecture Series
Location: Adrian Lamb Room

Gertrude Schaffner Goldberg of New Canaan and Sheila D. Collins, a Stamford native who currently resides in New Rochelle, NY, will present highlights from their comparative study of the New Deal’s response to the Great Depression and the Obama administration’s response to the Great Recession. They will speak at the New Canaan Library in a jointly-sponsored program with the New Canaan Historical Society and Elm Street Books on Tuesday, January 28 at 7:00 p.m.

The authors’ presentation is drawn from their recently published book, When Government Helped: Learning from the Successes and Failures of the New Deal (Oxford University Press). According to Franklin D. Roosevelt, III (Professor of Economics Emeritus at Sarah Lawrence), “The book is essential reading for all concerned citizens."   David B. Woolner, Senior Fellow and Hyde Park Resident Historian of the Roosevelt Institute, calls the book, “the best case yet of the necessity for the American citizen to turn to what Franklin Roosevelt called 'the organized power of government.'"
Goldberg and Collins will discuss how FDR and the New Deal viewed the role of government in American society and how the New Deal legacy of affirmative government survives and has helped us to prevent the Great Recession from descending into a Great Depression. At the same time, they emphasize that the Obama Administration could have learned more from the New Deal and that we ignore those lessons—both positive and negative—to our national detriment.  The authors will focus on three of the policy arenas covered in their comprehensive treatment of the two periods:  social security, arts and culture, and the environment.

Elm Street Books will have copies of the book for sale at the event, and the authors will be available for signing. 

Gertrude Schaffner Goldberg is Professor Emerita of Social Policy and former director of the Ph.D. Program in Social Work at Adelphi University. She is co-author/editor with Sheila D. Collins of When Government Helped: Learning from the Successes and Failures of the New Deal (Oxford University Press, 2013). Other books include Washington's New Poor Law: Welfare "Reform" and the Roads Not Taken, 1935 to the Present (2001), with Sheila D. Collins;  Jobs for All: A Program for the Revitalization of America (1994) with Sheila D. Collins and Helen Lachs Ginsburg;   and three comparative studies of social policy, the latest of which is Poor Women in Rich Nations: Feminization of Poverty over the Life Course  (2010). Goldberg is the author of numerous articles on unemployment, job creation, economic inequality, and the welfare state.  She is a co-founder and chair of the National Jobs for All Coalition (www.njfac.orgwww.jobscampaign.org)    She is the co-chair of the Columbia University Seminar on Full Employment, Social Welfare, and Equity.

Sheila D. Collins is Professor Emerita of Political Science at William Paterson University and former Director of its graduate program in Public Policy and International Affairs.  She has written and spoken widely both here and abroad on American politics and public policy, social movements, religion and the environment.  In addition to When Government Helped, Washington’s New Poor Law and Jobs for All written with Goldberg, she is the author of Let Them Eat Ketchup! The Politics of Poverty and Inequality (1996); The Rainbow Challenge: The Jackson Campaign and the Future of U.S. Politics (1986) and A Different Heaven and Earth: A Feminist Perspective on Religion (1974).  Collins co-chairs two seminars at Columbia University, is a member of the Global Ecological Integrity Group and serves on the board of the National Jobs for All Coalition and the International Advisory Board of the Japan-based Toda Institute for Peace and Policy Studies.

New Canaan Historical Society’s original mission set forth in 1889 is to “…to bring together and arrange the historical events of the town of New Canaan, the genealogies of the families who have lived in town…to form a library and to collect relics and curiosities, to form a museum…”  Our mission now places research, preservation and education as the Society’s primary functions.

New Canaan Library's missionis to enrich the town’s intellectual and cultural life by providing free and convenient access to information, fostering lifelong learning and encouraging the exchange of ideas.