Explaining History


Eisenhower and the legacy of the New Deal

Eisenhower's domestic policy is often obscured to students of history by the struggles of the era (the Red Scare and McCarthyism and the civil rights struggle), making the president's own policy agenda and his political inclinations less easy to explore. This podcast looks at the conservative tendencies of Eisenhower, his opposition to the growing role of the state in the lives of Americans was born of his belief in the spirit of 'rugged individualism' and the idea that state intervention was a threat to liberty itself. Eisenhower knew politically, however, that dismantling the social safety nets created by Roosevelt was political suicide and it would be later Republican presidents, Nixon and Reagan that would eviscerate what remained of Roosevelt's signature policy.

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