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The Lessons of the New Deal: Did Obama Learn the Right Ones?



Professor Tony Badger
Cambridge University

In 2009 it looked like 1933 again: a charismatic new President had succeeded a discredited predecessor at a time of major financial crisis. The incoming administration had significant congressional majorities. There was even a world economic conference to coordinate international recovery scheduled. The paper asks why the high hopes of 2009 disappeared. The paper examines the lessons of the New Deal and looks at the different circumstances which made it difficult for Obama to apply the right ones.

Tony Badger has been Paul Mellon Professor of American History at Cambridge since 1992 and Master of Clare College since 2003. He has written extensively on both the New Deal and the modern South, most recently New Deal/New South: An Anthony J Badger Reader (2007) and
FDR: The First Hundred Days.(2008) described in The Observer in January 2009 as 'top of the reading list of the political classes on both sides of the Atlantic.' In 2009 he was appointed chair of the Kennedy Memorial Trust. In 2011 he was appointed by the Foreign Secretary as the independent reviewer of the release of the files in the Migrated Colonial Archive whose existence had been officially denied for over thirty years.

This Public Lecture is a joint presentation between the University of Melbourne and La Trobe University.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012 | 6.00pm

Prince Philip Theatre
Architecture Building
The University of Melbourne

Location map

Contact David Goodman in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies at or 8344 7859.

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