Cover image for New Deal fat cats : business, labor, and campaign finance in the 1936 presidential election
New Deal fat cats : business, labor, and campaign finance in the 1936 presidential election
Webber, Michael J.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Fordham University Press, [2000]

Physical Description:
xvi, 180 pages ; 24 cm

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
JK526 1936 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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In New Deal Fat Cats, Michael Webber offers a fresh perspective on the New Deal. The author analyzes the role of various segments of society in party politics during the political change brought on by the Great Depression. Webber uses analysis of campaign contribution as a major method of evaluating the 1936 presidential election. Today's readers may be surprised at the statistical breakdown of the group that reelected FDR. These groups ranged from southern Democrats and organized labor, to Catholics, Jews, and small businesses. A considerable portion of the author's analysis rests on interpretive literature about the politics of the New Deal and specifically about the role of business in the construction of those politics. The emphasis of this work is on the coalition of what seem to be disparate elements in society suggesting that large and monolithic power blocks are not necessarily the road to major political change in U.S. society. The reader will begin to sense the seemingly divisive pressures from different groups that made the New Deal not only a paradox, but an effective social reality.

Author Notes

Michael Webber is Chair of the Department of Sociology at the University of San Francisco.

Table of Contents

List of Tablesp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xv
1. The New Deal in Historical and Theoretical Perspectivep. 1
2. Deserters and Traitors: Did Business Desert the Democrats between 1932 and 1936?p. 17
3. The Mass-Consumption Sector and Democratic Party Financesp. 29
4. Industrial Structure and Party Competition during the New Deal: The Investment Theory of Politics Reconsideredp. 45
5. Roosevelt's "Soft Money Scandal": The Democratic Convention Book of 1936p. 70
6. New York City and the South: The Role of Religion and Region in Financing the 1936 Electionp. 80
7. Organized Labor's Political Baptism: FDR and the Unionsp. 107
8. Conclusionp. 127
Methodological Appendixp. 135
Referencesp. 143
Indexp. 161