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The Roundtable

"Fear Itself" by Ira Katznelson


    Redefining our traditional understanding of the New Deal, the new book, Fear Itself, examines this pivotal American era through a sweeping international lens that juxtaposes a struggling democracy with enticing ideologies like Fascism and Communism.

Ira Katznelson, Columbia University’s Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History, writes that during the 1930s and 1940s, American democracy was rescued yet distorted by a unified band of southern lawmakers who safeguarded racial segregation as they built a new national state to manage capitalism and assert global power.

Katznelson has served as president of the American Political Science Association, is a member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. He is also the author of When Affirmative Action Was White.

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