David M. Kennedy's book "Freedom from Fear".

Essay by talya286High School, 11th gradeA, September 2003

download word file, 4 pages 5.0

Between 1929 and 1945 the American people and their political leadership faced r two overwhelming challenges. If events had gone in other directions, our century could have been quite different. In a brilliant description of complexity in American history, Stanford University historian David M. Kennedy recreates that crucial period in Freedom from Fear. This book includes political, economic, diplomatic, social, and military history. In Freedom From Fear: the American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945, the first complete study that reaches all points of discussion about the Depression, the New Deal and World War II eras. Bancroft Award-winning historian David M. Kennedy tells the story of three of the most important events in modern American history. Here Kennedy puts American history in the context of world historical events, including global economic crisis, the rise of Nazism, and Japan's quest for empire in Asia. Kennedy addresses major controversies, such as: causes of the Depression, the Hoover presidency, the failures and successes of the New Deal, the role of Depression-era demagogues like Father Charles Coughlin and Senator Huey Long, the rise of organized labor, the origins of Social Security, the "Constitutional Revolution" of 1937, the origins of WWII, the Pearl Harbor attack, the emergence of the American-British-Russian "Grand Alliance," the internment of Japanese-Americans in wartime, the American society in wartime, the Second Front debate, the liabilities of the "unconditional surrender" policy, the nature of the air war waged against Germany and Japan, the development of atomic weapons, and the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The book is filled with enthusiastic insight and explanations. For example, Kennedy rejects the mythology, which suggests that the "roaring twenties" was a period of universal success. He suggests that it was much more than Jazz Age speakeasies, flappers, and a soaring stock market. It...