Herbert H. Lehman: A Political Biography

SUNY Press
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 The definitive biography of New York State’s four-term Governor, US Senator, humanitarian, and Jewish liberal political reformer.
This new biography of Herbert Lehman—the first in a half century—fills the void left by historians and political scientists who have neglected one of the truly great liberal icons of the mid-twentieth century. Based on extensive research in archival sources, Herbert H. Lehman restores this four-term Governor of New York, US Senator, national and international humanitarian, and political reformer to his rightful place among the pantheon of liberal heroes of his era. By focusing on Lehman’s interactions with Al Smith, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson, and John Kennedy, Duane Tananbaum shows how Lehman succeeded politically despite his refusal to compromise with his conscience. In his thirty-five years of public service, Lehman fought the Republicans in the State Legislature to provide economic security for New Yorkers during the Great Depression, and he battled the bureaucrats in the Roosevelt and Truman administrations and the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration to feed the starving people in Europe and Asia during and after World War II. His efforts on behalf of “the welfare state,” civil rights legislation, and immigration reform helped keep the liberal agenda alive until Congress, and the nation, were ready to enact it into law as part of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society in 1964–1965.

“Herbert Lehman served a distinguished career as governor, wartime relief administrator, and US senator. He built influential political alliances that spanned the era from FDR to LBJ, and stood resolutely against McCarthyism. Lehman has long deserved a substantial biography, and Duane Tananbaum’s impeccably researched analysis admirably fills that need.” — Donald A. Ritchie, historian emeritus of the Senate and author of The US Congress: A Very Short Introduction

“Duane Tananbaum’s exhaustive research and acute analysis make this book a definitive political biography that illuminates not only Herbert Lehman but also the many arenas in which he operated. The book is a significant source for scholars interested in New York State and Democratic Party politics, the United Nations’ first operational agency, Congressional politics during World War II and the early years of the Cold War and the impact of one of America’s leading Jewish politicians on issues ranging from the status of refugees from Nazi Germany to the recognition of the State of Israel by the United States.” — Robert Ingalls, University of South Florida



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About the author

 Duane Tananbaum is Professor of American History at Lehman College, City University of New York, and the author of The Bricker Amendment Controversy: A Test of Eisenhower’s Political Leadership.

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Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
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Published on
Dec 7, 2016
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Pages
980
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ISBN
9781438463193
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Political
History / United States / 20th Century
Political Science / American Government / State
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Katherine J. Cramer
Since the election of Scott Walker, Wisconsin has been seen as ground zero for debates about the appropriate role of government in the wake of the Great Recession. In a time of rising inequality, Walker not only survived a bitterly contested recall that brought thousands of protesters to Capitol Square, he was subsequently reelected. How could this happen? How is it that the very people who stand to benefit from strong government services not only vote against the candidates who support those services but are vehemently against the very idea of big government?

With The Politics of Resentment, Katherine J. Cramer uncovers an oft-overlooked piece of the puzzle: rural political consciousness and the resentment of the “liberal elite.” Rural voters are distrustful that politicians will respect the distinct values of their communities and allocate a fair share of resources. What can look like disagreements about basic political principles are therefore actually rooted in something even more fundamental: who we are as people and how closely a candidate’s social identity matches our own. Using Scott Walker and Wisconsin’s prominent and protracted debate about the appropriate role of government, Cramer illuminates the contours of rural consciousness, showing how place-based identities profoundly influence how people understand politics, regardless of whether urban politicians and their supporters really do shortchange or look down on those living in the country.

The Politics of Resentment shows that rural resentment—no less than partisanship, race, or class—plays a major role in dividing America against itself.
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