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A history of division

Is compromise impossible in American politics?

By John Kay   April 2013

A gun control campaigner, left, is confronted by a member of the National Rifle Association © Reuters

Fear Itself: The New Deal and the Origins of our Time by Ira Katznelson (WW Norton, £22)

The presidency of Franklin Roosevelt secured the survival of lightly regulated capitalism and liberal democracy, not just in the United States, but in Western Europe and other parts of the world. In this sense, the New Deal does represent, as the subtitle of Ira Katznelson’s new book proposes, the origins of our time.

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