With the landmark election of Franklin D. Roosevelt as U.S. President in 1932, decades of Republican ascendancy gave way to a half century of Democratic dominance. It was nothing less than a major political realignment as the direction of federal policy shifted from conservative to liberal—and liberalism itself was redefined in the process. In his new book, the first in many decades to examine in its entirety the 1932 presidential election that ushered in the New Deal, Donald A. Ritchie explains how the Democratic Party rebuilt itself after three successive Republican landslides; where the major shifts in party affiliation took place; what contingencies contributed to FDR’s victory; and why the new coalition lasted as long as it did.
Ritchie will discuss and sign his new book, “Electing FDR: The New Deal Campaign of 1932,” at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 14
, in the Mary Pickford Theater on the third floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave., S.E., Washington, D.C.
The event, part of the Books and Beyond author series sponsored by the Center for the Book, is free and open to the public; no tickets are needed. The author used many Library of Congress collections in writing his widely praised volume, including the papers of Newton D. Baker, Edward Clark, Felix Frankfurter and Everett Sanders; photographs from the New York World Telegram and Sun collection; and a political cartoon from the Clifford Berryman collection.
Ritchie is an associate historian at the U.S. Senate Historical Office and a frequent commentator on C-SPAN and National Public Radio. He is the author of seven other books, including “Press Gallery: Congress and the Washington Correspondents,” winner of the Richard W. Leopold Prize.
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