American Made

My review of Nick Taylor’s history of the Works Progress Administration is up over at

A clip:

For someone like myself, whose most indelible memory of the U.S. response to a domestic natural disaster is the image of President Bush strumming a guitar while New Orleans drowned, and whose entire conscious political life has taken place in the wake of the Reagan revolution, the sheer scope and approach of the New Deal in general, and the WPA specifically, is unfathomably alien. A government that marshaled 3 million people to build ski lodges, repair roads, stage avant-garde plays, excavate Indian ruins, and grow herb gardens sounds more like a strange cross between pharaonic Egypt and the Berkeley City Council than the Washington of today, which has outsourced every core function, from tax collection to war fighting.

Chris Hayes is the host of All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC.

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