Arthur Schlesinger wrote The Age of Roosevelt in three volumes between 1956 and 1960. The first volume, The Crisis of the Old Order, addressed the national conditions that led to the election of Franklin Roosevelt. The Coming of the New Deal focused on the first two years of FDR’s first term and the numerous programs enacted in that short period. The final volume, The Politics of Upheaval, focused on the reactions to FDR’s first two years including the rise of radical movements.
From The Politics of Upheaval:
Recovery had proceeded far enough to end despair, but not far enough to restore satisfaction. People still felt that many things were wrong, but no longer felt, as they had in the terrible days of 1933, that their single duty was to trust Franklin Roosevelt and hold their peace. By transforming the national mood from apathy to action, the New Deal was invigorating its enemies as well as its friends. Through 1934 apprehension had spread among businessmen; by fall it had turned to resentment, by winter, to open hostility. And the emergence of dissatisfaction among the conservatives was paralleled by restless and erratic stirrings among the masses, incited by a new set of political prophets, some of whose banners bore exceedingly strange devices. The new political moods infected the new Congress, freshly returned in the fall elections. In March 1933 the 73rd Congress had come to Washington expressing the desperate national desire for unity under presidential leadership. Now, in January 1935, the 74th Congress arrived as the carrier of an inchoate national wish for new departures.
Schlesinger, Arthur M.. The Politics of Upheaval: The Age of Roosevelt, 1935–1936 (p. 17). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.
FDR had enacted more reform in his first two years than we have ever seen, and the economy was showing a clear turn. History has shown such times, the recovery from adversity, to be the most politically vulnerable. The need to enact reform without radicalism required a political dexterity that may have been FDR’s greatest skill. Capitalism was so severely wounded that the fascists, socialists and communists and several varieties of populists were circling the carcass. While the explosive growth of the administrative state accelerated progressive ideologies, a case can be made that FDR’s actions preserved the benefits of capitalism when it was under attack from a broad coalition of enemies.