chapter  26
14 Pages

Three Efforts at Managing Crises from FDR's White House

WithD. Van Beek Stephen

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, during his more than twelve years in the White House, redefined and solidified the role of the presidency in American government. The new mantle of enhanced presidential power arose in response to two national crises, the Great Depression and later the United States’ involvement in World War II. The successes and failures of these efforts and the operations of the agencies inform efforts by Roosevelt, and later by his successors, to fulfill public and presidential expectations of a more active presidency. The chapter examines the work of three organizations: the National Recovery Administration, the National Resources Planning Board, and the Office of War Mobilization. The managerial role for the presidency Roosevelt thought implicit in their creation would become strained and more distant with his successors, who would face great challenges on their time based in part on the wartime precedents of economic and military leadership.