An NPR interview with historian Alan Brinkley about his recent biography of Franklin Delano Roosevelt considers FDR’s life, work and legacy.
Excerpt: “As for the, you know, the ending of the Great Depression, Franklin - it's absolutely correct that the New Deal did not end the Great Depression. When Roosevelt entered office, there was 25 percent unemployment. His policies helped create some reduction in that unemployment, down to about 15 percent, but until the war, unemployment rarely went very much below 15 percent. And the Depression, which was really a 13-year depression, didn't really end until well into World War II. So I think Roosevelt's policies kept things from unraveling and kept things from getting worse and in some ways made things better, but he did not end the Great Depression.”