Back to the Land: Arthurdale, FDR's New Deal, and the Costs of Economic Planning

Book description

How New Deal economic policies played out in the small town of Arthurdale, West Virginia

Today, the U.S. government is again moving to embrace New Deal-like economic policies. While much has been written about the New Deal from a macro perspective, little has been written about how New Deal programs played out on the ground.

In Back to the Land, author CJ Maloney tells the true story of Arthurdale, West Virginia, a town created as a "pet project" of the Roosevelts. Designed to be (in the words of Eleanor Roosevelt) "a human experiment station", she was to create a "New American" citizen who would embrace a collectivist form of life. This book tells the story of what happened to the people resettled in Arthurdale and how the policies implemented there shaped America as we know it. Arthurdale was the foundation upon which modern America was built.

  • Details economic history at the micro level, revealing the true effects of New Deal economic policies on everyday life

  • Addresses the pros and cons of federal government economic policies

  • Describes how good intentions and grand ideas can result in disastrous consequences, not only in purely materialistic terms but, most important, in respect for the rule of law

  • Back to the Land is a valuable addition to economic and historical literature.

    Table of contents

    1. Cover
    2. Title page
    3. Copyright page
    4. Dedication
    5. Arthurdale from 1933 to 1947
    6. Acronyms Used in the Book
    7. Road Song of the Bandar-Log
    8. Map of West Virginia
    9. Introduction
    10. Chapter 1 The Damnedest Cesspool of Human Misery
      1. The Great Coal Bubble
      2. The Hell of Peace
      3. The Agreement That Wasn’t
      4. Scotts Run Turns Bloody
      5. Bottom of the Barrel: Life in the Coal Camps
      6. Misery beyond Description: Private Charity in Scotts Run
      7. American Friends Service Committee
      8. In the Thick of It All
    11. Chapter 2 The Angel of Arthurdale Arrives
      1. Getting Down with the Sickness
      2. Interpreting a Dream
    12. Chapter 3 The Definition of Insanity
      1. Man Plans, God Laughs
      2. Lather, Rise, Repeat: Previous Farm Colonies
      3. Slipping By in the Crowd—Legislating Arthurdale
    13. Chapter 4 We Lucky Few
      1. Rotting from the Head
      2. Choosing the Lucky
    14. Chapter 5 “Spending Money . . . Like Drunken Sailors”
      1. The Blind Leading the Blind
      2. Money Pit
      3. “Living in a Fish Bowl”
      4. A Potemkin Village, American Style
      5. The Angel of Arthurdale
    15. Chapter 6 The Darkening of the Light
      1. At One with the Land
      2. The Other Half of the Equation: Wage Employment
      3. Cooperation, Debt, and Losses
      4. Pleasantville
    16. Chapter 7 “A Human Experiment Station”
      1. Machine of the Gods
      2. Progressive School, Progressive Man
      3. A Little Village in Itself
      4. “This Highly Restricted Mode of Life”
      5. The Jamestown Effect
    17. Chapter 8 At Long Last, Arcadia
      1. The Sleep of the Just
      2. The End and the Beginning
    18. Epilogue: To the Victor, the Spoils
      1. Collective Dispossession
      2. Flowers for Algernon
      3. Back to the Future
    19. Acknowledgments
    20. Bibliography
      1. Newspapers
      2. Magazines/Journals
      3. Pamphlets/Bulletins
      4. Archives
      5. Government Reports
      6. Unpublished Manuscripts
      7. Interviews Conducted with Author from Fall 2009 to Spring 2010
      8. Interviews Conducted by Arthurdale Heritage Inc. from Late 1980s to Early 1990s
      9. Multimedia
      10. Books
    21. About the Author
    22. Index
    23. Plates

    Product information

    • Title: Back to the Land: Arthurdale, FDR's New Deal, and the Costs of Economic Planning
    • Author(s): C. J. Maloney
    • Release date: December 2013
    • Publisher(s): Wiley
    • ISBN: 9781118886922