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Books

Book review

‘Fear Itself’ by Ira Katznelson

Earlier this month, an important date in American history quietly slipped by unnoticed by most. March 4 marked the 80th anniversary of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s first inaugural address, the occasion when a newly installed president counseled a battered, beleaguered nation that the only thing it had to fear was “fear itself.’’

Those two words are more chilling standing alone than they are in the complete Roosevelt sentence, and they constitute the arresting title of Ira Katznelson’s chronicle of the America that fear, and its uplifting handmaiden, the New Deal, made.

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