Argersinger, Jo Ann E. Toward a New Deal in Baltimore: People and Government in the Great Depression.
Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1988.
Annotations / Notes: This book is especially relevant as the nation debates the privatization of social security. It considers the impact of the New Deal from the perspective of the city and the state rather than from the top down. Both Democratic Mayor Howard Jackson and Governor Albert C. Ritchie, a state's rights Democrat, were hostile to the centralizing policies of FDR's New Deal. The existing combination of private relief and public assistance which had developed in the 1920s, placing primary emphasis on faith based organizations to provide the basic safety net, was overwhelmed by the massive problems of the depression. It was only by the mid-1930s that this function was reorganized under municipal authority but the continued opposition of the Mayor and the Governor undermined this effort. Even with this bureaucratization of welfare, city workers continued to engage volunteer organizations to provide relief. Other aspects of the New Deal, such as labor unionization, and the problems faced by African Americans and women during the depression, are also considered.