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Middlebury: Triumphs of Public Policy? Revisiting the New Deal and the Great Society

April 19, 2022 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

On April 19, 2022, the Alexander Hamilton Forum at Middlebury College will be hosting author Amity Shlaes and former Governor Jim Douglas to discuss the 1920s, the New Deal, and the Great Society:

Amity Shlaes is a bestselling author who treats twentieth-century political and economic history. Her biography of Calvin Coolidge, a president who grew up in Plymouth Notch, Vermont, covers not only the life of the thirtieth president but also the events that shaped the man: the rise of progressivism and the tumultuous period after World War I. In Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression, Shlaes takes her own second look at government intervention under Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt, and concludes that in many ways Hoover resembled the New Dealer Franklin Roosevelt. In her most recent book, Great Society: A New History, Shlaes looks at the intentions and results of Lyndon Johnson’s follow on to the New Deal, the Great Society. Governor Jim Douglas, Executive in Residence at Middlebury, served as Vermont’s governor from 2003 to 2011 and is author of The Vermont Way. Amity Shlaes chairs the board of the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation, based in Plymouth Notch; Governor Douglas serves as Foundation vice chair.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022 • 5:00 PM, EDT
Dana Auditorium • Middlebury College

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Amity Shlaes is the author of four New York Times bestsellers, The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression, The Forgotten Man: Graphic, a full length illustrated version of the same book drawn by Paul Rivoche, Coolidge, a full-length biography of the thirtieth president and The Greedy Hand: How Taxes Drive Americas Crazy. Shlaes chairs the board of the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation, a national foundation based in the birthplace of President Coolidge. She is winner of the Hayek Prize and currently chairs the jury for the prize, sponsored by the Manhattan Institute.

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Jim Douglas is former governor of Vermont, Foundation Vice Chair of the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation, and a member of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Governors’ Council and Commission on Retirement Security and Personal Savings. Elected to the Vermont House of Representatives in 1972, he became assistant majority leader in his second term and majority leader in his third term at the age of 25. Douglas retired from the state legislature in 1979 to become a top aide to then-Gov. Richard Snelling. In 1980, he was elected secretary of state, a post he held until 1993. In 1994, Douglas was elected state treasurer, receiving the nomination of both parties and winning with 94 percent of the vote. He served as Vermont’s treasurer until his inauguration as governor in 2003.

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The Alexander Hamilton Forum at Middlebury College aims to foster thoughtful engagement with the ideas that have informed the creation and development of the American polity. The Forum promotes the study of the American political thought and founding principles; their relationship to American institutions, statesmanship, public law, political economy, and grand strategy; and their place in the history of western political philosophy. It seeks to offer students an opportunity to think critically about the relevance of political and constitutional theory to a range of contemporary debates in American public life.

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