Brinkley, Alan. “Prosperity, Depression, and War, 1920-1945.” in The New American History: Revised and Expanded Edition ed Eric Foner. Philadelphia, Temple University Press: 1997. 133-158.
“Prosperity, Depression, and War, 1920-1945,” an essay by Alan Brinkley, examines scholarly works about the inter-war years, and each piece is significant, and how research about the time period evolved. Brinkley argues that Arthur Schlesinger Jr.’s chronicle of the entire inter-war period and his interpretations are the most significant peices of works to be written about the time period. Brinkley claims that it is Schlesinger’s three volume work, The Age of Roosevelt, which had the most influence on any future research done on the inter-war period.
Brinkley separated his argument into five different sections in order to prove his argument. In each section he discusses the evolution of writing on the inter-war period. Brinkley provides explanations of authors and how their works vary from Schlesinger’s but can easily be related back to him. Brinkley also discusses how interpretations of the New Deal, politices between WWI and WWII, culture, and society have all gradually changed over time. In addition, he finds links between each work mentioned in order to support his opinion on Schlesinger’s work.