When the New Deal Came to Town (Hardcover)

A Snapshot of a Place and Time with Lessons for Today

By George Melloan

Threshold Editions, 9781501136085, 256pp.

Publication Date: November 8, 2016

List Price: 25.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


It’s A Wonderful Life meets New Deal or Raw Deal? in this personal and social history of the New Deal from a conservative point of view, detailing the effects on the economy, culture, and the people of small American town from longtime Wall Street Journal editor George Melloan.

When the New Deal Came to Town is a snapshot of a time and place: Whiteland, Indiana during the Great Depression, one of the most fraught eras in American history.

Imagine yourself transported back in time to April of 1933 and deposited in a small American town, when a young boy named George Melloan moved with his family to this quiet hamlet during the middle of the worst economic period in American history. Part social history, part personal observations, When the New Deal Came to Town provides a keen eyewitness account of how the Depression affected everyday lives and applies those experiences to the larger arena of American politics.

Written with Melloan’s signature “clarity and polemical skill” (The Washington Times), this is a fascinating narrative history that provides new insight into the Great Depression for a new generation.

About the Author

George Melloan retired in after a 54-year writing and editing career at The Wall Street Journal. In his last assignment he was Deputy Editor, International, of the editorial page and author of a weekly op-ed column titled Global View. He moved to New York in 1962 to join the Journal’s Page One department as an editor and rewrite specialist. From 1966 to 1970 he was a foreign correspondent based in London, covering such major stories as the Six-Day War in the Middle East, the Biafran War in Nigeria and an attempted economic reform in the Soviet Union.

After joining the editorial page in New York in 1970, Mr. Melloan became deputy editor in 1973. In 1990, he took responsibility for the Journal’s overseas editorial pages, writing editorials and columns for the Journal’s foreign and domestic editions about such momentous events as the collapse of the Soviet Union and the open door policy that brought billions of foreign investment into China, fueling its enormous economic growth over a period of 25 years.

Mr Melloan was winner of the Gerald Loeb award for distinguished business and financial journalism in 1982 and twice in the 1980s won the Daily Gleaner award of the Inter-American Press Association for his writings about the rising Soviet influence in Central America. In 2005, he received the Barbara Olson Award for excellence and independence in journalism from The American Spectator.

Mr. Melloan lives in Westfield, N.J. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Dutch Treat Club.

Praise For When the New Deal Came to Town: A Snapshot of a Place and Time with Lessons for Today

"An overdue and essential corrective: the Depression decade not as the New Deal’s economic and literary propagandists fictionalized it, but as it was actually lived at street level in the heartland."
— Mitch Daniels, former governor of Indiana and author of Keeping the Republic

"A breakthrough book...this short, substantive and friendly text is as likeable as the Hoosier state. I learned more here than in any survey or specialized text."
— Amity Shlaes, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Forgotten Man

"George Melloan’s account of life in a small Midwestern town during the 1930’s provides a much-needed corrective to the gloomy pictures painted by John Steinbeck and other Depression-era writers. The residents of Whiteland, Indiana – and similar communities throughout the nation --  are the kinds of people that really make America great."
— Les Lenkowsky, professor emeritus of public affairs and philanthropic studies at Indiana University

"One of the most important economics books in a very long time."
— Real Clear Markets


"There are those who say -- their wishes being the fathers of their thoughts -- that Ronald Reagan's doctrine of free markets and limited government has lost its relevance and has won its last election. To them, George Melloan delivers a robust and convincing rebuttal. This intellectual spanking is delightful."
— George F. Will

"An excellent map for finding a way forward for either party."
— The Wall Street Journal

"[Melloan] writes with clarity and polemical skill...[he] meets the challenge with strength and conviction, in prose tempered by a professional lifetime of solid experience on one of the nation’s finest editorial pages.”
— The Washington Times