Amity Shlaes spoke last evening at the American Enterprise Institute. Her topic, which is also the topic of her forthcoming book, was Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. In her talk, the New Deal comes across less as an economic revolution and more like the application of urban machine politics at the national level.

I look forward to reading any book that delves into the way that people were thinking at the time of the Great Depression and the New Deal. Shlaes promises to do that. She referred to “policy agony,” a sort of buyer’s remorse among policymakers who found that their cherished ideas did not work as well in practice as in theory. I am curious to find out more.