Image - Robert Kuttner
Image - Robert Kuttner

Robert Kuttner: FDR's Legacy and President Biden's New Deal Opportunity

When President Joe Biden took office, the problems the new president faced were similar to the challenges faced by another U.S. president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt: decreasing opportunity for the average American, disproportionate power of the mega-wealthy, and a starkly divided political system. To help address these issues nearly a century ago, FDR launched The New Deal, forever changing American society. To longtime political analyst Robert Kuttner, the similarities between 2022 and 1932 means President Biden has a similar opportunity to transform the country through major public investments.

In his latest book, Going Big, Kuttner draws on the striking similarities between the circumstances of FDR and Biden, including the major crossroads of American politics that marked both their terms. With democratic backsliding, deep partisan divides and the ever-growing power of corporate interests, Kuttner says President Biden’s vision for the future will have critical implications for the future of the country—and, just like the New Deal, an army of opposition determined to maintain the status quo.

Join us, as Kuttner explains what is at stake for America in 2022 and the opportunity President Biden has at this unprecedented time in the nation’s history.


George Hammond


A Humanities Member-led Forum program. Forums at the Club are organized and run by volunteer programmers who are members of The Commonwealth Club, and they cover a diverse range of topics. Learn more about our Forums.

Image - Robert Kuttner

Robert Kuttner

Co-Founder and Co-Editor, The American Prospect; Ida and Meyer Kirstein Chair, Brandeis University; Author, Going Big: FDR's Legacy, Biden's New Deal, and the Struggle to Save Democracy

Image - Arlie Hochschild

In Conversation with Arlie Hochschild

 Professor Emerita of Sociology, University of California Berkeley