The New Deal and American Youth
download cover image ►

The New Deal and American Youth

Ideas and Ideals in a Depression Decade

Title Details

Pages: 262

Trim size: 6.000in x 9.000in



Pub Date: 06/01/2010

ISBN: 9-780-8203-3696-1

List Price: $34.95

The New Deal and American Youth

Ideas and Ideals in a Depression Decade

Skip to

  • Description
  • Reviews

When President Roosevelt formed the National Youth Administration (NYA) in 1935, he declared that it would address “the most pressing and immediate needs” of American young people. Richard A. Reiman explores the various and sometimes conflicting ways in which the NYA defined those needs and attempted to answer them. The NYA was set up to assist the millions of youth during the Depression who were ineligible for the New Deal’s own Civilian Conservation Corps. Contrary to popular belief, Reiman argues, New Dealers did not envision the NYA primarily as a “junior WPA,” a trigger for civil rights reform, or a springboard for the careers of liberal administrators. Rather, its designers saw it as a reform agency that would advance and protect democracy by countering totalitarian appeals to young people and by equalizing educational opportunities for rich and poor.

Based on a wide range of sources, including NYA-related documents at the National Archives and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, The New Deal and American Youth is the first full-length study of this important agency. By showing how the NYA served as an instrument for realizing so many New Deal ambitions, it offers rich insights into not only the NYA but the New Deal as well.

Reiman’s well-crafted and detailed monograph sheds new light on the intellectual origins, planning, and subsequent transformation of the National Youth Administration between 1933 and 1943.


Reiman is at his best when analyzing the clash of personalities and wills within and against the NYA. . . . Reiman makes a persuasive case for the significance of the NYA’s interest in the potential ideological consequences of the youth problem.

Reviews in American History

This wide-ranging, well-researched, and thoughtful history represents the best effort in print at explaining New Deal attitudes and programs for depression-era youth.

Pacific Northwest Quarterly

About the Author/Editor

RICHARD A. REIMAN is a professor of history and chair of the Division of Business and Social Sciences at South Georgia College.