Burt Folsom

Dr. Burt Folsom is a professor of history at Hillsdale College, a fine institution that takes no federal funds and turns out about 300 graduates each year. He is also a columnist and the historian-in-residence at the Foundation for Economic Education in Irvington, New York.

Dr. Folsom has written several books including The Myth of the Robber Barons (six editions, Young America’s Foundation), in which he writes about the differences between political entrepreneurs and market entrepreneurs.  He gives examples from history of various businessmen (Rockefeller, Schwab, Vanderbilt, for example) and how their actions affected their contemporaries and the history of the United States.  He explores the positive effects of entrepreneurs and limited government on the rise of the U.S. in the late 1800s.

In New Deal or Raw Deal: How FDR’s Economic Legacy Has Damaged America (Simon & Schuster, 2008), Dr. Folsom examines the disastrous effects of massive federal spending under Franklin Roosevelt during the New Deal years of the 1930s.  Did FDR’s New Deal help the American economy?  New Deal or Raw Deal answers that question.

The sequel to his work on the New Deal is his latest book, co-authored with his wife, Anita Folsom:   FDR Goes to War:  How Expanded Executive Power, Spiraling National Debt, and Restricted Civil Liberties Shaped Wartime America (Simon & Schuster, 2011). The book covers the period from the 1930s through the end of the war, and the post-war recovery.  They discuss FDR’s foreign policy:  Did he provoke war with Japan?  They show how Roosevelt’s presidency became “imperial” during the wartime emergency, as he enlarged his power through executive orders, and the federal government began to regulate all areas of American society.  And they show how Americans met the challenges of World War II, to invent and build the weapons of war to give our fighting men and women what was needed.  The U.S. and its Allies developed penicillin, landing craft, sophisticated radar systems, dehydrated foods, DDT, and hundreds of other innovations to win the war.

Speech Topics:

  • The Myth of the Robber Barons
  • Fake History:  How Liberal Textbooks Mislead Students


Burt's Details
Economics, Education, Law / Constitution, Western Civilization

Author, Columnist, Historian, Professor

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