Biden, the FDR Legacy, and the Battle for Democracy: Robert Kuttner and Heather McGhee in Conversation

Did Joe Biden overreach when he sought to emulate FDR? In his new book Going Big: FDR’s Legacy, Biden’s New Deal, and the Struggle to Save Democracy, out this month, Robert Kuttner makes the case that Biden was right to go big, as a matter of economics and politics. Kuttner, co-founder of the American Prospect and author of 13 books, challenges the view that Biden needs to move to the center and makes a compelling case that New Deal-style boldness can strengthen our multiracial democracy and economy—and take back America from Trumpism.

On Wednesday, April 27, 2022, the Roosevelt Institute hosted an exclusive virtual launch of the book with Kuttner and The Sum of Us author Heather McGhee, who discussed the New Deal legacy, its lessons for today, and the potential of this moment.  The event was co-sponsored by the American Prospect and the New Press.

Opening remarks by:

In conversation:

  • Robert Kuttner, co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect, and professor at Brandeis University’s Heller School
  • Heather McGhee, author of The Sum of Us and Board Chair for Color of Change

Q & A moderated by:


“It is something of a miracle that democracy held just enough to elect Joe Biden, and that Biden has discovered his inner FDR. To fully understand the risks and opportunities of this fraught moment, we need to take a deeper look at the past.” —from Going Big