The Creative Society is an arts employment charity that helps young people into jobs in the creative and cultural industries.
New Deal of the Mind receives remarkable endorsement
New Deal of the Mind yesterday received a remarkable email from Professor June Hopkins, granddaughter of original New Deal pioneer Harry Hopkins.
Harry Hopkins was head of President Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration, a scheme responsible for putting millions of unemployed Americans back to work during the Great Depression.
The works of the WPA are the inspiration for New Deal of the Mind. The words of Harry Hopkins- “Give a man a dole, and you save his body and destroy his spirit. Give him a job and you save both body and spirit”- form the foundation of New Deal of the Mind’s thinking.
June has recently released a biography of her grandfather, entitled Harry Hopkins: Sudden Hero, Brash Reformer. Having discovered us by chance via DD Guttenplan’s excellent article, ‘Wild About Harry’, in The Nation, she contacted us to explain that her grandfather would be “especially delighted that his ideas about government responsibility during a depression are being discussed in England”.
Needless to say, we were thrilled to receive the letter and we are proud to be carrying on Harry Hopkins’ legacy. Below is the email in full.
Dear Mr. Bright
I just read D.D. Guttenplan’s article in The Nation, “A New Deal for Culture: Wild About Harry,” and was so impressed by the Downing Street Meeting and the direction your New Deal of the Mind is going.
I am a fan of Barack Obama but I do think that the stimulus money is being misdirected – money needs to go into developing work programs like the WPA, and should not be used to bail out irresponsible financial institutions.
My grandfather would be especially delighted that his ideas about government responsibility during a depression are being discussed in England. Not only was he dedicated to federal work relief program but he helped launch the Anglo-American Alliance in 1941 when, as FDR’s emissary, he met with Churchill at #10. The result was Lend Lease.
Additionally, he had a special commitment to helping the unemployed artists, musicians, writers, and actors during the Depression, and was very proud of what Federal One was able to accomplish. When he was lambasted by the press and by New Deal critics, he responded, “They have to eat too!”
Co-incidentally, my university here in Savannah, Georgia, has received a NEH grant to present five programs in the fall celebrating the Federal Writers’ Project. So, thanks for all you are doing and if there is any way at all that I can be of help, just let me know.
Best regards, June Hopkins.