American RadioWorks: Bridge to Somewhere

President Barack Obama’s plan to create jobs by building infrastructure invites comparisons to another president. Franklin Delano Roosevelt tried to manufacture jobs by building bridges, sewers, schools and even ski jumps. Historians disagree about how much FDR’s New Deal programs eased the Depression in the short term. But in the long term, the structures they built have had a profound effect on the country’s economy. Nearly every county in America contains at least one structure built by the New Deal. This documentary took listeners to the mountains of Vermont, where a ski industry founded by FDR’s Civilian Conservation Corps is now a thriving tourist draw, and to the Pacific Northwest, where New Deal dams on the Columbia River transformed an entire region. The program combined colorful historical tape with modern-day reporting to create an entertaining and thoughtful look at the long reach of the New Deal.

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