Ed Miliband’s decision to gift his closest aids copies of Doris Kearns Goodwin’s latest book The Bully Pulpit about Theodore Roosevelt has created a stir of opinions. Tim Stanley and Iain Martin writing for the Telegraph take divergent views. Stanley casts Roosevelt as an imperialist, racist and war monger who Miliband should avoid invoking. Martin observes the positive and progressive traits of Roosevelt, and approves of Miliband’s invocation in that it supports his attack on supply-side economics.
PHN’s own Michael Patrick Cullinane posted his own editorial on the History News Network, suggesting Miliband has not entirely come to grips with the “trustbusting” legacy of Roosevelt. While history is apt to remember the break up of the Northern Securities rail road conglomerate in 1902, Roosevelt allowed banks to merge in 1907 when a financial bubble threatened their insolvency. At the very moment Miliband was relying on “Teddy’s trustbusting” image, he was presenting his own economic plan for breaking up UK banks and creating more competition.
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