Mar 30, 2009, 06:10AM

Funny thing about history…

The author finds an H.G. Wells essay from the 1933 summit of foreign leaders that formed to craft a response to the Depression. Contemporary parallels ensue.

Crazy, how this seems to happen every so often:

President Obama will be there in person, of course, not aboard the presidential yacht. So count this one in his favor.  Next, read what Wells has to say about Roosevelt's advisors.

Nevertheless hope fought a stout fight. There was no other personality visible who even promised to exorcize the spell that lay upon the economic life of the race. It was Roosevelt’s Conference or nothing. And in spite of that disappointing book there remained some sound reasons for hope. In particular the President, it was asserted, had a “Brain Trust”. A number of indisputably able and modern-minded men were his associates, such men as Professors Tugwell, Moley and Dickinson, men whose later work played a significant part in that reconstruction of legal and political method which was America’s particular contribution to Modern State ideas. This “last hope of mankind”, it was credibly reported, called these intimates by their Christian names and they called him “Guv’nor.” He was said to have the modesty and greatness to defer to their studied and matured opinions. Observers, still hopeful, felt that if he listened to these advisors things might not go so badly after all. He was at any rate one point better than the European politicians and heads of States who listened only to bankers and big-business men.


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