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Back to the Land: Arthurdale, FDR's New Deal, and the Costs of Economic Planning by C. J. Maloney

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Plates

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Pictured here circa 1920, Mother Jones was at the forefront of some of the most violent labor disputes in U.S. history. Sitting to her left (holding a pipe) is Sid Hatfield, pro-union sheriff and instigator of the famous Matewan Massacre of 1920.

Photo courtesy of West Virginia and Regional History Collection, West Virginia University Libraries.

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Heavily influenced by the German historical school, proponents of a regulated and planned society, Professor Richard Ely was the leading light of America’s back-to-the-land movement. His prodigious work ethic produced the stream of writings that provided the ideological underpinning for Arthurdale. One biographer remarked of him, “He frequently saw himself as a martyr and compared himself to the Hebrew prophets.”

Photo from The Comrade, 1903.

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Professor Elwood Mead built resettlement colonies for governments in both Australia and California that would provide the operational benchmark that shaped Arthurdale day to day.

Photo courtesy of Library of Congress, 1923.

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Most of the families resettled into Arthurdale came from the squalor of Scotts ...

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