President Harry S. Truman in Washington, Nov. 30, 1950. (AP Photo/Henry Griffin)

Why Joe Biden is like Harry Truman

The November/December 2023 print edition of the Washington Monthly is hot off the presses and up on

The issue kicks off with the traditional editor’s note from Editor-in-Chief Paul Glastris, summarizing our cover package, “Bidenomics Really Is a BFD.”

And anchoring the issue is The Great Reordering, in which Rana Foroohar of the Financial Times explains how Biden is engineering a “true economic paradigm shift.” (She discussed the article on CNN yesterday—click here for the video.)

Glastris argues that in leading such a transformation, Biden is not so much the next Franklin D. Roosevelt as he is the next Harry S. Truman.

The list of similarities between the two is long, but “the most striking parallel” is “the two men’s work to build a global order”:

Truman is most remembered today for the doctrine that bears his name: committing U.S. power to contain communism and support democracies. This involved military actions, as in Korea, and new military alliances like NATO, but also vast economic interventions and investments that integrated the world’s democracies into a common trading system that could withstand the threat of totalitarianism while building a broad middle class.

…Biden is attempting something similar: He is pursuing economic agreements with U.S. allies to boost average wages in their home countries and ours. The goal is to undercut support for political illiberalism and challenge the economic predations of Russia and China.

Click here for the full story.

The new issue of the magazine is loaded with even more deep insights on a wide range of issues. Some highlights:

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Bill Scher is political writer at the Washington Monthly. He is the host of the history podcast When America Worked and the cohost of the bipartisan online show and podcast The DMZ. Follow Bill on Twitter @BillScher.