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Gerber on Donohue, _Freedom from Want: American Liberalism and the
Published by EH.NET (June 2004) Kathleen G. Donohue, _Freedom from Want: American Liberalism and the Idea of the Consumer_. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003. xii + 326 pp. $45.95 (cloth), ISBN: 0-8018-7426-2. Reviewed for EH.NET by Larry G. Gerber, Department of History, Auburn University. Kathleen G. Donohue, assistant professor of history at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, has written an ambitious book exploring the evolution of modern American liberalism from 1870 to 1940 by concentrating on changing conceptions of consumption and consumers. Donohue is not the first historian to consider the ways in which the development of a consumer-oriented society transformed American liberalism, but her carefully focused reading of a large and diverse group of economic and social theorists sheds new light on the intellectual underpinnings of post-New Deal liberalism. Donohue begins by describing the