The period between the end of the Bush disaster and the beginning of the Obama ascendancy is a quiet time and a moment for reflection before we cheer more for the passing of the last year than the coming of the next. A Zogby Poll found, “Americans are overwhelmingly glad to say goodbye to 2008 but are somewhat unsure of the future. Americans are guardedly optimistic about 2009, but many feel that the coming year will be worse or the same as 2008.”
Many of us are looking for guidance from the past, perhaps even from the period when Herbert Hoover bid adieu and FDR waited for his turn at bat. The year was 1932: It was a year of famine in Russia, hunger marches in Britain, Nazis emerging in Germany, Gandhi striking for India’s independence, and 13 million Americans were out of work. A temporary halt to foreclosures had been ordered while working hours and wages were cut.
The worst was still to come.