President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Social Security Act of 1935 into law.

What We Do

The Roosevelt Review is an online editorial publication maintained and supported by University of Virginia students for the University of Virginia. We aim to provide regularly updated written content from a liberal perspective from regular and guest contributors alike. The Roosevelt Review is the online mouthpiece for the Roosevelt Society, a liberal debating society new to U.Va this Fall 2015. We are actively seeking new members as well as CIO status.

Our Mission

Commemorating the three-year anniversary of the passage of the Social Security Act of 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave a radio address in which he explained to the American people that social security assures “that minimum necessity to keep a foothold; and that is the kind of protection Americans want.” As FDR built bill by bill the nation’s basic economic and social infrastructure, the United States languished in a deep and unabated depression. Capitalism was being destroyed by its own excesses, and the reforms that FDR enacted in response saved it. In so doing, he definitively won the argument that the government has a role to play in providing for its citizens’ social welfare. But he did more.

His New Deal inspired a broad public philosophy of liberalism, of an active government dedicated to the constant self-betterment of our society. It recast the Preamble’s promise to “promote the general Welfare” “in order to form a more perfect union” into a challenge of daily administration. The values that emanate from FDR’s chapter in the great American storybook remain crucial to the present and future. We need the same compassion, the same pragmatism, the same starry-eyed optimism and can-do attitude. But most importantly, we need the American people.

It is with this sense of broad purpose that we at the Roosevelt Society begin this project. We believe that the Great Recession and the policy malpractice of 30 years of conservative governance have indelibly harmed the quality of life afforded to most Americans. What is most alarming is that all the while, thanks to creeping polarization and each party’s increasing reliance on its ideological base, politics is subject to widespread apathy, cynicism, and frustration. As we stand at our most divided since the Civil War, and as Congress reaches new levels of backlog and gridlock, Americans are giving up on the political process with a whimper.

We place our greatest faith in the capacity of the written word to expose new ideas and broaden horizons. We therefore want to provide the University of Virginia community with the voice of a strong public advocate for liberalism in the hope that our words stir our readers thoughts. We seek to stimulate serious conversation and debate about the direction of our country and our University. More than anything, we would like to contribute to university political discourse, not inflame, obfuscate, or confuse. We hope that by displaying earnestness for our ideals and respect for those who disagree, we can set an example for how conversations about public affairs should be conducted.

To these ends, this is what you, the reader, can expect from the Review:

  • We will not distort  the facts of any case to fit with any narrative
  • We will avoid sensationalist clickbait and lazy writing
  • We will mean what we write, and we will write what we mean

Generally, we will do our best to serve the University of Virginia and its community.

Contact Us

Olivier Weiss – Editor-in-chief ; opw3ys@virginia.edu

John Devine – Executive Editor ; jcd5jv@virginia.edu