Tugwell, Rexford G. (1891–1979)

Author:Richard B. Bernstein

Page 2738

Economist Rexford Guy Tugwell was a member of President FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT'S "brain trust" and an advocate of centralized economic planning by the federal government. After serving as undersecretary of agriculture and governor of Puerto Rico, he began a second career as a historian and constitutional theorist. His books on the Roosevelt years include The Democratic Roosevelt (1957, 1969) and The Brains Trust (1968). Tugwell's years as a government official convinced him that only a rewriting of the Constitution, emphasizing provisions for centralization, economic planning, and emergency powers, would produce an effective form of government. He denounced as undemocratic the accepted principles of FEDERALISM, and SEPARATION OF POWERS, and he stressed the need for total revision of the Constitution rather than gradual evolution through judicial interpretation. Tugwell frequently published his own proposals for a rewritten constitution. In The Emerging Constitution (1975) his proposals included: reduction of the...

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