BRAIN TRUST. Before his 1932 nomination as the Democratic presidential candidate, Franklin D. Roosevelt brought together Raymond Moley, Rexford G. Tugwell, and Adolph A. Berle, Jr. as close advisers. These three continued to aid Roosevelt during his campaign for election. After his inauguration, they became prominent in the councils of the chief executive and received salaried offices in Washington. They and the group of economists, lawyers, and scholars who subsequently joined the administration earned the name "the brain trust," whether or not they were close to the president or truly responsible for any novel programs or policies. Thus, the expression "brain trust" became a symbol for all New Deal experimentation.
Reagan, Patrick D. Designing a New America: The Origins of New Deal Planning, 1890–1943. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2000.
Rosenof, Theodore. Economics in the Long Run: New Deal Theorists and Their Legacies, 1933–1993. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997.
Erik McKinleyEriksson/a. e.
Brain Trust, the group of close advisers to Franklin Delano Roosevelt when he was governor of New York state and during his first years as President. The name was applied to them because the members of the group were drawn from academic life. This informal advisory group on the New Deal included Columbia Univ. professors Raymond Moley, Adolf A. Berle, Jr., and Rexford G. Tugwell and expanded to include many more academicians. It soon disintegrated, but the term has remained in common usage for similar groups.
See study by R. G. Tugwell (1968).