The Great Depression of the 1930s turned the lives of ordinary Americans upside down, leaving an indelible mark on the nation's psyche. The Great Depression: America in the 1930s is award-winning historian T. H. Watkins's lively political, economic, and cultural account of this age of hardship and hope. This companion volume to the public ...Read MoreThe Great Depression of the 1930s turned the lives of ordinary Americans upside down, leaving an indelible mark on the nation's psyche. The Great Depression: America in the 1930s is award-winning historian T. H. Watkins's lively political, economic, and cultural account of this age of hardship and hope. This companion volume to the public television series The Great Depression tells the story of a decade of disaster, challenge, and change. It begins with the most devastating economic crash in modern history and recounts an epic narrative of human suffering, social turmoil, and a political revolution that transformed the outline of American life and government - from unprecedented federal programs such as Social Security, the Civilian Conservation Corps, and massive public works projects to local grass-roots movements whose energies helped forge a new relationship between citizens and their government, citizens and their presidents. During this great era a new kind of hope was born, one that would not only help lead the way out of the despair of the depression but would live on to inspire postwar crusades for civil rights, women's rights, environmentalism, and other social movements. Illustrated with more than 150 photographs, documents, and posters - many of them published here for the first time - The Great Depression stands as the essential chronicle of a decade that shaped America's consciousness and character forever in an age not unlike our own.Read Less
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A good overview of the economy, social problems and politics of the '30s. It might change some concepts of the FDR administration. Things continued to look grim untill the outbreak of WWII. More than my father taught me. I recommend this book along with "the Bonus Army".
May 17, 2007
I was expecting a more pictorial history and therefor I was disapointed with the book. The author spent a great deal of time in his reserch but I was not impressed.
Publishers Weekly, 1993-08-09 The Great Depression, as Watkins shows, was a scarring experience that forever changed the United States, instilling ubiquitous fear of job loss while also creating an activist federal government inextricably involved in the everyday life of ordinary Americans. This type of government, he adds, is precisely what most of us want. Augmented with reproductions of news clips, documentary stills and period photographs in both black-and-white and color, this lively, involving chronicle--companion to a PBS series--begins with the ``thoroughly repressive'' 1920s, then moves on to the Stock Market crash, the ascendancy of organized labor, mass migrations caused by drought, persistent racism within New Deal programs, the powerlessness of agricultural labor even as industrial unions got stronger, and the ugly domestic rise in intolerance and political confusion as Europe sank into a totalitarian quagmire. Watkins, biographer of New Dealer Harold Ickes, admires Franklin Roosevelt but calls him a ``most reluctant dragon'' who neither conceived nor vigorously pushed through Congress two of his administration's major pieces of legislation, Social Security and comprehensive labor reform. (Oct.)
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