The 1930s

Overview

Most historical studies bury us in wars and politics, paying scant attention to the everyday effects of pop culture. Welcome to America's other history—the arts, activities, common items, and popular opinions that profoundly impacted our national way of life. The twelve narrative chapters in this volume provide a textured look at everyday life, youth, and the many different sides of American culture during the 1930s. Additional resources include a cost comparison of common goods and services, a timeline of ...

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Overview

Most historical studies bury us in wars and politics, paying scant attention to the everyday effects of pop culture. Welcome to America's other history—the arts, activities, common items, and popular opinions that profoundly impacted our national way of life. The twelve narrative chapters in this volume provide a textured look at everyday life, youth, and the many different sides of American culture during the 1930s. Additional resources include a cost comparison of common goods and services, a timeline of important events, notes arranged by chapter, an extensive bibliography for further reading, and a subject index.

The dark cloud of the Depression shadowed most Americans' lives during the 1930s. Books, movies, songs, and stories of the 1930s gave Americans something to hope for by depicting a world of luxury and money. Major figures of the age included Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Irving Berlin, Amelia Earhart, Duke Ellington, the Marx Brothers, Margaret Mitchell, Cole Porter, Joe Louis, Babe Ruth, Shirley Temple, and Frank Lloyd Wright. Innovations in technology and travel hinted at a Utopian society just off the horizon, group sports and activities gave the unemployed masses ways to spend their days, and a powerful new demographic—the American teenager—suddenly found itself courted by advertisers and entertainers.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Divided into 12 chapters, this broad-ranging overview highlights the decade's major cultural trends and social customs as well as the contributions of many individuals. There's very little information about New Deal politics, schools, religion, and nativism, all of which are covered more thoroughly in the more useful entry in the "Daily Life in the United States" series (Greenwood). Also, the chapter dealing with literature unexplainably omits Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Richard Wright. The book includes a short time line and an eye-opening four-page summary noting the cost of various products, along with a formula to translate these costs into current economic values. Small black-and-white documentary photos from FDR's Farm Security Administration appear throughout. A 24-page bibliography of primary and secondary sources will provide students with a head start for further research. However, because of its narrative chapter format, some libraries may prefer to circulate this title.-Jack Forman, Mesa College Library, San Diego Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313316029
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/1/2002
  • Series: American Popular Culture Through History Series
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 1,005,574
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

WILLIAM H. YOUNG is a freelance writer and independent scholar. He has recently retired from teaching English, American Studies, and popular culture at Lynchburg College in Virginia for 36 years. Young has published books and articles on various subjects of popular culture.

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Table of Contents

Series Foreword
Introduction
Timeline of Popular Cultural Events
Pt. I Life and Youth During the 1930s 1
1 Everyday America 3
2 World of Youth 17
Pt. II Popular Culture of the 1930s 35
3 Advertising 37
4 Architecture and Design 57
5 Fashion 81
6 Food and Drink 95
7 Leisure Activities 119
8 Literature 147
9 Music 169
10 Performing Arts 185
11 Travel and Recreation 231
12 Visual Arts 257
Cost of Products 279
Notes 283
Further Reading 293
Index 317
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