Freedom From Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945

Freedom From Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945

4.5 13
by David M. Kennedy
     
 

ISBN-10: 0195038347

ISBN-13: 9780195038347

Pub. Date: 06/11/1999

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

Between 1929 and 1945, two great travails were visited upon the American people: the Great Depression and World War II. This book tells the story of how Americans endured, and eventually prevailed, in the face of those unprecedented calamities.

The Depression was both a disaster and an opportunity. As David Kennedy vividly demonstrates, the economic crisis of

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Overview

Between 1929 and 1945, two great travails were visited upon the American people: the Great Depression and World War II. This book tells the story of how Americans endured, and eventually prevailed, in the face of those unprecedented calamities.

The Depression was both a disaster and an opportunity. As David Kennedy vividly demonstrates, the economic crisis of the 1930s was far more than a simple reaction to the alleged excesses of the 1920s. For more than a century before 1929, America's unbridled industrial revolution had gyrated through repeated boom and bust cycles, wastefully consuming capital and inflicting untold misery on city and countryside alike.

Freedom From Fear explores how the nation agonized over its role in World War II, how it fought the war, why the United States won, and why the consequences of victory were sometimes sweet, sometimes ironic. In a compelling narrative, Kennedy analyzes the determinants of American strategy, the painful choices faced by commanders and statesmen, and the agonies inflicted on the millions of ordinary Americans who were compelled to swallow their fears and face battle as best they could.

Both comprehensive and colorful, this account of the most convulsive period in American history, excepting only the Civil War, reveals a period that formed the crucible in which modern America was formed.

The Oxford History of the United States

The Atlantic Monthly has praised The Oxford History of the United States as "the most distinguished series in American historical scholarship," a series that "synthesizes a generation's worth of historical inquiry and knowledge into one literally state-of-the-art book. Who touches these books touches a profession."
Conceived under the general editorship of one of the leading American historians of our time, C. Vann Woodward, The Oxford History of the United States blends social, political, economic, cultural, diplomatic, and military history into coherent and vividly written narrative. Previous volumes are Robert Middlekauff's The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution; James M. McPherson's Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era (which won a Pulitzer Prize and was a New York Times Best Seller); and James T. Patterson's Grand Expectations: The United States 1945-1974 (which won a Bancroft Prize).

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195038347
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
06/11/1999
Series:
Oxford History of the United States Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
990
Sales rank:
413,266
Product dimensions:
9.56(w) x 6.56(h) x 2.40(d)
Lexile:
1460L (what's this?)

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Freedom From Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
David Kennedy's Freedom From Fear does for the Depression and World War II what James M. McPherson's Battle Cry of Freedom did for the Civil War. Freedom From Fear is a masterly account of the most tumultuous times for this country in the 20th Century. Both accounts are separate, yet somehow inexorably linked. Kennedy closely examines the depression and the agony it inflicted on the people. His history of World War II is simply superb. He handles this massive array of material with ease and the book is beautifully written. This book should be read by any who wish to understand those times.
Guest More than 1 year ago
There's not much I can say that other reviewers haven't already mentioned. I will say that Kennedy approaches history from 3 angles: (1) Historical facts; (2) Political forces influencing certain events; (3) The effects of the historical events on the people living through those times. Kennedy, in addressing point (2) for example gives a very good discussion on the causes of the Great Depression, the forces in Germany that allowed Hitler to come to power, the thinking in Japan that led to the attack on the US, the thinking of FDR in fighting the depression and an assessment of his performance. In addressing point (3), Kennedy provides rich insights into how people lived in the 1920's, the Great Depression, and WW2. He talks extensively about important socio-political issues such as women in the workforce, different races in the military, the treatment of Japanese-Americans, the feelings of Americans toward Hoover and Roosevelt, etc. It is a long book, and not all the reading is quick and smooth, but the information is there and the writing style is excellent. Allow yourself a month to get through it and absorb it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This, perhaps, was the most interesting and intense period in U.S. history. I've read numerous books and articles covering this subject matter and I believe David Kennedy's treatment of it is among the best. I concur with the reviews for the hard cover copy of this work.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a former student of Professor Kennedy's at Stanford, I confess bias. Nevertheless, David illuminates America's past like no other historian, contemporary or past. He has a unique talent for captivating readers, setting the stage and making the reader feel they are at ringside. We often forget the ordeal and emotion of the Great Depression and World War II, the Fireside Chats, Pearl Harbor, D-Day, Roosevelt and Hiroshima. Kennedy has painstakingly researched this book, inserting commentaries from those who made history plus his own penetrating insights. You will find balance and fairness here, not partisan rhetoric or pedantry. Hoover was in many respects ahead of his time (although some accuse Kennedy wrongfully of a Stanford bias), McArthur knew how to stroke the PR machinery, Roosevelt was a shrewd politician, Churchill was a master manipulator, Stalin a man whose patience ran thin waiting for a promised Second Front. Other great portraits include John L. Lewis, Huey Long, Father Coughlin, General Patton ... what a great read! Buy this book!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was at its best when explaining the ecomomic, industrial, and political reasons for the Depression, and the policies that led up to war in the Pacific. The author also did a good job of explaining what life was like for the poor before the Depression and how it had changed little since Reconstruction. The rest of the book was average, in my opinion. The details of FDR's new deal and the various agencies created became a jumble of acronyms that lost meaning. His discussion of WWII - especially in Europe - added very little new information. The title of the book was also mis-leading. I expected more insight into the lives of everyday Americans and soldiers. There was far too little of that and far too much standard Depression and WWII historical information in the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book not only is wonderful in its content but the presentation of words by Kennedy is spectacular. For example he describes Truman as a man as staight forward as a sentence without a comma. Read this book and you will be a long way towards being an expert on this most spectacular period in our country's history.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found this book enthralling, even tho I have read heaps on the subjects covered by it. The treatment of the New Deal is full of things I had not known much about, such as the genesis of Social Security. The account of the war rivals what I have always thought the best one volume history thereof, Robert Leckie's Delivered From Evil: The Saga of World War II.