Slaves of the Depression: Workers' Letters about Life on the Job

Slaves of the Depression: Workers' Letters about Life on the Job

by Gerald E. Markowitz

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal - Library Journal
This is not another oral history of the Great Depression. Instead, using Robert McElvaine's appro a ch in Down and Out in the Great Depression ( LJ 2/15/83), the editors examined thousands of letters written to government officials and found them a valuable source of evidence. However, here the focus is on those who kept their jobs rather than on the unemployed. The recurring themes of risky working conditions and fear of unemployment are seen in many of the letters. Less convincing is the editors' interpretationthat many workers were greatly alienated from the economic system. The extraordinary faith in FDR comes through clearly, however. Not as engaging as McElvaine's book, but valuable for a different perspective on the Depression. Charles K. Piehl, Associate Dean, Arts and Humanities, Mankato State Univ., Minn.

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Cornell University Press
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