The Depression and New Deal: A History in Documents

The Depression and New Deal: A History in Documents

by Robert S. McElvaine
     
 

The Depression and New Deal is a collection of primary sources documenting American life during the longest and deepest economic collapse in American history. From the prosperity and rampant consumerism of the 1920s, the book moves forward to cover the double shock of the stock market crash and dust bowl and then on to the recovery efforts of Roosevelt's New Deal.

Overview

The Depression and New Deal is a collection of primary sources documenting American life during the longest and deepest economic collapse in American history. From the prosperity and rampant consumerism of the 1920s, the book moves forward to cover the double shock of the stock market crash and dust bowl and then on to the recovery efforts of Roosevelt's New Deal. Some of the most revealing testaments to the times-including songs by Woody Guthrie, articles from sources as diverse as Fortune magazine and the communist periodical New Masses, murals and posters sponsored by the Works Progress Administration, excerpts from literary classics such as The Grapes of Wrath and selections from Eleanor Roosevelt's "My Day" column-have been assembled to provide a well-rounded portrait of the age.

The battle among conflicting political and economic forces is brought to life with political cartoons, Roosevelt's "Forgotten Man" radio address and first inaugural address, Supreme Court decisions, newspaper editorials, text from the National Labor Relations Act, and many other documents. Some of the most compelling elements of this history record the impact of the depression on ordinary people. The experiences of Americans of both sexes, all ages, and various racial and ethnic groups are explored through documents such as Farm Security Administration photographs, interviews, letters to the Roosevelts, and the memoirs of a "southern white girl." A special section of Hollywood film stills demonstrates how the changing values of the nation were reflected in popular culture. Renowned historian Robert McElvaine provides expert commentary linking the documents into a fascinating and seamless narrative.

Textbooks may interpret history, but the books in the Pages from History series are history. Each title, compiled and edited by a prominent historian, is a collection of primary sources relating to a particular topic of historical significance. Documentary evidence including news articles, government documents, memoirs, letters, diaries, fiction, photographs, and facsimiles allows history to speak for itself and turns every reader into a historian. Headnotes, extended captions, sidebars, and introductory essays provide the essential context that frames the documents. All the books are amply illustrated and each includes a documentary picture essay, chronology, further reading, source notes, and index.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The latest volume in the excellent Oxford University Press Pages from History series does an admirable job of communicating the profound emotional and psychological impact of the Great Depression on the collective psyche of the American people.... Utilizing a wealth of primary sources, McElvaine charts the course of the Depression, permitting the documents he has gathered to tell the bulk of the story....A vivid reconstruction of a seminal era that will allow readers to become personally involved in the Depression experience."—Booklist

"Every aspect of the economic collapse is portrayed, including breadlines, riding the rails, the ban panic, the dust bowl....The important voices are here, too.... A balanced, inclusive picture of the period through the senses of the people who lived it."—School Library Journal

"A strong collection of primary source materials.... Government documents, articles, speeches, letters, memoirs, song lyrics, cartoons, photographs, and posters are annotated by a specialist in this period."—Horn Book Guide

"Engaging, insightful, and provocative....What really sets this work above the others is the careful selection of incredibly interesting documents accompanied by straightforward, astute explanations of their significance."—OAH Magazine of History

"Almost all history teachers believe that the best way for students to 'catch' history is to read prime sources, not just textbook summaries. [This] fulfills that purpose superbly!The author's commentaryis readable, helpful, and connects the documents well.I'd buy the whole set for middle or high school libraries."—Library Materials Guide

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195104936
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
02/28/2000
Series:
Pages from History Series
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
10.00(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Robert McElvaine is Professor at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. His previous works include Down and Out in the Great Depression: Letters from the 'Forgotten Man' (UNC Press, 1983) and The Great Depression: America, 1929-41 (Times Books, 1994)

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