The Hungry Years: A Narrative History of the Great Depression in America / Edition 1

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It was the worst of times and the best of times. It was an era of unprecedented crisis and a time of unprecedented courage. In a single, comprehensive volume, The Hungry Years tells the story of the Great Depression through the eyes of the people who lived it. Less concerned with the power brokers in Washington than with the daily struggles of ordinary people at the grassroots across America, it draws on little-known oral histories, memoirs, local press, and scholarly monographs to capture the voices of men and women in a time of extreme crisis. The result is a richly detailed narrative that traces the stages of the disaster chronologically without losing touch with the personal wounds it inflicted or the ways in which people responded.

Humane and compassionate, brilliantly researched, full of story and anecdote, The Hungry Years puts the reader at the very heart of the maelstrom that was the American depression.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A terrific, moving book. The Hungry Years is narrative history at its best."—Geoffrey C. Ward

"A tour de force, an epic saga brimming with unforgettable anecdotes, glorious storytelling, and sound judgment. As a Great Depression historian, Watkins is in a class of his own."—Douglas Brinkley, director, The Eisenhower Center

"A big-hearted, abundant narrative...Watkins draws compelling portraits of people oscillating between despair and hope and a political culture in the midst of historic transformation."—Henry Mayer, The Washington Post Book World

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805065060
  • Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/1/2000
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 608
  • Sales rank: 533,901
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.35 (d)

Meet the Author

The author of numerous books, T.H. Watkins was perhaps best-known as the author of Righteous Pilgrim, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Biography and a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. He died in 2000. At the time of his death he was Wallace Stegner Distinguished Professor of Western American Studies at Montana State University.

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Table of Contents

Foreword xi
Prelude: Careening Down Main Street, 1929 3
Part I In the Crucible
1. Boundaries of Havoc 37
2. The Graveyard of Hope 53
3. The Dance of Self-Reliance 73
4. "The Long Slow-Match of Destiny" 104
5. Making Ashes of Loyalty 131
Part II Holding Up the Walls
6. The Present Instrument of Their Wishes 145
7. A Scuffling Pageant of Relief 157
8. The Scream of the Eagle 184
9. "The President Wants You to Organize!" 210
10. Freedom's Fire 224
11. The Machinery of Pride 242
12. Another Form of Hunger 273
13. The Lions of Labor 295
Part III The Ploughland Curve
14. Revolt in the Heartland 339
15. Further Down the Country 363
16. !Huelga! 392
17. An Evil in the Season 421
18. A Perfect Laboratory 460
Postlude: Dismantling the Dream, 1939 489
A Note on Statistics and Money 521
Sources 523
Acknowledgments 557
Index 559
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