BOOKS LISTED
ALPHABETICALLY
BY AUTHOR OR
MAIN SUBJECT

E ~ M


A ~ D

E ~ M

N ~ Z





Search this site powered by FreeFind













Evans, Walker, and James Agee, LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS MEN. TRADE PAPERBACK. Mariner Books, 416 pages.
~~~ "Published nearly sixty years ago, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men stands as an undisputed American masterpiece, taking its place alongside works by Henry David Thoreau, Herman Melville, and Walt Whitman. In a stunning blend of prose and images, this classic offers at once an unforgettable portrait of three tenant families in the Deep South and a larger meditation on human dignity and the American soul.
~~~ In the summer of 1936, James Agee and Walker Evans set out on assignment for Fortune magazine to explore the daily lives of sharecroppers in the South. There they lived with three different families for a month; the result of their stay was an extraordinary collaboration, an unsparing record of place, of the people who shaped the land, and of the rhythm of their lives. Upon its first book publication in 1941, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men was called intensely moving, unrelentingly honest. It described a mode of life -- and rural poverty -- that was unthinkably remote and tragic to most Americans, and yet for Agee and Evans, only extreme realism could serve to make the world fully aware of such circumstances. Today it stands as a poetic tract for its time, a haunting search for the human and religious meaning in the lives of true Southern heroes: in their waking, sleeping, eating; their work; their houses and children; and their endurance.
~~~ With an elegant design and a sixty-four-page photographic prologue of Evans's stunning images, reproduced from archival negatives, the new edition introduces the legendary author and photographer to a new generation. Both an invaluable part of the American heritage and a graceful tribute to the vibrant souls whose stories live in these pages, this book has profoundly changed our culture and our consciousness -- and will continue to inspire for generations to come."

$15.00



Evans, Walker, and Cynthia Rylant, SOMETHING PERMANENT. NEW copy, hardcover. (Harcourt).
~~~ The photographs of Walker Evans tell stories of ordinary people living in America in the extraordinary time of the Great Depression. Cynthia Rylant's poetry about the photographs offers a new voice in the telling, celebrating the beauty of life lived in extreme circumstances. (Ages 12+).

$18.00

[Evans] James Mellow, WALKER EVANS. NEW copy, TRADE PAPERBACK. Basic Books, 654 pages. Introduction by Hilton Kramer.
~~~ "The Depression Era photographs of Alabama share-croppers by Walker Evans remain among the most indelible and iconic images in the American consciousness. Indeed, the entire oeuvre of this great photographer is one of the most influential bodies of photographic work in this century. As James Mellow's biography makes clear, however, Walker Evans was not the propagandist for social causes he was presumed to be. He was, instead, a fastidious observer of the true nature of things, or, as he himself has said, of 'things as they are.' His instinctive aversion to 'artiness' led him to documenting the dusty particulars of American life, its back roads and rundown mill towns, the roadside stands, torn movie posters and advertisements for departed minstrel shows. He developed a peculiarly American vernacular that made his photographs almost immediately recognizable. With unrestricted access to all of Evans's diaries, letters, work logs and contact sheets, as well as to the diaries of Lincoln Kirstein, James R. Mellow has written both a major biography of a seminal American artist."

$22.50













Svobida, Lawrence, FARMING THE DUST BOWL: A First-Hand Account from Kansas. NEW copy, TRADE PAPERBACK. University Press of Kansas, 2000. 43 photographs, 256 pages.
~~~ "This is a powerful original account of one man's efforts to raise wheat on his farm in Meade County, Kansas, during the 1930s. Lawrence Svobida tells of farmers "fighting in the front-line trenches, putting in crop after crop, year after year, only to see each crop in turn destroyed by the elements." Although not a writer by trade, Svobida undertook to record what he saw and experienced "to help the reader to understand what is taking place in the Great Plains region, and how serious it is." He wrote of the need for better farming methods--the only way, he felt, the destruction could be halted or confined. Well before the principles of an ecological movement were widely embraced, Svobida urged a public acceptance of the "sovereign rights of the states and the nation to regulate the use of land by owners . . .so that it may be conserved as a national resource." This graphic account of farm life in the Dust Bowl--perhaps the only autobiographical record of Dust Bowl agriculture in existence--was first published in 1941. This new edition contains an introduction by the historian R. Douglas Hurt that not only objectively sets the scene during and after the Dust bowl, but also places the book properly in the growing body of contemporary literature on agriculture and land use. The volume is an important contribution to American agricultural history in general, and the the history of the Depression and of the Great Plains in particular."

$9.95














Ellis, Edward Robb, A NATION IN TORMENT: The Great American Depression, 1929--1939. VG/VG. Minor creasing & chipping to jacket. Coward-McCann, 1970. Bibliography, index, 576 pages.
~~~ "Here is a book which bids to become the definitive popular history of the Great American Depression. In graphic and personal terms it chronicles the tragic, trial-filled decade that profoundly altered the fabric of our national life -- the decade that sounded the death knell of laissez-faire capitalism and saw the birth of sweeping social reform, as the government under the leadership of FDR shouldered its responsibility for the suffering people. And the people is what this book is all about. What happened to Americans during the Depression: the little guys and the big shots -- bankers, industrialists and farmers, Harvard scrubwomen, foolish stockholders, and the ragged veterans who swelled the ranks of the Bonus Army. How did they feel? What did they do to survive? What were the scars they were to bear? What, in essence, was the impact of the Depression on their minds, bodies, and spirits? A Nation in Torment vividly evokes all the terrible hardships and the valiant struggles of those desperate years: the day Wall Street laid its gigantic egg and the collaps of the banks, the plague of the Hoovervilles, the savage droughts that blighted the land and transformed the nation's rich breadbasket into a vast Dust Bowl, sparking the migration of despair. the sights, sounds, and suffering of an entire era are rendered with such extraordinary immediacy that the reader cannot help feeling that he has been witness to a nation's torment and to the long and hazardous trip back to economic stability. A timely book, entirely relevant to today's world, A Nation in Torment fulfills the promise of Mr Ellis' previous book, The Epic of New York City, and establishes him as one of the country's major popular historians."
~~~ Originally published at $10, now OUT OF PRINT.

$45.00


Allen, Frederick Lewis, SINCE YESTERDAY: The 1930s in America, September 3, 1929 -- September 3, 1939. VG. Used TRADE PAPERBACK. Harper & Row (Perennial Library), 1972. (Originally published 1939). Photographs, sources, index, 362 pages.
~~~ "Mr Allen's shining service is to recall the things that have blurred equally with those that have stuck in memory. No one else does this sort of thing so well ... One would predict for this book a sound success and long survival. Its basic merits are honesty, good nature, detachment without indifference, a keen eye for survival in news values. Somehow it conveys the impression of the American people telling their own story in autobiographical form." ~~ New York Times.

$15.00


Goldston, Robert, THE GREAT DEPRESSION: The United States in the Thirties VG/VG. Minor chipping & small tears to jacket. Bobbs-Merrill Company1968, First Edition, publisher's review slip laid in. Photographs, drawings, bibliography, index, 218 pages.
~~~ "As is true of his carlier works in this continuing series on contemporary issues, Roert Goldston in The Great Depression has again synthesized with remarkable clarity the complex elements -- economic, political and social -- which went into the making of the economic collapse that plagued the nation in the thirties. The facts are brutal, the times chilling. The book opens with a prologue which evokes the heady atmosphere of the twenties. In the background, behind the high kicks and high living, lurk the fear and discontent which will lead to the depression. In vivid prose, the drama which follows comes alive: the Crash, the swelling ranks of unemployed, the foreclosures and breadlines and relief agencies without funds, then the lift in the nation's morale provided by the election of FDR and the emergence of the New Deal. Goildston's gripping account continues, with Roosevelt's dramatic reforms, the recession which appeared to threaten the nation again, the dust storms that ruined hundreds of thousands of farmers and drove cattle and sheep mad with thirst, on through new emergency measures, the rise of labor and, finally, World War II, which wrote an end to the Great Depression. Some 60 carefully selected photographs and 15 handsome portraits of outstanding figures of the era by Donald Carrick for a 'visual essay'."
~~~ Originally published at $4.95, now OUT OF PRINT.

$35.00


Garraty, John A., THE GREAT DEPRESSION: An Inquiry into the Causes, Course, and Consequences of the Worldwide Depression of the Nineteen-Thirties, as Seen by Contemporaries and in the Light of History. NEW copy, Hardcover with dust jacket. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Publishers, 1986. First Edition. Illustrations, notes, index, 292 pages.
~~~ From Publishers Weekly: "Unable to foresee, prevent, appraise correctly or reverse plunging property values, soaring unemployment and stagnant business conditions of the Great Depression, economists have been trying to sort it all out ever since. A definitive study is attempted here, tracing 20th century social, industrial, financial and political forces. Garraty, Columbia University historian, distills contemporary writings of the 1930s, and in a facile and informative, if less than stirring, narrative he analyzes the interrelated passage of various nations through deflation, inflation, farm price collapse, unemployment, factory closings, relief programs and public works. He decries failure of vitally needed international cooperation and pervasive official fear of national deficits. Surprises in retrospect: Hitler and Roosevelt in their early recovery plans had much in common and Britain actually did achieve recovery in the 1930s, though it went unnoticed. Garraty's opus is thoughtful and well organized but something of the Depression's sui generis mystery remains."
~~~ From Library Journal: "Garraty succeeds marvelously in doing what few recent writers on the Depression have even attempted: treating the economic crisis of the Thirties as a worldwide event. With this approach, he brings genuinely new insight to the topic. By examining how major Western nations suffered through and reacted to the Depression, he broadens our knowledge of the world in that era. Moreover, the effective comparison and contrast with the United States helps us understand our own experience better. Garraty successfully conveys both the human elements and policy issues. While one wishes he had included more on the impact of the Depression on the non-Western and underdeveloped world, that is a minor point, for overall this is a superb, readable book."
Originally published at $17.95, now OUT OF PRINT.

$35.00

McElvaine, Robert S., DOWN AND OUT IN THE THE GREAT DEPRESSION: Letters from the Forgotten Man. VG. trade PAPERBACK. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1983). Photographs, notes, sources, index, 251 pages.
~~~ Down and Out in the Great Depression is a moving, revealing collection of letters by the forgotten men, women, and children who suffered through one of the greatest periods of hardship in American history. Sifting through some 15,000 letters from government and private sources, Robert McElvaine has culled nearly 200 communications that best show the problems, thoughts, and emotions of ordinary people during this time.
~~~ Unlike views of Depression life "from the bottom up" that rely on recollections recorded several decades later, this book captures the daily anguish of people during the thirties. It puts the reader in direct contact with Depression victims, evoking a feeling of what it was like to live through this disaster.
~~~ Following Franklin D. Roosevelt's inauguration, both the number of letters received by the White House and the percentage of them coming from the poor were unprecedented. The average number of daily communications jumped to between 5,000 and 8,000, a trend that continued throughout the Rosevelt administration. The White House staff for answering such letters—most of which were directed to FDR, Eleanor Roosevelt, or Harry Hopkins—quickly grew from one person to fifty.
~~~ Mainly because of his radio talks, many felt they knew the president personally and could confide in him. They viewed the Roosevelts as parent figures, offering solace, help, and protection. Roosevelt himself valued the letters, perceiving them as a way to gauge public sentiment. The writers came from a number of different groups—middle-class people, blacks, rural residents, the elderly, and children. Their letters display emotional reactions to the Depression—despair,cynicism, and anger—and attitudes toward relief.
~~~ In his extensive introduction, McElvaine sets the stage for the letters, discussing their significance and some of the themes that emerge from them. By preserving their original spelling, syntax, grammar, and capitalization, he conveys their full flavor.
~~~ The Depression was far more than an economic collapse. It was the major personal event in the lives of tens of millions of Americans. McElvaine shows that, contrary to popular belief, many sufferers were not passive victims of history. Rather, he says, they were "also actors and, to an extent, playwrights, producers, and directors as well," taking an active role in trying to deal with their plight and solve their problems.
~~~ This edition OUT OF PRINT.

$20.00

McElvaine, Robert S., THE GREAT DEPRESSION: America, 1929-1941. VG/VG. Jacket in mylar. Times Books, 1984. First Edition. Photographs, notes, bibliography, index, 402 pages.
~~~ "A unique account of the Great Depression – the fateful epoch, 1929 to 1941 – this is the first comprehensive one-volume popular work on the entire era. Covering the crucial events leading up to the Depression as well as the critically important years following it, Robert McElvaine examines the political and economic history and also provides cultural and social perspectives on these decades. ~~~ Making use of much new material that has come to light, McElvaine gives a fresh, convincing analysis of the causes of the Depression, and of how it created a sea change in American values with a new sense of government's role – a role of direct responsibility for society's victims. It was an unquestionable rebuke of the laissez-faire of the twenties. Poverty and misery were offset by breakthroughs in public policy and the arts. ~~~ McElvaine has read some 18,000 letters from ordinary citizens of the time. He has studied Depression-era films and writes fascinating analyses of them. He has written incisive portraits of all the key personalities of the period – Herbert Hoover, Franklin Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt, Governor Floyd Olson of Minnesota, Phil and Robert La Follette, Father Coughlin, Huey Long, Upton Sinclair, John L. Lewis. He has recreated a poignant, exciting, crucially important era. ~~~ Setting the Great Depression in the context of American development, McElvaine examines previous depressions, the preceding age of prosperity in the twenties, and the effects of the Depression experience on the American character and values in the years since 1941."
~~~ Originally published at $19.95, this hardcover edition now OUT OF PRINT.

$35.00

Kennedy, David M, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE IN THE GREAT DEPRESSION. (Freedom from Fear, Part 1). NEW copy, TRADE PAPERBACK. Oxford University Press, 2001. 992 pages.
~~~ "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."
~~~ From the Minneapolis Star Tribune : "David Kennedy's sweeping, magisterial retelling of America's story during the Depression and World War II, is a riveting, blisteringly good read....Beyond his analytical prowess, Kennedy's writing style brings to mind Mark Twain's one-liner: The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lighting and a lightning bug. Kennedy invariably picks the right word. It's the fastest 900 pages one can imagine reading."

$22.50


Watkins, T.H., THE HUNGRY YEARS: A Narrative History of the Great Depression in America. NEW copy, Hardcover. St. Martin's Press, 1999; 455 pages.
~~~ From Kirkus Reviews: "Timing this retrospective meditation for the 70th anniversary of the 1929 stock market crash, critically acclaimed historian Watkins (Montana State Univ.; The Great Depression, 1993, etc.) takes a long, painstaking look at the 20th century's transformative economic event. The Depression changed America forever, Watkins makes clear: from the sunny, business-of-America-is-business prosperity engine of the 1920s, the nation suddenly transmogrified into a land of hoboes, itinerant industrial and farm laborers, and polarized masses of workers and industrialists. The nation, caught up in malign economic forces beyond the grasp of market theoreticians, seemed to many to be on the brink of revolution. In retrospect, the US was apparently spared this fate by some adventitious events, especially by the election of Franklin Roosevelt and the uplifting psychological effect of the sometimes absurd but often inspired policies of his New Deal. While not neglecting the lasting impact of the New Deal, Watkins's focus here is on portraying the experience of ordinary Americans during the Depression. After sketching the crisis from the 1929 crash through the eve of the New Deal in chronological fashion, Watkins takes an anecdotal approach in depicting the explosive brew of radicalism, hope, despair, and class war that ignited violence in both rural and urban areas. Watkins details the solutions Americans turned to with both despair and optimism: the New Deal on the one hand, which focused on putting America back to work and reigniting hope through welfare and relief, and the nascent labor movement, infused as it was with radical and communist elements. Watkins also narrates the incrediblesuffering of migrant workers, Okies, and sharecroppers in the hell that had become rural America. Watkins ends with a look forward from 1939, as the nation limped into economic recovery and slowly came to grips with inequalities at home and a crisis abroad that would finally transform America. A superb telling of one of modern US history's most painful chapters."
~~~ Originally in print at $19.95, now OUT OF PRINT.

$25.00



Gup, Ted, A SECRET GIFT: How One Man's Kindness-- and a Trove of Letters-- Revealed the Hidden History of the Great Depression. NEW copy, hardcover with dust jacket. (Penguin, 2010). Photographs, 365 pages.
~~~ Shortly before Christmas 1933 in Depression-scarred Canton, Ohio, a small newspaper has offered cash gifts to 75 families in distress. Readers were asked to send letters describing their hardships to a benefactor calling himself Mr. B. Virdot. In reality, Virdot was actually Sam Stone, the author's grandfather. Based on the letters he found 75 years later, Gup reveals an inspiring account of America at its worst, and Americans at their best.

$25.95










Guthrie, Woody. HOUSE OF EARTH. NEW copy, hardcover with dust jacket. Harper Collins, 2012. Fiction. 234 pages.
~~~ Finished in 1947 and lost to readers until now, this is Woody Guthrie's only fully realized novel--a powerful portrait of Dust Bowl America, filled with the homespun lyricism and authenticity that have made his songs a part of our national consciousness.

$26.00




[Guthrie] Joe Klein, WOODY GUTHRIE: A Life. NEW copy, TRADE PAPERBACK. Dell Publishing, 1999. 496 pages.
~~~ "Few artists have captured the American experience of their as wholly as folk legend Woody Guthrie. Singer, songwriter, and political activist, Guthrie drew a lifetime of inspiration from his roots on the Oklahoma frontier in the years before the Great Depression. His music—scathingly funny songs and poignant folk ballads—made heard the unsung life of field hands, migrant workers, and union organizers, and show it worthy of tribute. Though his career was tragically cut short by the onset of a degenerative disease that ravaged his body and mind, the legacy of his life and music had already made him an American cultural icon, and has resounded with every generation of musician and music lover since. In this definitive biography, Joe Klein, renowned journalist and author of the bestselling novel Primary Colors, creates an unforgettable portrait of a man as gifted, restless, and complicated as the American landscape he came from."

$16.00








Smith, Gene, THE SHATTERED DREAM: Herbert Hoover and the Great Depression. VG/VG--. Some minor flaws to jacket. Book Club Edition (William Morrow, 1970). Photographs, source notes, index, 278 pages.
~~~ "This is an epic account of a fallen hero and a tragic time in American history: the ordeal of Herbert Clark Hoover and the American people during the Depression. But this is more than the story of Hoover, once revered and beloved by his countrymen, who in 1929 considered him the most qualified man ever to become President. The Shattered Dream also describes that great national watershed: the demise of the American dream of rugged individualism symbolized by the President himself. It is the story, too, of the man who came to personify the new American dream, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and his first climactic Presidential campaign. It is a tale of giants then and younger men who later were to make their mark: Majors Dwight D. Eisenhower and George Patton, Chief of Staff Douglas MacArthur, Calvin Coolidge, Andrew Mellon, Al Smith, Huey Long and Louis Howe. And finally it is a remarkable evocation of one of the great American crises, the Great Depression."

$25.00












Bernstein, Irving, A CARING SOCIETY: The New Deal, the Worker, and the Great Depression -- A History of the American Worker, 1933-1941. VG/VG. Houghton Mifflin, 1985. Photographs, tables, notes index, 338 pages.
~~~ "This brilliant book combines social history, labor history, and a history of the New Deal. A panoramic view of those 'Grapes of Wrath' days, it makes clear how and why we created welfare, social security, unemployment insurance, and the rest of the safe guards we fight over so bitterly today. ~~~ In a fascinating tapestry of voices and events, Bernstein inteweaves the thoughts of migrant workers and cabinet officers, laborers and policy makers, to give us the New Deal years from a new perspective. We see the development of the welfare safeguards against the raw suffering and despair that brought them about. ~~~ A living social history of the Depression years, this important book focuses on the tragic impact of the Great Depression on people throughout the nation, and traces the creation of 'the caring society' to cope with social chaos."

$30.00










[Lange] Pierre Borhan, DOROTHEA LANGE: The Heart and Mind of a Photographer. NEW copy, Oversized hardcover. Bulfinch Press, 264 pages.
~~~ "Dorothea Lange's images serve as witness to the plight of hundreds of thousands of Americans who migrated westward in search of work, food, and money during the Great Depression. Her iconic photography, including several previously unpublished images from her archive at the Oakland Museum of California, is studied here with a depth and scope unavailable in any other volume. Dorothea Lange: The Heart and Mind of a Photographer puts into perspective a life devoted to humanity and sheds new light on a body of work that broadened the horizons of photography even as it served a public purpose. Essays and recollections by Pierre Borhan, A. D. Coleman, Ralph Gibson, and Sam Stourdze accompany the photographs."

$75.00












Murkoff, Bruce, WATERBORNE: A Novel. NEW copy, Hardcover. Alfred A. Knopf, 397 pages.
~~~ "Waterborne is set in the Great Depression, and culminates at the Boulder Dam: the greatest engineering project of its time, and a beacon of hope capable of altering the course of society. The nation, crippled by poverty and despair, clearly needs a transformation, and the same is true of the people. Filius Poe grew up with everything, then lost nearly all of it. Lew Beck felt deprived of everything, and now means to have his revenge. Lena McCardell, who thought she had exactly what she wanted, discovers almost overnight that only by taking her son and joining the multitude already on the road will she have the chance of a fresh start and a brighter future. From various directions and distances, these three are inevitably drawn to this vast construction site in the Nevada desert, along with the stories of their families, their friends and their fellow travelers - the novel itself developing the force of a mighty river, then channeling and harnessing its prodigious energy. With generous understanding and absolute authority, Bruce Murkoff captures the conflicting imperatives of these vivid lives as well as the heart and breadth of the country through which they move, and whose destiny they help shape."

$15.95


Steinbeck, John, THE GRAPES OF WRATH. NEW copy, TRADE PAPERBACK. Penguin Books (Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century), 455 pages.
~~~ "One of the greatest and most socially significant novels of the twentieth century, Steinbeck's controversial masterpiece indelibly captured America during the Great Depression through the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads. Intensely human yet majestic in its scale and moral vision, tragic but ultimately stirring in its insistence on human dignity, The Grapes of Wrath (1939) is not only a landmark American novel, but it is as well an extraordinary moment in the history of our nation's conscience."

$15.00


Steinbeck, John, THE GRAPES OF WRATH. NEW copy, TRADE PAPERBACK. Penguin Books (Steinbeck Centennial Edition), 455 pages.
~~~ "John Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize-winning epic of the Great Depression follows the western movement of one family and a nation in search of work and human dignity."

$15.00

Swados, Harvey (ed), THE AMERICAN WRITER and THE GREAT DEPRESSION. VG/VG. Bobbs-Merrill Company (The American Heritage Series), 1966, First Printing. Photographs, index, 521 pages.
~~~ " '...junk, with still beating arteries, huddled in doorways...' These haunting words of Nathan Asch describe the human flotsam of despair -- the embodiment of the hopelessness and fear that clutched the nation by the throat during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Harvey Swados, editor of The Ameerican Writer and the Great Depression, is fully aware of the futility of explaining what life was like then to those 'who have grown up hearing not even the knock [of hunger] but only the brassy klaxon, the horn of plenty.' He argues, however, in his penetrating introduction that contemporary as well as later critical appraisals of the period underrate the triumphant literary achievements of the era. 'What united writers of diverse origins and temperaments' of this time, Swados says, 'was the passion of their response and their determination to bring to imaginative life the terror and the glory of their conuntrymen as they struggled to cope with the economic and social darkness that had desceended upon them.' In his selections, from Agee to Dos Passos, from Farrell to Wilson, and many others, the editor attempts to present as wide a social spectrum as possible, so that the reader may have both an historically balanced account of the Depression and a valid cross section of good writing from this tragic decade."
~~~ Originally published at $7.50, now OUT OF PRINT.

$35.00



click to enlarge Wilder, Thornton, HEAVEN'S MY DESTINATION. NEW copy, trade PAPERBACK. (HarperCollins Perennial).
~~~ Meet George Marvin Brush - Don Quixote come to Main Street in the Great Depression, and one of Thornton Wilder's most memorable characters. George Brush, a traveling textbook salesman, is a fervent religious convert who is determined to lead a good life. With sad and sometimes hilarious consequences, his travels take him through smoking cars, bawdy houses, banks, and campgrounds from Texas to Illinois - and into the soul of America itself.

$16.00

Wright, Barbara, PLAIN LANGUAGE. NEW copy, TRADE PAPERBACK. FICTION. Touchstone Books, 341 pages.
~~~ "Virginia Mendenhall, a Quaker from North Carolina, is thirty-three years old when she travels to the arid plains of eastern Colorado in the mid-1930s to marry Alfred Bowen, ten years her senior. They have met only twice and have come to love each other through letters. Now, on an isolated ranch in the Dust Bowl, they must adjust to the harsh ranching life and the dangers of an untamed landscape, as well as the differences between them."

$13.00


Martin-Perdue, NJ & CL Perdue. TALK ABOUT TROUBLE: A New Deal Portrait of Virginians in the Great Depression NEW copy, trade paperback. (University of North Carolina Press, 1996). 493 pp.
~~~~ Presents 61 engrossing Writer's Project life histories of Virginia men and women, both black and white, representing a cross-section of ages, occupations, experiences, and class backgrounds, linked together by a historical narrative and vintage photographs. Well illustrated.

$35.00



McDannell, Colleen, PICTURING FAITH: Photography and the Great Depression, 1929--1939. NEW copy, hardcover with dust jacket. (Yale University Press, 2004). 336 pages.
~~~ In the midst of the Great Depression, the American government initiated one of the most ambitious national photographic projects ever undertaken. Such photographers as Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, and Gordon Parks—all then virtually unknown—were commissioned to chronicle in pictures the economic struggle and social dislocation of the Depression era. They explored every facet of rural life in an effort to document the troubles, as well as the spirit, of the nation. ~~~~~ Fanning out across the country, these photographers captured a nation alive with religious faith— from Dust Bowl migrants singing hymns to orthodox Jews praying in rural Connecticut. In Picturing Faith, the preeminent historian of religion Colleen McDannell recounts the h istory of this extraordinary project, telling the stories of the men and women who participated in it and exploring these little-known images of America. ~~~~~ Lavishly illustrated, Picturing Faith teases out the various and conflicting ways that these photographers portrayed American religion and enhances our understanding of how religion was practiced during this critical period of American history.

$48.00











Hynes, Samuel., THE GROWING SEASONS: An American Boyhood Before the War. NEW copy, TRADE PAPERBACK. Penguin Books, 291 pages.
~~~ "Looking back with a clear-eyed, unsentimental gaze, Hynes describes his Midwestern boyhood during the lean times of the Great Depression. With eloquence and humor Hynes recaptures the dreams, adventures, sins, and triumphs of his American boyhood in the years of hardship and innocence before the war."

$13.95













Donahue, Jesse C. & Erik K. Trump. AMERICAN ZOOS DURING THE DEPRESSION: A New Deal for Animals. NEW copy, trade PAPERBACK. (McFarland, 2010). 14 photos, notes, bibliography, index, 235 pp.
~~~~ American zoos flourished during the Great Depression, thanks to federal programs that enabled local governments to build new zoological parks, complete finished ones, and remodel outdated facilities. This historical text examines community leaders’ successful advocacy for zoo construction in the context of poverty and widespread suffering, arguing that they provided employment, stimulated tourism, and democratized leisure. Of particular interest is the rise of the zoo professional, which paved the way for science and conservation agendas. The text explores the New Deal’s profound impact on zoos and animal welfare and the legacy of its programs in zoos today.

$35.00


Gehring, Wes D., FILM CLOWNS OF THE DEPRESSION. NEW copy, trade PAPERBACK. (McFarland, 2007). Forward by Ray E. Boomhower. Photos, filmography, notes, bibliography, index, 208 pp.
~~~~ The 1930s are routinely considered sound film’s greatest comedy era. Though this golden age encompassed various genres of laughter, clown comedy is the most basic type. This work examines the Depression decade’s most popular type of comedy—the clown, or personality comedian. Focusing upon the Depression era, the study filters its analysis through twelve memorable pictures. Each merits an individual chapter, in which it is critiqued. The films are deemed microcosmic representatives of the comic world and discussed in this context.
~~~ While some of the comedians in this text have generated a great deal of previous analysis, funnymen like Joe E. Brown and Eddie Cantor are all but forgotten. Nevertheless, they were comedy legends in their time, and their legacy, as showcased in these movies, merits rediscovery by today’s connoisseur of comedy. Even this book’s more familiar figures, such as Charlie Chaplin and the Marx Brothers, are often simply relegated to being recognizable pop culture icons whose work has been neglected in recent years. This book attempts to address these oversights and to re-expose the brilliance and ingenuity with which the screen clowns contributed a comic resiliency that was desperately needed during the Depression and can still be greatly appreciated today. The films discussed are City Lights (1931, Chaplin), The Kid From Spain (1932, Cantor), She Done Him Wrong (1933, Mae West), Duck Soup (1933, Marx Brothers), Sons of the Desert (1933, Laurel and Hardy), Judge Priest (1934, Will Rogers), It’s a Gift (1934, W.C. Fields), Alibi Ike (1935, Brown), A Night at the Opera (1935, Marx Brothers), Modern Times (1936, Chaplin), Way Out West (1937, Laurel and Hardy), and The Cat and the Canary (1939, Bob Hope).

$39.95


Shindo, Charles J., DUST BOWL MIGRANTS IN THE AMERICAN IMAGINATION. NEW copy, NEW copy, hardcover with dust jacket. University Press of Kansas. 35 photographs, 224 pages.
~~~ More than any other event of the 1930s, the migration of thousands of jobless and dispossessed Americans from the Dust Bowl states to the "promised land" of California evokes the hardships and despair of the Great Depression. In this innovative new study, Charles Shindo shows how the public memory of that migration has been dominated not by academic historians but by a handful of artists and would-be reformers.
~~~ Shindo examines the images of Dust Bowl migrants in photography, fiction, film, and song and marks off the various distances between these representations and the realities of migrant lives. He shows how photographer Dorothea Lange, novelist John Steinbeck, Hollywood filmmaker John Ford, and folksinger Woody Guthrie, as well as folklorists and government reformers, sympathized with the migrants' plight but also appropriated that experience to further their own aesthetic and ideological agendas.
~~~ The haunted look of Lange's "Migrant Mother" and other photos, the powerful story of the Joad family in Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, Ford's poetic cinematic adaptation of that novel, and the gritty plainfolk lyrics of Guthrie's Dust Bowl Ballads have all combined to portray the migrants as the quintessential victims of the Great Depression. Shindo, however, contends that these artists failed to fully grasp the realities of "Okie" culture and seemed far more concerned with promoting views and agendas that the migrants themselves might have found inaccurate or unappealing.
~~~ Shindo's study shows us how art can dominate history in the popular mind and illuminates the ways in which artists blend aesthetics and politics to make a personal statement about the human condition. His book not only increases our understanding of a tragic era in American history but also expands the scope of current histories of the American West to include cultural representations and their importance.

$29.95







N E X T


A ~ D

E ~ M

N ~ Z