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."
[Roosevelt] William E. Leuchtenburg,
FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT AND THE NEW DEAL, 1932-1940.
NEW copy, trade PAPERBACK. (Harper Torch).
New American Nation Series.
~~~ Leuchtenburg has brilliantly and effectively brought together thousands of fascinating bits on the New Deal to form a striking mosaic. This is by all means the best one-volume synthesis of the New Deal that has yet appeared in print. The combination of intensive scholarship, level-headed interpretation, and lively writing make this an invaluable book.
The Great Depression in California.
NEW copy, trade PAPERBACK.
(Oxford University Press, 1997). 432 pages. ~~~
A detailed and panoramic portrait, capturing the personalities, events, and
powerful forces that shaped a decade of explosive tension and growth in the
Golden State. Weaving insightful analysis into his narrative fabric, Starr
constructs a coherent whole out of a decade of dislocation, and uses it as a
mirror for understanding our own time.
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."
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."
HARD TIMES: An Oral History of the Great Depression.
VG/VG--. Some wear and fraying to jacket, which is in mylar. Book itself is clean and tight.
Book Club Edition (Pantheon, 1970). 529 pages. ~~~ "In this unique re-creation of one of the most dramatic periods in modern
American history, Studs Terkel recaptures the Great Depression of the
1930s in all its complexity. The book is a mosaic of memories from those
who were richest to those who were most destitute: politicians like James
Farley and Raymond Moley; businessmen like Bill Benton and Clement Stone;
a six-day bicycle racer; artists and writers; racketeers; speakeasy
operators, strikers, and impoverished farmers; people who were just
kids; and those who remember losing a fortune. ~~ Hard Times is
not only a gold mine of information—much of it little known—but also a
fascinating interplay of memory and fact, showing how the Depression
affected the lives of those who experienced it firsthand, often
transforming the most bitter memories into a surprising nostalgia."
THE TRAMP IN AMERICA.
NEW copy, hardcover with dust jacket. Reaktion Books, 255 pages. ~~~ "This book provides the first account of the invention of the tramp as a social
type in the United States from the 1870s through the 1930s. Tim Cresswell
considers the ways in which the figure of the tramp was imagined and described
and how, by the Second World War, it was being reclassified, renamed and
rendered invisible. He describes the 'tramp scare' of the late nineteenth
century in terms of the major factors that influenced the tramps existence: the
political and economic climate, the technology of the railroad and the
after-effects of the Civil War. He then explores various stereotypes associated
Crouse, Joan M.,
THE HOMELESS TRANSIENT IN THE GREAT DEPRESSION, New York State, 1929-1941.
NEW copy, hardcover, issued without dust jacket. SUNY Press, 1986. 319 pages. ~~~ "Years before the Dust Bowl exodus raised America's conscience to the plight of its migratory citzenry, an estimated one to two million homeless, unemployed Americans were traversing the country, searching for permanent community. Often mistaken for bums, tramps, hoboes or migratory laborers, these transients were a new breed of educated, highly employable men and women uprooted from their middle- and working-class homes by an unprecedented economic crisis. The Homeless Transient in the Great Depression investigates this population and the problems they faced in an America caught between a poor law past and a social welfare future. The story of the transient is told from the perspective of the federal, state, and local governments, and from the viewpoint of the social worker, the community, and the transient. In narrowing the focus of the study from the national to the state level, Joan Crouse offers a close and sensitive examination of each. The choice of New York as a focal point provides an important balance to previous literature on migrancy by shifting attention from the Southwest to the Northeast and from a preoccupation with rejection on the federal level to the concerted effort of the state to deal with the non-resident poor in a humane yet fiscally responsible manner."
~~~ Hardcover currently in print at $74.50.
Uys, Errol Lincoln,
RIDING THE RAILS: Teenagers on the Move
During the Great Depression.
NEW copy, TRADE PAPERBACK.
Routledge, 2003. "There is no feeling in the world like
sitting in a side-door Pullman and
watching the world go by, listening to the clickety-clack
of the wheels, hearing
that old steam whistle blowing for crossings and towns." --George Phillips in
Riding the Rails. At the height of the Great
Depression, 250,000 teenage
hoboes were riding the rails and roaming America. Some left
home out of
desperation and went looking for work and a better life,
hundreds of miles on the rumor of a job waiting farther
down the line. Others
left out of boredom; still others with a wanderlust and
romantic idea of life on
the road. The restless youth of these boxcar boys and
girls, many who went
from "middle-class gentility to scrabble-ass poor"
overnight, is recaptured in
Riding the Rails. Based on the award-winning
documentary, this book dispels the
myths of a hobo existence and reveals the hard stories
of a daring generation of
American teenagers-forgotten heroes-who survived some of
the hardest times in
our nations' history. Whether you're a "gaycat"
(novice rider) or a "dingbat"
(seasoned hobo), Riding the Rails is entertaining
and inspiring, recapturing a
time when the country was "dying by inches."
Gregory, James N.,
AMERICAN EXODUS: The Dust Bowl Migration and Okie
Culture in California.
NEW copy, TRADE PAPERBACK.
Oxford University Press, 1989.
~~~ Fifty years ago, John Steinbeck's now classic novel The Grapes
of Wrath captured the epic story of an Oklahoma farm family driven west to
California by dust storms, drought, and economic hardship. It was a story that
generations of Americans have also come to know through Dorothea Lange's
unforgettable photos of migrant families struggling to make a living in
Depression-torn California. Now in James N. Gregory's path-breaking American
Exodus, there is at least an historical study that moves beyond the fiction
of the 1930s to uncover the full meaning of these events. American
Exodus takes us back to the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s and the war
boom influx of the 1940s to explore the experiences of the more than one million
Oklahomans, Arkansans, Texans, and Missourians who sought opportunities in
California. Gregory reaches into the migrant's lives to reveal not only their
economic trials but also their impact on California's culture and society. He
traces the development of an "Okie subculture" that over the years has grown
into an essential element in California's cultural landscape.
Gregory vividly depicts how Southwesterners brought with them on their journey
west an allegiance to evangelical Protestantism, "plain-folk American" values,
and a love of country music. These values gave Okies an expanding cultural
presence in their new home. In their neighborhoods, often called "Little
Oklahomas," they created a community of churches and saloons, of church-goers
and good-old-boys, mixing stern-minded religious thinking with hard-drinking
irreverence. Today, Baptist and Pentecostal churches abound in this region; and
from Gene Autry--"Oklahoma's Singing Cowboy"--to Woody Guthrie, Bob Wills, and
Merle Haggard, the special concerns of Southwesterners have long dominated the
country music industry in California. The legacy of the Dust Bowl migration can
also be measured in political terms. throughout California and especially in the
San Joaquin Valley, Okies have implanted their own brand of populist
conservatism. ~~~ The consequences reach far beyond
California. The Dust Bowl migration was part of a larger heartland diaspora that
has sent millions of Southerners and rural Midwesterners to the nation's
northern and western industrial perimeter. American Exodus is the first book to
examine the cultural implications of that massive 20th century population shift.
In this rich account of the experiences and impact of these migrant
heartlanders, Gregory fills an important gap in recent American social
Vachon, John, (Miles Orvell, ed),
JOHN VACHON'S AMERICA: Photographs and Letters from
the Depression to WWII.
NEW copy, oversized hardcover with dust jacket.
(Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003).
354 pages. ~~~ From 1936 to 1943, John Vachon traveled across America as part of the Farm
Security Administration photography project, documenting the desperate world of
the Great Depression and also the efforts at resistance--from strikes to stoic
determination. This collection, the first to feature Vachon's work, offers a
stirring and elegant record of this extraordinary photographer's vision and of
America's land and people as the country moved from the depths of the Depression
to the dramatic mobilization for World War II. Vachon's portraits of white and
black Americans are among the most affecting that FSA photographers produced;
and his portrayals of the American landscape, from rural scenes to small towns
and urban centers, present a remarkable visual account of these pivotal years,
in a style that is transitional from Walker Evans to Robert Frank. ~~~ Vachon
nurtured a lifelong ambition to be a writer, and the intimate and revealing
letters he wrote from the field to his wife back home reflect vividly on
American conditions, on movies and jazz, on landscape, and on his job fulfilling
the directives from Washington to capture the heart of America. Together, these
letters and photographs, along with journal entries and other writings by
Vachon, constitute a multifaceted biography of this remarkable photographer and
a unique look at the years he captured in such unforgettable images.
Currently in print at $49.95.
Wenger, Beth S.,
NEW YORK JEWS AND THE GREAT DEPRESSION: Uncertain Promise.
NEW copy, hardcover with dust jacket. (Yale University Press, 1996).
~~~ This remarkable chronicle of New York City's Jewish families during the years of the Great Depression describes a defining moment in American Jewish history. Beth S. Wenger tells the story of a generation of immigrants and their children as they faced an uncertain future in America. Challenging the standard narrative of American Jewish upward mobility, Wenger shows that Jews of the era not only worried about financial stability and their security as a minority group, but also questioned the usefulness of their educational endeavors and the ability of their communal institutions to survive. Wenger uncovers the widespread changes throughout the Jewish community that enabled it to emerge from the turmoil of this period and become a thriving middle-class ethnic group in the post-World War II era.
Responses to the Great Depression set in motion new forms of Jewish adaptation and acculturation in the United States. Jewish families pooled their resources, says Wenger. Children remained in their parents' homes to pursue education when jobs were scarce and postponed marriage and childbearing. Jewish neighborhoods nurtured a sense of Jewish community and provided support networks for working-class families. Although the New Deal and the welfare state transformed ethnic politics, Jewish political culture remained intact and actually facilitated Jewish entry into the new Democratic coalition. Jewish leaders preserved private Jewish philanthropy in New Deal America by redesigning it as a vehicle to strengthen ethnic culture and commitment. In struggling Depression-era synagogues, Jewish leaders consciously addressed social, economic, and political needs and expanded secular and cultural activities. The changes inaugurated during the Great Depression decisively shaped the character of American Jewish life in the twentieth century.
GOVERNOR JAMES ROLPH AND THE GREAT
DEPRESSION IN CALIFORNIA.
NEW copy, trade PAPERBACK. (McFarland, 2006).
Photos, notes, bibliography, index, 235 pp.
In 1911, when businessman James Rolph first ran for mayor of San Francisco, he promised, “I will be mayor of the whole city, and not the mayor for any particular section.” This statement seemed to characterize Rolph’s political career. After serving an unprecedented five terms as mayor, he went on to win California’s 1930 gubernatorial election. Rolph, however, had severely underestimated the challenges he would be up against as a Depression-era governor. A genuine love of people and desire to help had gotten him as far as the governor’s office but could do little to help him solve the new problems he found. Lack of a firm agenda coupled with an unrealistic (or perhaps idealistic) governing style left him at odds with the legislature and found his chief lieutenants forming into warring cliques. Ultimately, Rolph—in spite of good intentions and a love of civil service—was unable to translate his mayoral triumph, with all its charm and style, into a gubernatorial success.
This biography relies heavily on primary sources such as contemporary newspaper articles and firsthand recollections. Beginning with Rolph’s mayoral career, the book enumerates the qualities which led to his phenomenal success as San Francisco’s top politician. The work then examines the criticisms levied against Rolph as governor and the ways in which these complaints were, and were not, justified. The unfortunate historical timing of Rolph’s governorship is also discussed. In many ways, Rolph’s attempt to translate from prosperous ’20s mayor to Depression-era ’30s governor was simply ill-fated from the very beginning. A detailed bibliography and index is also provided.
The Enduring Legacy of the WPA-- When FDR Put the Nation to Work.
NEW copy, trade paperback. (Bantam) Photographs, 629 pages.
~~~ Four years into the Great Depression, a staggering 13 million American workers were jobless, and desperation ruled the land. In 1935, after a variety of temporary relief measures, a permanent nationwide jobs program was created. It lasted for eight years, spent $11 billion, employed more than 8 million men and women. This is its history.
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). Photographs, 493 pages.
~~~ 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.