A comprehensive encyclopedia of the 1930s in the United States, showing how the Depression affected every aspect of American life. • Over 650 alphabetically organized entries on the impact of the Depression and the New Deal on the nation's economy, politics, society, arts, and minorities • 45 contributors at the forefront of current scholarship on 1930s America and the continuing aftershocks of that tumultuous time • Primary documents integrated throughout, including Woody Guthrie songs, writings and speeches from Huey Long and Father Coughlin, murals by Diego Rivera, excerpts from The Grapes of Wrath, and contemporary newspaper articles • Illustrations providing definitive images of the Depression/New Deal era, including federally funded work such as Dorothea Lange's photography for the Farm Security Administration • A comprehensive chronology that marks the origins, course, and consequences of the Depression and the New Deal • Bibliographic listings for each entry and a comprehensive index of people, places, events, and key terms
The National Consumers' League, Women's Activism, and Labor Standards in the New Deal Era
Author: Landon R. Y. Storrs
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
Category: Political Science
Offering fresh insights into the history of labor policy, the New Deal, feminism, and southern politics, Landon Storrs examines the New Deal era of the National Consumers' League, one of the most influential reform organizations of the early twentieth century. Founded in 1899 by affluent women concerned about the exploitation of women wage earners, the National Consumers' League used a strategy of "ethical consumption" to spark a successful movement for state laws to reduce hours and establish minimum wages for women. During the Great Depression, it campaigned to raise labor standards in the unregulated, non-union South, hoping to discourage the relocation of manufacturers to the region because of cheaper labor and to break the downward spiral of labor standards nationwide. Promoting regulation of men's labor as well as women's, the league shaped the National Recovery Administration codes and the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 but still battled the National Woman's Party, whose proposed equal rights amendment threatened sex-based labor laws. Using the National Consumers' League as a window on the nation's evolving reform tradition, Civilizing Capitalism explores what progressive feminists hoped for from the New Deal and why, despite significant victories, they ultimately were disappointed.
The Depression brought unprecedented changes for American workers and organized labor. As the economy plummeted, employers cut wages and laid off workers, while simultaneously attempting to wrest more work from those who remained employed. In mills, mines, and factories workers organized and resisted, striking for higher wages, improved working conditions, and the right to bargain collectively. As workers walked the picket line or sat down on the shop floor, they could be heard singing. This book examines the songs they sang at three different strikes- the Gastonia, North Carolina, textile mill strike (1929), Harlan County, Kentucky, coal mining strike (1931-32), and Flint, Michigan, automobile sit-down strike (1936-37). Whether in the Carolina Piedmont, the Kentucky hills, or the streets of Michigan, the workers' songs were decidedly class-conscious. All show the workers' understanding of the necessity of solidarity and collective action. In Flint the strikers sang: The trouble in our homestead Was brought about this way When a dashing corporation Had the audacity to say You must all renounce your union And forswear your liberties, And we'll offer you a chance To live and die in slavery. As a shared experience, the singing of songs not only sent the message of collective action but also provided the very means by which the message was communicated and promoted. Singing was a communal experience, whether on picket lines, at union rallies, or on shop floors. By providing the psychological space for striking workers to speak their minds, singing nurtured a sense of community and class consciousness. When strikers retold the events of their strike, as they did in songs, they spread and preserved their common history and further strengthened the bonds among themselves. In the strike songs the roles of gender were pronounced and vivid. Wives and mothers sang out of their concerns for home, family, and children. Men sang in the name of worker loyalty and brotherhood, championing male solidarity and comaraderie. Informed by the new social history, this critical examination of strike songs from three different industries in three different regions gives voice to a group too often deemed as inarticulate. This study, the only book-length examination of this subject, tells history "from the bottom up" and furthers an understanding of worker culture during the tumultuous Depression years.
The political ideas that resulted from confronting the crisis of the Great Depression and the New Deal of the early 20th century reshaped America. This documentary history collects a range of primary sources to illuminate this critical period in U.S. history. • Presents documents illustrating the Great Depression crisis and the New Deal response that enables readers to witness the clash of conservatism and liberalism in a time of crisis • Offers essays and notes that explain the documents—which include posters, articles, speeches, and court decisions—in the context of historical events • Provides a timeline that creates a background setting for a documentary history • Contrasts the ideas and actions of President Hoover against those of President Roosevelt
A uniquely detailed exploration of life in the CCC, The New Deal’s Forest Army compellingly demonstrates how one New Deal program changed America and gave birth to both contemporary forestry and the modern environmental movement.
On October 24, 1929, America met the greatest economic devastation it had ever known. In this first installment of his Pulitzer Prize-winning Freedom from Fear, Kennedy tells how America endured, and eventually prevailed, in the face of that unprecedented calamity. Kennedy vividly demonstrates that the economic crisis of the 1930s was more than a reaction to the excesses of the 1920s. For more than a century before the Crash, America's unbridled industrial revolution had gyrated through repeated boom and bust cycles, consuming capital and inflicting misery on city and countryside alike. Nor was the alleged prosperity of the 1920s as uniformly shared as legend portrays. Countless Americans eked out threadbare lives on the margins of national life. Roosevelt's New Deal wrenched opportunity from the trauma of the 1930s and created a lasting legacy of economic and social reform, but it was afflicted with shortcomings and contradictions as well. With an even hand Kennedy details the New Deal's problems and defeats, as well as its achievements. He also sheds fresh light on its incandescent but enigmatic author, Franklin D. Roosevelt. Marshalling unforgettable narratives that feature prominent leaders as well as lesser-known citizens, The American People in the Great Depression tells the story of a resilient nation finding courage in an unrelenting storm.
Learning from the Successes and Failures of the New Deal
Author: Sheila D. Collins
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Category: Social Science
When Government Helped systematically evaluates some parallels between The Great Depression and the 2007-2008 global economic meltdown, not only in terms of their economic causes and consequences, but also in terms of their political and cultural contexts and the environmental crises that afflict both periods. The positive and negative lessons for contemporary policy-making are evaluated by a multidisciplinary team of authors across a range of policy arenas. This book is a unique blend of disciplines that presents a new set of guideposts--some beneficial, some cautionary--for the future.
"Explains the history of the Stock Market Crash of 1929 and the Great Depression, as well as President Franklin D. Roosevelt's ambitious program of New Deal reforms. Features include a narrative overview, biographical profiles, primary source documents, chronology, glossary, bibliography, and index"--Provided by publisher.
Impoverished young Americans had no greater champion during the Depression than Eleanor Roosevelt. As First Lady, Mrs. Roosevelt used her newspaper columns and radio broadcasts to crusade for expanded federal aid to poor children and teens. She was the most visible spokesperson for the National Youth Administration, the New Deal's central agency for aiding needy youths, and she was adamant in insisting that federal aid to young people be administered without discrimination so that it reached blacks as well as whites, girls as well as boys. This activism made Mrs. Roosevelt a beloved figure among poor teens and children, who between 1933 and 1941 wrote her thousands of letters describing their problems and requesting her help. Dear Mrs. Roosevelt presents nearly 200 of these extraordinary documents to open a window into the lives of the Depression's youngest victims. In their own words, the letter writers confide what it was like to be needy and young during the worst economic crisis in American history. Revealing both the strengths and the limitations of New Deal liberalism, this book depicts an administration concerned and caring enough to elicit such moving appeals for help yet unable to respond in the very personal ways the letter writers hoped.