The Great Depression of the 1930s turned the lives of ordinary Americans upside down, leaving an indelible mark on the nation’s psyche. The Great Depression: America in the 1930s is award-winning historian T. H. Watkins’s lively political, economic, and cultural account of this age of hardship and hope. This companion volume to the public television series The Great Depression tells the story of a decade of disaster, challenge, and change. It begins with the most devastating economic crash in modern history and recounts an epic narrative of human suffering, social turmoil, and a political revolution that transformed the outline of American life and government — from unprecedented federal programs such as Social Security, the Civilian Conservation Corps, and massive public works projects to local grass-roots movements whose energies helped forge a new relationship between citizens and their government, citizens and their presidents. During this great era a new kind of hope was born, one that would not only help lead the way out of the despair of the depression but would live on to inspire postwar crusades for civil rights, women’s rights, environmentalism, and other social movements. Illustrated with more than 150 photographs, documents, and posters — many of them published here for the first time — The Great Depression stands as the essential chronicle of a decade that shaped America’s consciousness and character forever in an age not unlike our own.
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