November 19, 2014 / by admin / American History / No Comments

The Great Depression: America 1929-1941

The Great Depression: America 1929-1941

Robert S. McElvaine

Language: English

Pages: 448

ISBN: 0812923278

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


One of the classic studies of the Great Depression, featuring a new introduction by the author with insights into the economic crises of 1929 and today.
 
In the twenty-five years since its publication, critics and scholars have praised historian Robert McElvaine’s sweeping and authoritative history of the Great Depression as one of the best and most readable studies of the era. Combining clear-eyed insight into the machinations of politicians and economists who struggled to revive the battered economy, personal stories from the average people who were hardest hit by an economic crisis beyond their control, and an evocative depiction of the popular culture of the decade, McElvaine paints an epic picture of an America brought to its knees—but also brought together by people’s widely shared plight.
 
In a new introduction, McElvaine draws striking parallels between the roots of the Great Depression and the economic meltdown that followed in the wake of the credit crisis of 2008. He also examines the resurgence of anti-regulation free market ideology, beginning in the Reagan era, and argues that some economists and politicians revised history and ignored the lessons of the Depression era.

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Norman Cousins stated this argument in its most simplistic form in 1939: “There are approximately 10,000,000 people out of work in the United States today; there are also 10,000,000 or more women, married and single, who are jobholders. Simply fire the women, who shouldn’t be working anyway, and hire the men. Presto! No unemployment. No relief rolls. No depression.” Those who made such statements usually had little interest in facts, but most women who worked outside the home during the

Tale of Two Cities is true to Dickens in showing Sidney Carton’s ultimate selfless sacrifice; it is also chock-full of statements showing the inhumanity and selfishness of the rich and of businessmen, for example: “I am a businessman, think of me as a machine”; “There is no room for sentiment in business”; “There is a sickness today that is called humanitarianism”; “Hunger is an indulgence with these peasants, as the gout is with us”; “What I get from these peasants is barely enough to pay my

(Washington: Government Printing Office, 1975), Series B-166, v. I, 58. Gellhorn, Report to Hopkins on Camden, N.J., April 25, 1935, Hopkins Papers, Box 66; Mrs. J. Graziano, Montvale, N.J., to ER, Aug. 28, 1934, ER Papers, Box 612 (reproduced in McElvaine, Down and Out, 58). 12. Vito Cacciola, cobbler, Beverly, Mass., interviewed by Merton R. Lovett, Jan. 12, 1939, WPA FWP Living Lore Collection. For the help-seeking letters to Mrs. Roosevelt, see File 150.1, Eleanor Roosevelt Papers. Mrs.

populace, but in very unequal portions. The rich were getting richer at a much more rapid rate than the poor were becoming less poor. Government policies during the twenties were designed to achieve just this end. The unfavorable climate for labor unions made it more difficult for workers to obtain their share of the benefits of rising productivity. And Mellon’s tax cuts for the wealthy helped to aggravate the gross disparity in income levels. The maldistribution of income, although growing

market boom of the 1920s through a car’s sideview mirror—the one that carries the message: “OBJECTS IN THE MIRROR ARE CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR.” So it was with the new speculative bubble that had arisen while Shlaes was denying the one in the 1920s. It burst in the fall of 2008. Shlaes’s faith in the Market is so unquestioning that she opposes regulation not only of the stock market, but of anything. She would let the Market sort out for us even tainted foods and deadly drugs. In her

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