Down & Out in the Great Depression

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  • Edition: 25th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2008-02-25
  • Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Pr

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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. Mainly because of his radio talks, thousands felt they knew President Franklin Roosevelt personally and could confide in him about their troubles. Sifting through some 15,000 letters from government and private sources, Robert McElvaine has culled nearly 200 examples that best show the problems, thoughts, and emotions of ordinary people during this time. For this twenty-fifth anniversary edition, McElvaine provides a new foreword recounting the history of the book, its impact on the historiography of the Depression, and its continued importance today.

Table of Contents

Foreword to the Twenty-fifth Anniversary Editionp. xi
Prefacep. xv
Acknowledgmentsp. xix
Introductionp. 1
The Early Depressionp. 33
Reactions to Hoover and Economic Breakdownp. 35
Conditions of Life in the Thirtiesp. 49
Proud But Frightened: Middle-Class Hardshipp. 51
The Grass Roots: Rural Depressionp. 67
A Worse Depression: Black Americans in the 1930sp. 79
To Be Old, Sick, and Poorp. 95
The Forgotten Childrenp. 113
Reactions to the Depressionp. 121
Attitudes toward Reliefp. 123
The Conservativep. 143
The Desperatep. 155
The Cynicalp. 173
The Rebelliousp. 183
The "Forgotten Man" Looks at Rooseveltp. 201
The Unconvincedp. 203
"Our Savior"p. 215
Notesp. 235
Sources of Lettersp. 243
Indexp. 247
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