Publisher: Macmillan International Higher Education
This is a study of recent case studies of the New Deal which assesses the impact of the depression and New Deal programmes on businessmen, industrial workers and the unemployed. It explains the political and ideological constraints which limited the changes wrought by the New Deal.
Narratives of Vulnerability in Museums is a study of the challenges museums face when they present narratives of instability, uncertainty, and fear in their exhibitions. As a period of sustained societal and personal vulnerability, the Great Depression remains a watershed era in American history. It is an era when iconic visual culture of deprivation mixes in the popular imagination with groundbreaking government policy and has immense potential for museums, but this is accompanied by significant challenges. Analysing a range of case studies, the book explores both the successes and obstacles involved in translating historical narratives of vulnerability to the exhibition floor. Incorporating an innovative, trans-genre museological model, the book draws connections between exhibitions of history, art, and technology, as well as heritage sites, focused on a single era. Employing interpretations of housing, preserved and reconstructed, to discuss ideas of belonging and community, the book also examines the power of the iconic national story and the struggle for local relevance through discussions on strikes and industrial action. Finally, it examines the use of fine art in history exhibitions to access the emotional aspects of historical experience. The result is a volume that considers both how societies talk about less celebratory aspects of history, but also the expectations placed on museums as interpreters of the public narrative and agents of change. Narratives of Vulnerability in Museums makes a significant contribution to discourses of museum and heritage studies, of interwar history, of the social role of cultural institutions, and to vulnerability and resilience studies. As such, it should be essential reading for scholars and students working in these disciplines, as well as architecture, cultural studies, and human geography.
This notably successful history is not simply another narrative of the New Deal. The author considers important aspects of New Deal activity and explores the major problems in interpreting the history of each.
Liberals and leftists in the United States have not always been estranged from one another as they are today. Historian Doug Rossinow examines how the cooperation and the creative tension between left-wing radicals and liberal reformers advanced many of the most important political values of the twentieth century, including free speech, freedom of conscience, and racial equality. Visions of Progress chronicles the broad alliances of radical and liberal figures who were driven by a particular concept of social progress—a transformative vision in which the country would become not simply wealthier or a bit fairer but fundamentally more democratic, just, and united. Believers in this vision—from the settlement-house pioneer Jane Addams and the civil rights leader W. E. B. Du Bois in the 1890s and after, to the founders of the ACLU in the 1920s, to Minnesota Governor Floyd Olson and assorted labor-union radicals in the 1930s, to New Dealer Henry Wallace in the 1940s—belonged to a left-liberal tradition in America. They helped push political leaders, including Presidents Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, and Harry Truman, toward reforms that made the goals of opportunity and security real for ever more Americans. Yet, during the Cold War era of the 1950s and '60s, leftists and liberals came to view one another as enemies, and their influential alliance all but vanished. Visions of Progress revisits the period between the 1880s and the 1940s, when reformers and radicals worked together along a middle path between the revolutionary left and establishment liberalism. Rossinow takes the story up to the present, showing how the progressive connection was lost and explaining the consequences that followed. This book introduces today's progressives to their historical predecessors, while offering an ambitious reinterpretation of issues in American political history.
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. Sifting through some 15,000 letters from government and private sources, Robert McElvaine has culled nearly 200 communications that best show the problems, thoughts, and emotions of ordinary people during this time. Unlike views of Depression life "from the bottom up" that rely on recollections recorded several decades later, this book captures the daily anguish of people during the thirties. It puts the reader in direct contact with Depression victims, evoking a feeling of what it was like to live through this disaster. Following Franklin D. Roosevelt's inauguration, both the number of letters received by the White House and the percentage of them coming from the poor were unprecedented. The average number of daily communications jumped to between 5,000 and 8,000, a trend that continued throughout the Rosevelt administration. The White House staff for answering such letters--most of which were directed to FDR, Eleanor Roosevelt, or Harry Hopkins--quickly grew from one person to fifty. Mainly because of his radio talks, many felt they knew the president personally and could confide in him. They viewed the Roosevelts as parent figures, offering solace, help, and protection. Roosevelt himself valued the letters, perceiving them as a way to gauge public sentiment. The writers came from a number of different groups--middle-class people, blacks, rural residents, the elderly, and children. Their letters display emotional reactions to the Depression--despair, cynicism, and anger--and attitudes toward relief. In his extensive introduction, McElvaine sets the stage for the letters, discussing their significance and some of the themes that emerge from them. By preserving their original spelling, syntax, grammar, and capitalization, he conveys their full flavor. The Depression was far more than an economic collapse. It was the major personal event in the lives of tens of millions of Americans. McElvaine shows that, contrary to popular belief, many sufferers were not passive victims of history. Rather, he says, they were "also actors and, to an extent, playwrights, producers, and directors as well," taking an active role in trying to deal with their plight and solve their problems. 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.
Confidential fact sheet describing the book: the 'St. James encyclopedia of labor history worldwide' is designed to fill the gap that exists for a scholarly, encyclopedic treatment of the labor movement. This 2-volume set offers in-depth coverage and analysis of more than 300 key events in labor history over the last two hundred years. With articles written by scholars in the field of labor history this work focuses on the relationship of these events to the labor movement as a whole and to societal change and development worldwide. This encyclopedia will be extremely useful to college students in history, political science, and American studies courses, as well as high school students researching history and interested public library patrons.
The Encyclopedia of American Political History is the perfect single-volume source for students, researchers, and scholars at all levels seeking an accessible, easy-to-navigate reference on the forces that have shaped--and continue to shape--American history. Particularly helpful to anyone hoping to understand the evolution and intricacies of the modern American political process, this key reference identifies the most significant personalities, trends, campaigns and elections, protests, and rebellions, laws, statutes, and policies in American political history.