Modern history

The Great Depression: America 1929-1941

The Great Depression: America 1929-1941

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.


Chapter 1. Historical Currents and the Great Depression

Chapter 2. Who Was Roaring in the Twenties?—Origins of the Great Depression

Chapter 3. In the Right Place at the Wrong Time?—Herbert Hoover

Chapter 4. Nature Takes Its Course: The First Years of the Depression

Chapter 5. The Lord of the Manor: FDR

Chapter 6. “And What Was Dead Was Hope”: 1932 and the Interregnum

Chapter 7. “Action, and Action Now”: The Hundred Days and Beyond

Chapter 8. “Fear Itself”: Depression Life

Chapter 9. Moral Economics: American Values and Culture in the Great Depression

Chapter 10. Thunder on the Left: Rising Unrest, 1934–35

Chapter 11. “I’m That Kind of Liberal Because I’m That Kind of Conservative”: The Second New Deal

Chapter 12. New Hickory: The WPA, the Election of 1936, and the Court Fight

Chapter 13. The CIO and the Later New Deal

Chapter 14. “Dr. New Deal” Runs Out of Medicine: The Last Years of the Depression, 1939–41

Chapter 15. Perspective: The Great Depression and Modern America