Defining Documents in American History: The Great Depression (1929–1941)

Salem. (Defining Documents in American History). 2 vols. Feb. 2022. 600p. ed. by Michael Shally-Jensen. ISBN 9781637000793. $295. REF
The Great Depression (1929–41) was the longest and worst economic crisis in American history. This guide explores the impact of the event on the United States through analyses of the most important historical documents from the era. Its two volumes contain 59 primary-source documents, including newspaper articles, speeches, interviews, book excerpts, and government documents. The documents are arranged into seven chapters: “Banks and Bankers in the Spotlight,” “Depression and Desperation,” “New Deal Solutions,” “Voices of Dissent,” “Politics and Renewal,” “Social and Cultural Developments,” and “Changing Ground.” The documents include such highlights as President Hoover’s speech in response to the 1929 stock market crash, FDR’s first and second inaugural addresses, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the National Archives Act, and E.B White’s essay on the 1939 World’s Fair. All the documents are supplemented with scholarly essays by professors, historians, and other authoritative writers. Each essay also includes a summary overview, information about its author, suggestions for further reading, and a glossary of terms that may be unfamiliar to lay readers. This guide concludes with three appendixes offering a list of the documents in chronological order, related web resources, and a bibliography.
VERDICT A valuable resource in an academic library for students writing historical research papers.
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