The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression
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It's difficult today to imagine how America survived the Great Depression. Only through the stories of the common people who struggled during that era can we really understand how the nation endured. These are the people at the heart of Amity Shlaes's insightful and inspiring history of one of the most crucial events of the twentieth century.
In The Forgotten Man, Amity Shlaes, one of the nation's most respected economic commentators, offers a striking reinterpretation of the Great Depression. Rejecting the old emphasis on the New Deal, she turns to the neglected and moving stories of individual Americans, and shows how through brave leadership they helped establish the steadfast character we developed as a nation.
Authoritative, original, and utterly engrossing, The Forgotten Man offers an entirely new look at one of the most important periods in our history. Only when we know this history can we understand the strength of American character today.
“we believe that the Soviet Union needs the support of liberals at this moment, when the forces of fascism, led by Hitler, threaten to engulf Europe.” Paul Douglas’s ex-wife, Dorothy Douglas, signed it, as did the writer Lillian Hellman; Robert Lynd, the author of Middletown; and Louis Fischer, who had been in Moscow during the 1927 visit. But others were anxious. Stuart Chase still wrote admiringly about the Soviet experiment from time to time. But he was shifting his attention to a new topic:
Lilienthal at the dark table in the Cosmos Club: “How Can Government and Business Work Together?” Both Jackson and Lilienthal were good fits for the town hall format, men who might actually have appeared at a genuine town hall meeting, the sort that Rockwell painted. Willkie, the son of Elwood’s German American attorneys; Jackson, who had skipped college and had become a lawyer the old-fashioned way, training as a clerk—these were two old country lawyers who through merit had risen and now were
Baker. This routine of targeting class enemies in the name of reform would become Roosevelt’s hallmark. While on his way to accept the nomination, Roosevelt had a long conversation with Frankfurter, which Frankfurter wrote down afterward. Frankfurter told Roosevelt, “As soon as I get your free mind, I have some things of importance to tell you.” Roosevelt responded that Frankfurter ought to get hold of a document on economics produced for him by Tugwell, Berle, and Moley. After the convention,
he arrived in London, “the essential thing is that you impress on the delegation and others that my primary international objective is to raise the world price level.” The U.S. delegates in London were confused; one spoke out for low tariffs, another for higher tariffs. After Moley arrived, Roosevelt telegraphed yet a third and a fourth policy position, all variants on the question of monetary arrangements, budgets, and international relations. Finally, the representatives in London cobbled
about the electricity he would bring. And Roosevelt, the word was, was planning to nominate Rex Tugwell to the undersecretary slot at the Department of Agriculture, a promotion. The New Dealers were becoming stronger. Willkie, like Insull, was a utilities man, and in such a world, Commonwealth and Southern could also become a target. Willkie’s wife, Edith, disapproved of the New Deal—so much that he teased her about it. But Willkie reassured himself that there were still many reasons both he and