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The most devastating economic crash in modern times ushered in the Great Depression of the 1930s, which turned the lives of ordinary Americans upside down and left an indelible mark on the nation’s psyche.
In this lively and incisive history, acclaimed journalist and historian T.H. Watkins recounts an epic narrative of human suffering, social turmoil, and a political revolution that transformed the outline of American life and government – from unprecedented federal programs like Social Security and the Civilian Conservation Corps to local grassroots movements whose energies helped forge a new relationship between citizens and their government.
Illustrated with more than 150 photographs and documents–many of them published here for the first time–THE GREAT DEPRESSION stands as the essential chronicle of a decade that shaped America’s consciousness and character forever, in an age not unlike our own.


A discerning, information-packed and emotionally charged survey of America's crucible. . . The photographs and their long, illuminating captions do a fine job of conveying America's dark night. . . . Heartfelt and wide-ranging, and timely as well, as we continue to grapple with the nurturing sort of government put in place by FDR
- Kirkus 'A fine survey. . . Watkins is at his best in his ability to recapture the miseries and the hopes, the fears and the ideals, of individual people who lived in a world that may have been physically almost unrecognizable - no interstate highways, n
- Godfrey Hodgson, Washington Post Book World