Oct 29 2010

Crowd at New York’s American Union Bank during
a bank run early in the Great Depression.

The stock market crashed on Tuesday, October 29, 1929. I suppose everyone knows someone in their family who was ruined by The Great Depression. When I speak with people about those years, most everyone suffered and had to cut back on their living standards. In addition, however, were those who were living in wealthy circles and overnight, lost great fortunes, relegating them to what they considered poverty.

“Anyone who bought stocks in mid-1929 and held onto them saw most
of his or her adult life pass by before getting back to even.”

Richard M. Salsman

There was a high level of prosperity during the 1920s.
Most people felt the country would never go back

Rethinking the Great Depression is a very informative book by Gene Smiley. It is good for formally educated economics students and also, for beginners without such a background. All readers will have a better understanding of the Depression period which technically only lasted from 1929-1933, but whose repercussions are remembered as lasting throughout the 1930s.

If you would like to learn more about the great Depression and the effects it
had on all facets of American life, hover your mouse over the link below:

Rethinking the Great Depression (American Ways Series)



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Oct 01 2010

How could I have a web site theme of The Depression Era and not mention John Steinbeck’s book, The Grapes of Wrath written in 1939? I couldn’t. Nope, can’t be done. The Grapes of Wrath has to be mentioned and in detail. So, here goes….

On the Amazon web site, one of the reviewers sums it up pretty well. Let’s hear from Ned Middleton, a British professional underwater photo-journalist and author, when he writes,

“Today the world is either in recession or emerging from the dark grip of this latest financial catastrophe. Whilst we may live in a time when millions of families are no longer allowed to starve to death – well, not in the developed world at any rate, I earnestly believe there are lessons to be learned from this book about the rich and powerful who care not for their fellow man but only for personal gain. More importantly, those lessons are as relevant today as they were in 1939.”

Yep…I’d say that connects the Depression to the Recession better than I ever could. But wait, there’s more! Here are two current videos that connect the dots between John Steinbeck’s book and our times as well:

How John Steinbeck came to write The Grapes of Wrath.

 

Gabe Johnson, New York Times, discusses
the similarities between the 1930s and today.

 

If you are interested in previewing the book, hover
your mouse over the link: The Grapes Of Wrath

For an enlightening discussion on the connection of The Grapes of Wrath to the struggle of the Exodus in the Old Testament click on this link.



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