Growing Up in Hard Times: the Facts

Migrant Mother by Dorethea Lange

Life in the 1930s
Undoubtedly you have heard some grown-ups talking about the hard times that we are living in now. They may be remembering some stories told to them by their parents and grandparents about the Hard Times of the 1930s, a decade that is known as the Great Depression. Dorothea Lange's famous 1936 photograph of a migrant mother and her children fleeing the Dust Bowl for work in another state has become an icon or symbol of that decade. But, what was it really like then? Here is where you can find some of the facts:

The 1930s       The 1930s: from the Great Depression to the Wizard of Oz / Stephen Feinstein
This survey of the decade is stuffed full of facts. For example, after telling about the popularity of the board game Monopoly the author adds this: “Another game, Bingo, also appeared in 1935. Although some criticized it as a legal form of gambling, it became popular all over the country.” The book is organized into chapters on “Lifestyles, Fashions, and Fads, The Arts and Entertainment, Sports, Politics at Home and Abroad, Science, Technology, and Medicine.”

The Great Depression        The Great Depression / Elaine Landau

This is very good brief introduction to the economic and environmental challenges the United States faced between the stock market crash of 1929 through the beginning of the Second World War. Landau covers the last years of the Hoover administration, the Midwest drought and resulting dust bowl, the bonus army’s march on Washington, the beginning of the Roosevelt administration and the New Deal.

Welcome to Kit's world 1934      Welcome to Kit's World, 1934: Growing Up During America's Great Depression / written by Harriet Brown

Written to give background to the stories of fictional character Kit Kittredge this book is a visual feast of images, real and imagined, illustrating and explaining America in the 1930s with emphasis on home life and what it was like to be a child during the Depression.

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