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America Between the Wars, 1919-1941: A Documentary Reader

David Welky (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-4443-3897-3
280 pages
January 2012, ©2012, Wiley-Blackwell
America Between the Wars, 1919-1941: A Documentary Reader (1444338978) cover image
This collection situates over seventy essential primary documents in their historical context to illustrate the American experience during the interwar era (1919-1941).

  • Introduces a broad range of cultural and historical topics, from race and the role of women to trends in literature and the Great Depression
  • Includes a range of photographs and illustrations
  • End-of-chapter questions encourage critical thinking and analysis,  while a bibliography prepares students for further research
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List of Illustrations ix

Series Editors' Preface x

Source Acknowledgments xii

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 Challenges to Postwar Readjustment 10

1 W. E. B. DuBois, "Returning Soldiers," 1919 10

2 Jack Gaveel, Workers Need to Radicalize, 1919 12

3 A. Mitchell Palmer on Communism in America, 1920 15

4 Warren Harding, “Readjustment,” 1920 18

5 Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Immigration Hurts America, 1923 20

Chapter 2 Social Battles of the 1920s 24

1 Grand Dragon Hiram Evans on the Klan and Americanism, 1926 24

2 "The Menace of Fundamentalism," 1925 30

3 Edwin E. Slosson, "The Futility of Anti-Prohibition," 1920 32

4 "Why Boston Wishes to Hang Sacco and Vanzetti," 1927 34

Chapter 3 The New Negro 38

1 Floyd J. Calvin, Criticizing Southern Lynching, 1923 38

2 Marcus Garvey Addresses UNIA Supporters in Philadelphia, 1919 41

3 Alain Locke, "Harlem," 1925 43

4 Pace Phonograph Corporation, Supporting Black Businesses, 1921 47

5 Zora Neale Hurston, "How It Feels to Be Colored Me," 1928 49

6 Aaron Douglas, Aspects of Negro Life, 1934 and Into Bondage, 1936 52

Chapter 4 New Trends in Literature 55

1 Edna St. Vincent Millay, "Spring," 1920 55

2 Sinclair Lewis, Main Street, 1920 56

3 Countee Cullen, "Heritage," 1925 61

4 Nella Larsen, Quicksand, 1928 65

Chapter 5 Women in the 1920s 70

1 Viola I. Paradise, Housekeeping and Childcare in Rural Montana, 1919 70

2 Letters from Mothers to the Children's Bureau, 1920–7 74

3 Crystal Eastman, Radical Feminism, 1920 76

4 Margaret Sanger Defends Birth Control, 1923 79

5 Advertisement for Lysol Disinfectant: Tradition Meets the New Woman, 1928 82

Chapter 6 Mass Culture 85

1 Bruce Bliven, Radio's Promise and Pitfalls, 1924 85

2 Cartoons Celebrating Charles Lindbergh's Transatlantic Flight, 1927 89

3 Motion Pictures in Middletown, 1929 91

4 John R. Tunis on College Football, 1928 94

5 Paul Gallico Discusses the Relevance of Babe Ruth, 1932 97

Chapter 7 The Onset of the Great Depression 102

1 Paul Abbot on the National Economy, 1929 102

2 New York Times, First Day of the Crash, 1929 107

3 Herbert Hoover Speaks to the Press about the Economy, 1929 110

4 Calvin Coolidge, A Bright Economic Future If We Stay the Course, 1932 111

Chapter 8 To Fear or Not to Fear 116

1 Walter Lippmann, Candidate Franklin Roosevelt, 1932 116

2 Herbert Hoover, The Proposed New Deal Will Ruin Us, 1932 119

3 Franklin Roosevelt's Fireside Chat on Banking, 1933 122

4 Cartoon Celebrating the National Recovery Administration, 1933 126

Chapter 9 Voices from the Great Depression 129

1 Clarence Lee, Riding the Rails during the Great Depression, 1999 129

2 Ann Marie Low, Farming in the Dust Bowl, 1930–2 132

3 John L. Spivak, Migrant Farm Workers, 1934 136

4 Howard Kester, The Southern Tenant Farmers Union's "Ceremony of the Land," 1937 141

Chapter 10 The New Deal: Critics and Limitations 146

1 James P. Cannon, In Support of Unionization, 1934 146

2 Huey Long, "Every Man a King," 1934 148

3 Raymond E. Click to Franklin Roosevelt, The New Deal Means Socialism, 1935 152

4 The Saturday Evening Post Attacks Intrusive Government, 1935 153

5 Cartoons Denouncing the Court-Packing Plan, 1937 155

Chapter 11 People of Color in the Age of Roosevelt 159

1 Herman J. D. Carter, An Injustice at Scottsboro, 1933 159

2 James R. Reid, Joe Louis: African American Hero, 1938 161

3 John Collier on A New Deal for Native Americans, 1938 163

4 Eva Lowe (Chen Junqi) Describes Chinese American Life during the Depression, 1982 166

5 Luisa Moreno, Latinos and American Identity, 1940 169

Chapter 12 Women in the New Deal Era 174

1 Babe Didrikson: Viking Girl, 1932 174

2 Meridel Le Sueur, "I Was Marching," 1934 178

3 Bruce Gould and Beatrice Blackmar Gould, A Modern Marriage, 1937 182

4 Eleanor Roosevelt, "My Day," 1937, 1939 183

5 Letters from African American Women to the Federal Government, 1935–41 187

6 Dorothea Lange, Photos of Women Surviving Hard Times, 1939 192

Chapter 13 Raising the Walls in Turbulent Times 197

1 Henry Cabot Lodge Denounces the Proposed League of Nations, 1919 197

2 Harry Elmer Barnes, World War I Was a Mistake, 1926 200

3 Calvin Coolidge, Address to Congress Regarding the Invasion of Nicaragua, 1927 204

4 The Sinking of the Panay, 1937 206

Chapter 14 The Great Debate: America Encounters World War II 211

1 Franklin Roosevelt's Neutrality Message, 1939 211

2 Charles Lindbergh, America is Drifting toward War, 1940 214

3 Franklin Roosevelt, Fireside Chat on "An Arsenal of Democracy," 1940 217

4 A. Philip Randolph Calls for a March on Washington, 1941 222

5 Franklin Roosevelt Declares an Unlimited National Emergency, 1941 225

Chapter 15 Popular Culture and the Great Debate 228

1 Will Hays, The Motion Picture in a Changing World, 1940 228

2 Henry R. Luce, America and the War, 1940 230

3 Edward R. Murrow, This is London, 1940 234

4 War and Consumerism: Advertisements from Time Magazine, 1941 238

5 Harry Warner's Testimony to a Senate Subcommittee on War Propaganda in Film, 1941 243

Bibliography 247

Index 257

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David Welky is Associate Professor of History at the University of Central Arkansas. He has written extensively on the history of film, sports, mass media, and popular culture in the 1920s and 1930s.  His previous books include Thousand-Year Flood: The 1937 Ohio-Mississippi Disaster (2011), The Moguls and the Dictators: Hollywood and the Coming of World War II (2008), Everything Was Better in America: Print Culture in the Great Depression (2008) and Charles A. Lindbergh: The Power and Peril of Celebrity, 1927-1941 (edited with Randy Roberts, 2003).
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