The Forgotten Man

The Forgotten Man

A New History of the Great Depression

Book - 2007
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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. Some of those figures were well known, at least in their day--Andrew Mellon, the Greenspan of the era; Sam Insull of Chicago, hounded as a scapegoat. But there were also unknowns: the Schechters, a family of butchers in Brooklyn who dealt a stunning blow to the New Deal; Bill W., who founded Alcoholics Anonymous in the name of showing that small communities could help themselves; and Father Divine, a black charismatic who steered his thousands of followers through the Depression by preaching a Gospel of Plenty.

Shlaes also traces the mounting agony of the New Dealers themselves as they discovered their errors. She shows how both Presidents Hoover and Roosevelt failed to understand the prosperity of the 1920s and heaped massive burdens on the country that more than offset the benefit of New Deal programs. The real question about the Depression, she argues, is not whether Roosevelt ended it with World War II. It is why the Depression lasted so long. From 1929 to 1940, federal intervention helped to make the Depression great--in part by forgetting the men and women who sought to help one another.

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.

Publisher: New York : HarperCollins Publishers, c2007.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780066211701
Branch Call Number: 973.916
Characteristics: x, 464 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm.


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Apr 19, 2017

everyone should read this book as well as Sumner (1800s), the person who quoted "the forgotten man" - he said A+ B decide how C should pay for D. "C" is the forgotten man - I read this way before Trump said he was going to run for president - I am thrilled
Trump has decided to use this term "the forgotten man" - the forgotten man is the majority that pays for everything but never gets represented . . . - also everyone should read about where money comes from and how we have to take care of ourselves first so we can help those due to no fault of their own can be helped - that does not mean we can save the world so other countries need to take care of their own too and if there is a way to point them in the right direction we should do so. I only have 3 prior homeless cats (I call them animal shelter specials) since I can't save them all - so we need to go in the right direction to save as many people and animals as we can - and only god can save the world.

pw1040 Jul 09, 2014

The author was much kinder to FDR and the Progressives than I expected. A good history of the depression.

Feb 14, 2013

Extremely well-written and thoroughly readable. Unlike many books handling this type of subject matter, Amity Shlaes manages to craft a in-depth analysis of the Great Depression & the people around it that you can't put down.

stirlbot Dec 30, 2011

This book wears its politics on its sleeve.


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