Historical Dictionary of the Great Depression, 1929-1940

Greenwood Publishing Group
Free sample

Today when most Americans think of the Great Depression, they imagine desperate hoboes riding the rails in search of work, unemployed men selling pencils to indifferent crowds, bootleggers hustling illegal booze to secrecy-shrouded speakeasies, FDR smiling, or Judy Garland skipping along the yellow brick road. Hard times have become an abstraction. But there was a time when economic suffering was real, when hunger stalked the land, and Americans tried to forget their troubles in movie theaters or in front of a radio.

From the stock market crash of October 1929 to Germany's invasion of Norway, France, and the Low Countries in 1940, the Great Depression blanketed the world economy. Its impact was particularly deep and direct in the United States. This was the era when the federal government became a major player in the national economy and Americans bestowed the responsibility for maintaining full employment and stable prices on Congress and the White House, making the Depression years a major watershed in U.S. history. In more than 500 essays, this book provides a ready reference to those hard times, covering the diplomacy, popular culture, intellectual life, economic problems, public policy issues, and prominent individuals of the era.

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About the author

JAMES S. OLSON is Professor of History and Department Chair at Sam Houston State University. He is the author of more than forty books, including Historical Dictionary of the 1970s (Greenwood, 1999), Historical Dictionary of the 1960s (Greenwood, 1999), and Historical Dictionary of the 1950s (Greenwood, 2000).

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Additional Information

Publisher
Greenwood Publishing Group
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Published on
Dec 31, 2001
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Pages
355
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ISBN
9780313306181
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Language
English
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Genres
History / United States / 20th Century
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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For two generations historians have debated the significance of the New Deal, arguing about what it tried and tried not to do, whether it was radical or reactionary, and what its origins were. They have emphasized the National Recovery Administration, Agricultural Adjustment Administration, Tennessee Valley Authority, or the various social and labor legislation to illustrate an assortment of arguments about the "real" New Deal. Here James Olson contends that the little-studied Reconstruction Finance Corporation was the major New Deal agency, even though it was the product of the Hoover Administration. Pouring more than ten billion dollars into private businesses during the 1930s in a strenuous effort to "save capitalism," the RFC was the largest, most powerful, and most influential of all New Deal agencies, proving that the main thrust of the New Deal was state capitalism--the use of the federal government to shore up private property and the status quo. As national and international money markets collapsed in 1930, Hoover created an RFC with a structure similar to that of his War Finance Corporation. The agency was given two billion dollars to make low-interest loans to commercial banks, savings banks, other financial institutions, and railroads. With modifications, it survived the ultimate collapse of the economy in 1933 and went on to become the central part of the New Deal's effort to preserve fundamental American institutions.

Originally published in 1988.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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From New Yorker staff writer David Grann, #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Lost City of Z, a twisting, haunting true-life murder mystery about one of the most monstrous crimes in American history
       
In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, they rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe.
      Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off. The family of an Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, became a prime target. Her relatives were shot and poisoned. And it was just the beginning, as more and more members of the tribe began to die under mysterious circumstances.
      In this last remnant of the Wild West—where oilmen like J. P. Getty made their fortunes and where desperadoes like Al Spencer, the “Phantom Terror,” roamed—many of those who dared to investigate the killings were themselves murdered. As the death toll climbed to more than twenty-four, the FBI took up the case. It was one of the organization’s first major homicide investigations and the bureau badly bungled the case. In desperation, the young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to unravel the mystery. White put together an undercover team, including one of the only American Indian agents in the bureau. The agents infiltrated the region, struggling to adopt the latest techniques of detection.  Together with the Osage they began to expose one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history. 
      In Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann revisits a shocking series of crimes in which dozens of people were murdered in cold blood. Based on years of research and startling new evidence, the book is a masterpiece of narrative nonfiction, as each step in the investigation reveals a series of sinister secrets and reversals. But more than that, it is a searing indictment of the callousness and prejudice toward American Indians that allowed the murderers to operate with impunity for so long. Killers of the Flower Moon is utterly compelling, but also emotionally devastating.
At a juncture in history when much interest and attention is focused on Central and South American political, ecological, social, and environmental concerns, this dictionary fills a major gap in reference materials relating to Amerindian tribes. This one-volume reference collects important information about the current status of the indigenous peoples of Central and South America and offers a chronology of the conquest of the Amerindian tribes; a list of tribes by country; and an extensive bibliography of surviving American Indian groups. Historical as well as contemporary descriptions of approximately 500 existing tribes or groups of people are provided along with several bibliographic citations at the conclusion of each entry. The focus of the volume is on those Indian groups that still maintain a sense of tribal identity.

For the vast majority of his entries, James S. Olson draws material from the Smithsonian Institution's seven-volume Handbook of South American Indians as well as other classic resources of a broad, general nature. Much attention is also focused on the complicated question of South American languages and on the definition of what constitutes an Indian. Olson's introduction cites dozens of valuable reference works relating to these topics. Following the introduction, this survey of surviving Amerindians is divided into sections that contain entries for each existing tribe or group; an appendix listing tribes by country; the Amerindian conquest chronology; and a bibliographical essay. This unique reference work should be an important item for most public, college, and university libraries. It will be welcomed by reference librarians, historians, anthropologists, and their students.

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