A People's Read-a-long! We're reading a chapter a week, and I'm finding the pace deligtful. Note: the hosts have switched to posting every other week instead of every week, but I'm bucking the trend and posting every week. This week is a week everyone is posting. (Missed the earlier posts? Check them all out here.)
My thoughts: Chapter 15, "Self-Help in Hard Times," continues the theme of economic inequality through the Great Depression. In many ways, this chapter feels the culmination of much of this book.
One of the things I enjoyed most in this chapter were the excerpts from writers at the time who were trying to draw attention to the issues. Zinn included excerpts from F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Steinbeck, Langston Hughes and Sinclair Lewis.
There were far more moments of astonishment at the downright ignorance, or intentional lies, coming from the leaders:
"Herbert Hoover had said, not long before the crash: 'We in America today are nearer to the final triumph over poverty than ever before in the history of any land.' Henry Ford, in March 1931, said the crisis was here because 'the average man won't really do a day's work unless he is caught and cannot get out of it. There is plenty of work to do if people would do it.' A few weeks later he laid of 75,000 workers."Zinn covers the Great Depression, the New Deal and leads up to the beginning of World War II. I'm finding as I know the history of this period better that there are fewer surprising things. Having read up to this part, however, does provide added context to this period.
Intrigued? Read along! Buy A People's History of the United States from an independent bookstore, the Book Depository or Amazon (the Kindle version.) You don't have to post each week.
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