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The Hungry Years: A Narrative History of the Great Depression in America
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The Hungry Years: A Narrative History of the Great Depression in America

3.73  ·  Rating Details  ·  56 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
It was the worst of times and the best of times. It was an era of unprecedented crisis and a time of unprecedented courage. In a single, comprehensive volume, The Hungry Years tells the story of the Great Depression through the eyes of the people who lived it. Less concerned with the power brokers in Washington than with the daily struggles of ordinary people at the grassr ...more
Paperback, 608 pages
Published September 1st 2000 by Holt Paperbacks
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While this has some good information, I didn't really care for it. I drove me crazy that things were not in chronological order, and the author was obsessed with the rise of the unions and using quotes that had curse words in them. He also spent some time (though not a huge amount) basically saying how stupid the conservatives were for sticking to there principles.

I wouldn't recommend this book for those looking for a balanced view of the time.
Dec 21, 2013 Patrick rated it liked it
This book is an absolutely fantastic work of scholarly, well-researched narrative history. Watkins speaks in an authoratative voice that is well cited and supported by countless documents and books of research. This book is an absolutely fantastic narrative history of the Great Depression in America, with great emphasis on social, political, economic, and labor history. Watkins' emphasis on and attention to labor history is of much significance to me. He devotes large portions of the book to the ...more
For me, this book was strongest when it told the stories of individuals enmeshed in the traumas of the Great Depression. Though Watkins states at the beginning that it isn't a history of the New Deal, there's a lot of material about government efforts to alleviate the depression. After a while, all the bureaucratic wrangling became tiresome. Still, it does an admirable job when it delves into the suffering of individuals, and the efforts they made to change their fates. He also includes quite a ...more
Sep 16, 2012 Mary rated it liked it
This is an extensively researched book. There is a wealth of knowledge contained between these covers. The enormous personal toll of the Great Depression is explained in heart breaking detail: homelessness, starvation, the loss of hope. I never realized how far our country had fallen before the climb back to greatness began.

This is not a chatty personal story book, rather it is a finely tuned analysis of an event that forever changed the United States. There are lessons here for all our leaders
Dec 26, 2009 Birgit rated it really liked it
After having watched the OPB documentaries about public works nationally, and then locally for Oregon; I wanted to read more about the era; clearly written also for lay-persons; no need to be a historian to get something from this book.
Just musing: the wheel has already been created; what are we waiting for to give our economy a new start?
Sep 12, 2015 Jenny rated it it was amazing
I love anything writen about the Great Depression. This was one of my favorites from that group though. This is partially informative with some statistics and facts about the time, but it is also an oral narrative from people who lived to tell the tale.
Mar 25, 2012 Larsenross rated it it was amazing
Very readable. Examines the farm history of the Great Depression. Excellent description of what the government did to help people during these years.

A couple of pages described the efforts of Milo Reno, a farm organizer.
Feb 22, 2012 Yolanda rated it it was amazing
Very sad and very interesting. I never knew that lots of people died of starvation in our country during those years. Everyone should read this book.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Depression. Disappointing.
Jul 10, 2012 Ja rated it liked it
Started me on the journey.
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