Best Books on the Great Depression

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Best Books on the Great Depression

The year was 1929, and it was autumn. Although share prices dropped dramatically at the start of September, nobody could have predicted the ramifications of such a decrease. However, on October 29, also known as “Black Tuesday,” the stock industry in the United States had entirely collapsed. What ensued was an economic catastrophe unlike any other, one that rippled around the world and lasted the entire 1930s. Money was scarce, regardless of if you were wealthy or impoverished. Global commerce has slowed, while unemployment rates have risen to alarming levels. In spite of the challenges, people carried on with their livelihoods and fought bravely.

From Plennie Wingo’s career-high trips to an old man’s covert acts of compassion, the featured works about the Great Depression taught us that some people became legends. Others experienced additional challenges, such as house-destroying dust storms, while an entire nation underwent a dramatic culinary transformation. Whichever the case, the books listed below reveal remarkable stories of heroism, transformation, and fraud throughout the Great Depression, which lasted from 1929 to 1939. These books will be perfect for you if you are a fan of learning history and is particularly interested in learning about the great depression which is one of the darkest ages in human history.

1. The Man Who Walked Backward

The Man Who Walked Backward

With nearly everyone living in poverty, many Americans devised cash scams and sought fame. Plennie Wingo of Abilene, Texas, was one of these people, but his road to fame (and the tactics by which he achieved it) was a little uncommon: in April of 1931, he wore a pair of metal shoes, made cards of oneself, and embarked on a backward journey around the globe. But this 36-year-old explorer discovered far more in his pursuit for sponsors and a financially successful name. Pennie’s voyage across Steinbeck’s America—then to Hitler’s Germany, and even beyond full of unforgettable encounters that provide a distinct portrayal of the Great Depression, from an unhappy run-in with the authorities to the unexpected kindness and generosity of complete strangers. The writing of the book is really engaging and you will definitely enjoy this one.

2. Since Yesterday

Since Yesterday

From 1929 through 1939, the United States was engulfed in the Great Depression, which sapped morale to the bone. The inauguration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933 brought some steadiness back, but complete recovery remained a long way off—and there were plenty of roadblocks to the result. While the period was turbulent, it also saw the birth of new customs, activities, and innovations that would impact American life permanently. Since Yesterday immerses readers in this pivotal ten-year era, charting the country’s steady ascent out of the darkness of its worst economic depression. The book has been successful in capturing the era and its essence and the book is one of the best books that elaborate on the great depression and how it affected the lives of every American in the world.

3. Once in Golconda

Once in Golconda

Most accounts of the Great Depression start with the 1929 catastrophe, while John Brooks’ “True Drama of Wall Street” begins with the 1920s boom stocks that anticipated the crash. The American financial sector seemed too large to fail in the years among both World Wars, and traders and financiers were on top of the world. How did that much good fortune turn into calamity so swiftly? Brooks uses the famous city of Golconda in India as a diving place to convey the story of Wall Street’s dizzying highs and terrible lows. According to legend, anyone passing via Golconda was rewarded with incredible wealth—at least until the town ran out of it. Despite the fact that it was initially published in 1969, this gripping story addresses everlasting issues that are still relevant to today’s shareholders, from the fraud that led to the formation of today’s financial rules to the foolishness of shareholder confidence in a bull market.

4. The Day the Bubble Burst

The Day the Bubble Burst

Americans viewed banking, commerce, and governmental policies with blind idealism in the 1920s. As far as they were aware, nothing would ever lead to disaster. The occurrences of October 29, 1929, however, demonstrated that these beliefs were false, as the “untouchable” US stock market crashed—and with it, the global economy. This New York Times blockbuster examines the influential men behind the scenes—as well as the common people who bore the brunt of their decisions—to provide a fascinating history of the Great Depression that just doesn’t feel like it was plucked off a lonely bookshelf. The narrative of an inflated share market and the banking crisis that led to the Great Depression of the 1930s is told in this New York Times popular book. Black Tuesday, October 29, 1929, is the subject of a gripping national history. The exhilarating expectation, the optimism that controlled men’s hearts and minds before the market collapse and the years that followed.

5. Lords of Finance

Lords of Finance

Despite common assumptions, the Great Depression was caused by a small group of people—four powerful financiers, to be specific. Montagu Norman of the Bank of England, Émile Moreau of France, Hjalmar Schacht of the Reichsbank, and Benjamin Strong of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York made up this foursome. Following the devastation of World War I, these leaders prioritized the recovery of financial security, believing that the gold standard would be the top priority. The Pulitzer Prize-winning research of finance specialist Liaquat Ahamed investigates how this choice led to the 1929 stock market crash (and the ensuing disaster), which has worrisome connections to today’s financial turmoil. Lords of Finance is a warning of the massive effect that major banks’ decisions may have, of their fragility, and of the horrible human repercussions that can occur once they are incorrect, providing a new understanding of the international effect of banking crises.

6. The Worst Hard Time

The Worst Hard Time

As the United States struggled to recover from the Economic Crisis, the Western Great Plains were hit by yet another catastrophe: the Dust Bowl. These “black blizzards,” which were much more terrible than any previous storm, were suggestive of a biblical scourge, destroying both harvests and humans. Timothy Egan, a recipient of the National Book Award, uncovers the variables that contribute to their amount and duration, which are most likely a mix of irresponsible farming methods and the broader economic catastrophe. The Worst Hard Time is, at its core, a personal portrait of men and women who witnessed their world come apart and lived to tell the story.

7. A Secret Gift

A Secret Gift

In 1933, the suffering citizens of Canton, Ohio, came across an unusual advertisement in the daily paper: for $10, households may write to one Mr. B. Virdot about their Great Recession experiences. In actuality, Virdot’s real name was Sam Stone, and he was only trying to help out over the forthcoming Holiday season. Stone’s grandson unearthed the residents’ comments in a trunk seventy-five years later and set out to find the tales underlying in them. His investigation revealed not only the consequences of his grandfather’s secret kindness but also the man’s profoundly tormented youth. This book recounts the full investigation, making it a distinctive and emotional addition to the canon of Great Depression literature.

8. Dancing in The Dark

Dancing in The Dark

Although the Great Depression was a sad period in America and throughout the world, it was also a period of great cultural innovation. People turned to everything from cabaret to the cinema, jazz groups to art Deco architecture as an escape from the hardships of life often as a method to deal with or even accept them. Morris Dickstein, a CUNY senior lecturer of English and Theater, includes a complete portrait of American society during the Great Depression, from operas and goofball comedians to the shades of the Dust Bowl, in his book Dancing in the Dark. The Great Depression was a period of misery and pain, but it was also a time of hope and startling positivity, as Dickstein’s cultural survey reveals.

9. The Match King

The Match King

Part memoir, part economic dissertation, Frank Partnoy’s book is about a mostly forgotten and underestimated great businessman who produced innovative investment instruments that wrecked havoc on the markets and foreshadowed many of the issues that our economy suffers today. Taking a step back from the larger picture of the Great Depression, The Match King portrays a picture of the kind of the guy who helped make it a reality, even as he was a rare success story in the aftermath. Why did Ivar Kreuger kill himself in 1932? Kreuger gained his wealth as a Swedish refugee by collecting funds and lending it across Europe in exchange for matchstick patents. He became wealthy as a result of his strategy, but at what cost? This book is definitely one of the best ones about the great depression.

10. The Great Crash 1929

The Great Crash 1929

John Kenneth Galbraith’s blistering, funny, and intelligent account of unbridled speculations and the consequent dreadful financial calamity has never been out of print since it was first released in 1955, and it remains as important today as it was when he first wrote it. The Atlantic Monthly previously observed of Galbraith’s masterpiece, “Economic books are rarely renowned for their enjoyment, but this book is.” As each new financial balloon is contrasted to the 1929 disaster, Galbraith’s extensive and incisive examination of what bad happened, newly revised with an intro addressing some more recent financial highs and lows, feels as timely in 2019 as it did when it was first published.

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