Summary: This is the story of the United States between 1920 and 1942, a time when the country soared higher and fell lower than at any period in its short history. In these convulsive years, Americans were dazzled by the pleasures of unprecedented economic prosperity and beset by the worst depression in their history. It was the era of Model T's, rising incomes, scientific management, electricity, talking movies, and advertising techniques that sold a seemingly endless strea ...show morem of goods. But it was also a time of grave social conflict, human suffering, hunger marches, and soup kitchens. The birth of a full-blown consumer-oriented economy and its temporary collapse profoundly affected the physical welfare and moral sensibilities of men, women, and children from all walks of life in every region of the United States and gave rise to many of the institutions, preoccupations, and problems of our own age. The breakdown of America's first era of high mass consumption in late 1929 brought profound changes in the connection between people and government. Harding and Coolidge, having no big plans, let the marketplace go its own way, ignoring the gambles and inherent inequities of furious economic development. The Crash, however, forced Hoover, Roosevelt, and the nation to reexamine old solutions and boldly address an abiding American dilemma: Should the federal government strive to fulfill the promises of a consumer society? How should it strike a balance between economic recovery and social reform, between renewed economic growth and unresolved issues of fairness? FDR's New Deal emerged in an effort to satisfy these questions. The world beyond America changed also in these years and caused the nation's leaders to rethink how the country should relate to events in Europe, Latin America, and Asia. By rejecting participation in the League of Nations and other international organizations at the end of World War I, Americans and their leaders affirmed that they wished to live, work. ...show lessEdition/Copyright: 92
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