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Soul of A People

The WPA Writer's Project Uncovers Depression America
Taylor, David A., 1961- (Book - 2009 )
Soul of A People
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WILEY
Soul of a People is about a handful of people who were on the Federal Writer's Project in the 1930s and a glimpse of America at a turning point. This particular handful of characters went from poverty to great things later, and included John Cheever, Ralph Ellison, Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright, and Studs Terkel. In the 1930s they were all caught up in an effort to describe America in a series of WPA guides. Through striking images and firsthand accounts, the book reveals their experiences and the most vivid excerpts from selected guides and interviews: Harlem schoolchildren, truckers, Chicago fishmongers, Cuban cigar makers, a Florida midwife, Nebraskan meatpackers, and blind musicians.

Drawing on new discoveries from personal collections, archives, and recent biographies, a new picture has emerged in the last decade of how the participants' individual dramas intersected with the larger picture of their subjects. This book illuminates what it felt like to live that experience, how going from joblessness to reporting on their own communities affected artists with varied visions, as well as what feelings such a passage involved: shame humiliation, anger, excitement, nostalgia, and adventure. Also revealed is how the WPA writers anticipated, and perhaps paved the way for, the political movements of the following decades, including the Civil Rights movement, the Women's Right movement, and the Native American rights movement.

Book News
Taylor, a journalist and writer, recounts the efforts of writers involved in the Works Progression Administration's Writers' Project during the Depression. He describes how such writers as Conrad Aiken, Nelson Algren, Saul Bellow, Arna Bontemps, Edward Dahlberg, Studs Terkel, Zora Neale Hurston, John Cheever, Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, Anzia Yezierska and Harold Rosenburg wrote WPA books that served as histories and guides to the culture and people of different parts of the US. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Ingram Publishing Services
Soul of a People is about a handful of people who were on the Federal Writer's Project in the 1930s and a glimpse of America at a turning point. This particular handful of characters went from poverty to great things later, and included John Cheever, Ralph Ellison, Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright, and Studs Terkel. In the 1930s they were all caught up in an effort to describe America in a series of WPA guides. Through striking images and firsthand accounts, the book reveals their experiences and the most vivid excerpts from selected guides and interviews: Harlem schoolchildren, truckers, Chicago fishmongers, Cuban cigar makers, a Florida midwife, Nebraskan meatpackers, and blind musicians.

Drawing on new discoveries from personal collections, archives, and recent biographies, a new picture has emerged in the last decade of how the participants' individual dramas intersected with the larger picture of their subjects. This book illuminates what it felt like to live that experience, how going from joblessness to reporting on their own communities affected artists with varied visions, as well as what feelings such a passage involved: shame humiliation, anger, excitement, nostalgia, and adventure. Also revealed is how the WPA writers anticipated, and perhaps paved the way for, the political movements of the following decades, including the Civil Rights movement, the Women's Right movement, and the Native American rights movement.


Authors: Taylor, David A., 1961-
Statement of Responsibility: David A. Taylor
Title: Soul of a people
the WPA Writer's Project uncovers Depression America
Publisher: Hoboken, N.J. : Wiley, c2009
Characteristics: xi, 260 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 235-250) and index
Contents: The Writers' Project
Point of departure : New York
Chicago and the midwest
Gathering folklore, from Oklahoma to Harlem
Rising up in the West : Idaho
Nailing a freight on the fly : Nebraska
Poetic land, pugnacious people : California
Raising the dead in New Orleans
Cigars and turpentine in Florida
American and un-American : back around the boroughs
Converging on Washington
Traveling beyond
Subject Headings: Federal Writers' Project Influence United States Civilization 1918-1945 United States Intellectual life 20th century United States Social conditions 1933-1945 United States Guidebooks History 20th century Federal Writers' Project History
LCCN: 2008047041
ISBN: 0470403802
9780470403808
Branch Call Number: 973.917 T
Research Call Number: Sc E 10-601
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