Book Review : Down And Out The Great Depression Letters From The Forgotten Man – Book Report/Review Example
Book Review: Down and Out the Great Depression Letters from the Forgotten Man A short summary of the book, the point, his arguments, and the conclusion he made
In this extensive narrative, McElvaine introduces letters, pointing out their importance and some of the themes that come out of them. This is done by preserving their original grammar, spellings, capitalization, and syntax. The book is a great tell of how forgotten men, children, and women used letters to express their suffering in one of the greatest times of hard life in America (McElvaine, 58). Going through approximately 15, 000 letters from possible sources in both the public and private sectors, Robert McElvaine tries his best to show the thoughts, the social problems, and emotions experienced by a common citizen in the critical times of the Great Depression.
In a synopsis, the book captures the everyday anguish of citizens in the thirties. McElvaine introduces to the historians, the circumstances under which people lived during the great disaster. The main argument of the author can be rationally observed that the Great Depression was the greatest ever economic crisis; a major personal event in the lives of millions of American citizens. In his view, McElvaine depicts that as opposed to popular belief, most of the individuals who suffered the depression were not mere passive victims ever recorded in history, but they were actors, producers, directors, and playwrights of the same (McElvaine, 80). All this according to the author were for the objective of taking an active role in attempting to deal with light and most significantly, get a solution to their problems. In conclusion, the author argues that the World War II was the single extremely vital event that shaped and directed subsequent developments in the entire 20th century. However, there is no comparable event that shaped the world in 1930s, or that which influenced occurrences that led to WWII than the global Great Depression.
McElvaine, Robert S., ed. Down & Out in the Great Depression: Letters from the Forgotten Man. University of North Carolina Press, 2008.