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Major Problems in American History, 1920-1945: Documents and Essays 2nd Edition

Colin Gordon

  • Published
  • Previous Editions 1999
  • 512 Pages

Overview

This collection of primary source documents and essays provides in-depth coverage of the cultural, social, political, economic, and intellectual events of the 1920-1945 era. In keeping with the proven strengths of the Major Problems series, the compelling documents are grouped with important secondary sources, accompanied by chapter introductions, selection headnotes, and suggested readings.

Colin Gordon, University of Iowa

Colin Gordon is Professor and Chair of History at the University of Iowa, where he has taught since 1994. He is the author of NEW DEALS: BUSINESS, LABOR AND POLITICS, 1920-1935 (1994), DEAD ON ARRIVAL: THE POLITICS OF HEALTH IN TWENTIETH CENTURY AMERICA (2003), and MAPPING DECLINE: ST. LOUIS AND THE FATE OF THE AMERICAN CITY (2008). He is also a senior research consultant to the Iowa Policy Project, where he writes on state labor, health, and economic development policies. Colin Gordon received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1990.
  • Chapter 8 on foreign policy between the wars and Chapter 15 on the political economy of World War II have been substantially revised to reflect new scholarship.
  • The Second Edition includes increased coverage of African Americans throughout, including “Black Workers ask ‘What Do Unions Do?’ 1923,” “St. Louis Realtors and Homeowners Bar Negro Occupancy, 1923,” “The Negro and the New Deal, 1936,” and “The Negro--Friend or Foe of Organized Labor? 1935.”
  • Gordon also incudes additional coverage of immigration, including Mae Ngai’s “Nationalism and Immigration in the 1920s.”
  • The Second Edition presents a more global view of the New Deal, with new sources including Elizabeth Borgwardt’s “A New Deal for the World,” and Alonzo Hamby’s “Responding to the Crash: Britain, Germany, and the U.S.”
  • Designed to encourage critical thinking about history, the Major Problems series introduces students to both primary sources and analytical essays on important topics in U.S. history. Each volume presents a carefully selected group of readings in a format that asks students to evaluate primary sources, test the interpretations of distinguished historians and others, and draw their own conclusions.
1. AMERICAN POLITICS AND SOCIETY BETWEEN THE WARS.
Essays.
Lynn Dumenil, The Modern Temper. Alan Dawley, American Liberalism and the Struggle for Justice between the Wars.
2. REFORM AND REACTION: PUBLIC POLICY IN THE REPUBLICAN ERA.
Documents.
1. Attorney General Palmer’s Case Against the “Reds,” 1920. 2. Cartoon, “We Can’t Digest the Scum” 1919. 3. Herbert Hoover on American Individualism, 1922. 4. Trade Association in the Auto Industry, 1924. 5. A Business Analyst Explains Why Trade Associations Don’t Work, 1933. 6. “Babbitt” Sketches “Our Ideal Citizen,” 1922. 7. Alva Belmont Urges Women Not to Vote, 1920. 8. Florence Kelley and Elsie Hill Debate Equal Right for Women, 1922. 9. A Mother’s Plea to the Children’s Bureau, 1916.
Essays.
Ellis Hawley, Herbert Hoover and the “Associational” State. Molly Ladd-Taylor, Maternalism, Feminism, and the Politics of Reform in the 1920s.
3. LABOR AND WELFARE CAPITALISM IN THE 1920S.
Documents.
1. The Interchurch World Movement Investigates the Steel Strike, 1920. 2. Ralph Chaplin Recalls the “Clamp Down” of the Red Scare of the 1920s. 3. Black Workers ask “What Do Unions Do?”, 1923. 4. The Employer’s Case for Welfare Capitalism, 1925. 5. Labor’s Case Against Welfare Capitalism, 1927. 6. The National Association of Manufacturers Defends the “Open Shop,” 1922. 7. The American Federation of Labor Condemns the “Open Shop,” 1921. 8. The AFL Ignores Women, 1927. 9. The Women’s Bureau Exposes the Myths about Women’s Work, 1924.
Essays.
Rick Halpern, Welfare Capitalism in the Packinghouses. Alice Kessler Harris, The Uneasy Relationship between Labor and Women.
4. THE POLITICS AND CULTURE OF CONSUMPTION.
Documents.
1. A Critic Sees Advertising as a Narcotic, 1934. 2. An Enthusiast Applauds Advertising, 1928. 3. Two Magazine Advertisements, 1929 and 1930. 4. Radio--A Blessing or a Curse? 1929. 5. Doubts about Auto Financing, 1926. 6. The Automobile Comes to Middletown, 1929. 7. The American Federation of Labor on the “Living Wage,” 1919. 8. Bruce Barton Sees Jesus as an Advertising Man, 1925.
Essays.
Lawrence Glickman, The Politics of Consumption in the 1920s. Roland Marchand, The Culture of Advertising.
5. INTELLECTUAL AND CULTURAL CURRENTS.
Documents.
1. Claude McKay, “If I Must Die,” 1919. 2. Langston Hughes, Two Poems of the 1920s. 3. F. Scott Fitzgerald on the Jazz Age, 1931. 4. The Educational Promise of Radio, 1930. 5. Granville Hicks on Writers in the 1930s. 6. Two WPA Posters, 1935, 1938. 7. A Magazine Cover Comments on Public Art, 1941. 8. An Artist Remembers the WPA, 1935-9.
Essays.
Robert McChesney, The Battle For the Airwaves. Jane De Hart Mathews, A New Deal for Art.
6. “100 PERCENT AMERICANISM”: RACE AND ETHNICITY BETWEEN THE WARS.
Documents.
1. W.E.B. Du Bois on the Meaning of the War for African-Americans, 1919. 2. The Governor of California on the Asian Problem, 1920. 3. Congress Debates Immigration Restriction, 1921. 4. Cartoon, “Seeking More Freedom,” 1921. 5. The Ku Klux Klan Defines Americanism, 1926. 6. Walter White Documents a Lynching, 1925. 7. St. Louis Realtors and Homeowners Bar Negro Occupancy, 1923. 8. Marcus Garvey Makes the Case for Black Nationalism, 1925. 9. Carey McWilliams Accuses California of “Getting Rid of the Mexicans,” 1933.
Essays.
Mae Ngai, Nationalism and Immigration in the 1920s. Nancy MacLean, The Class Anxieties of the Ku Klux Klan. David Montejano, The Mexican Problem.
7. RESPONDING TO THE CRASH.
Documents.
1. Herbert Hoover Reassures the Nation, 1931. 2. A Business Leader Responds (Hopefully) to the Crash, 1929. 3. Henry Ford on Unemployment and Self-Help, 1932. 4. A Participant Recalls The Ford Hunger March of 1932. 5. A Participant Recalls the Bonus Army March of 1932. 6. Leading Retailers Propose a Solution, 1934.
Essays.
Robert Himmelberg, Understanding the Depression. Roy Rosenzweig, Organizing the Unemployed.
8. THE DILEMMAS OF LIBERAL INTERNATIONALISM: FOREIGN POLICY BETWEEN THE WARS.
Documents.
1. President Woodrow Wilson Defends the League of Nations, 1919. 2. President Calvin Coolidge on the Business of Foreign Policy, 1927. 3. A Citizen’s Committee Warns of a Foreign Policy “Dangerous to our own Democracy,” 1926. 4. A State Department Official on the Benefits of Disarmament, 1931. 5. President Herbert Hoover on the World Depression, 1932. 6. Former Secretary of State Frank Kellogg on Avoiding War, 1935. 7. Secretary of State Hull Promotes Reciprocal Trade, 1936. 8. Standard Oil v. Mexico, 1938-1940.
Essays.
Frank Costigliola, Foreign Policy and Cultural Expansion. Emily Rosenberg, The Dilemmas of Interwar Foreign Policy.
9. HARD TIMES AND HARDER TIMES: AGRICULTURE BETWEEN THE WARS.
Documents.
1. Conditions in Rural America, 1932. 2. Tenant Farmers Recall the Conditions of Sharecropping in the 1930s. 3. From a Dust Bowl Diary, 1934. 4. A Farmer Recalls a “Penny Sale” of the 1930s. 5. Milo Reno Suggests “What the Farmer Wants,” 1934. 6. The Agricultural Adjustment Act, 1933. 7. Depression and New Deal Both Hit Black Farmers, 1937. 8. John Steinbeck on Migrant Labor in California, 1938.
Essays.
Paul Conkin, A New Deal for Agriculture. Robin D.G. Kelley, The Sharecroppers’ Union.
10. PRIVATE LIVES IN HARD TIMES
Documents.
1. I Was a Burden, 1933. 2. A Working Class Women on “Making Do” in the 1930s. 3. Dr. Hilda Standish Recalls Efforts to Control Reproduction in the 1930s. 4. Children Recall the 1930s. 4. The Plight of the Unemployed in the 1930s. 5. An Ordinary American Appeals to Her Government, 1935.
Essays.
Ruth Milkman, Women’s Work in Hard Times. Leslie Reagan, Reproductive Practices and Politics. George Chauncey, The Campaign Against Homosexuality.
11. SHAPING THE NEW DEAL: RECOVERY AND REFORM POLITICS.
Documents.
1. Roosevelt’s First Inaugural Address, 1934. 2. A Business Cynic on the NRA Codes, 1934. 3. The National Urban League Documents Discrimination Under the NRA, 1934. 4. The Negro and the New Deal, 1936. 5. President Roosevelt Outlines Social Security for Congress, 1935. 6. The Committee On Economic Security Argues for “Contributory” Social Insurance, 1935. 7. An Architect of Social Security Recalls the Southern Concession, 1935. 8. Social Security Advisers Consider Male and Female Pensioners, 1938.
Essays.
David Kennedy, What the New Deal Did. Ira Katznelson, When Affirmative Action Was White. Linda Gordon, Men, Women, and the Assumptions of American Social Provision.
12. RACE, GENDER, AND THE RISE OF THE CIO.
Documents.
1. The National Labor Relations Act, 1935. 2. A Recollection of the Flint Sit Down Strike of 1936. 3. Stella Nowicki Recalls Organizing the Packinghouses in the 1930s. 4. A Congressional Committee Documents Violence Against Labor, 1937. 5. The Chicago Defender Sees the CIO as a Civil Rights Organization. 1939. 6. The Negro--Friend or Foe of Organized Labor? (1935). 7. A Southerner Recalls the Limits of Labor’s Rights, ca. 1938.
Essays.
Roger Horowitz, Organizing the Packinghouses. Elizabeth Faue, Gender and Community in the Minneapolis Labor Movement. Michael Honey, Race and Unionism: The CIO in the South.
13. CONTESTING THE NEW DEAL.
Documents.
1. Communists Lament the Futility of the New Deal, 1934. 2. The Communist Party Argues for a “Popular Front, 1938. 3. Upton Sinclair’s Twelve Principles to “End Poverty in California,” 1936. 4. Huey Long and the Share Our Wealth Society, 1935. 5. Father Coughlin Lectures on Social Justice, 1935. 6. W.P. Kiplinger Argues “Why Businessmen Fear Washington,” 1934. 7. What the Liberty League Believes, 1935-6. 8. Herbert Hoover Comments on the New Deal, 1936. 9. Southern Democrats Erode the New Deal Coalition, 1938.
Essays.
Alan Brinkley, Dissidents and Demagogues. Colin Gordon, Business vs. the New Deal.
14. THE SOCIAL IMPACT OF WORLD WAR II.
Documents.
1. President Franklin Roosevelt Identifies the “Four Freedoms” at Stake in the War, 1941. 2. A Woman Worker Reflects on the “Good War” at Home in the 1940s. 3. Ethel Gorman Advises: “How to Write a Letter to Your Man Overseas,” 1942. 4. An Anxious Letter Home from the Western Front, 1944. 5. A. Philip Randolph Argues for a March on Washington, 1942. 6. An African-American Soldier Notes the “Strange Paradox” of the War, 1944. 7. A Japanese-American Questions the Four Freedoms, 1942.
Essays.
Robert Westbrook, Fighting for the Family. Ruth Milkman, Redefining Women’s Work.
15. THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF WORLD WAR II.
Documents.
1. Charles Lindbergh on the Perils of War, 1939. 2. Dr. Seuss on the Perils of Neutrality, 1941. 3. The Atlantic Charter, 1941. 4. Debating The Bretton Woods Agreement, 1945. 5. Postwar Hopes for Full Employment, 1942. 6. Vice President Henry Wallace on Postwar Prospects, 1944. 7. War Bond Ad, 1944. 8. I.F. Stone on Washington’s Anxieties about the Peace, 1945.
Essays.
Michael Sherry, Mobilization and Militarization. Alan Brinkley, World War II and American Liberalism. Elizabeth Borgwardt, A New Deal for the World.

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