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WPA Guide

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WPA Guide

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1 The WPA Guide to 1930's Montana


Price: 14.96 USD

WPA Guide to South Dakota, Federal Writers’ Project, introduction by John E. Miller

2 WPA Guide to South Dakota
Federal Writers’ Project, introduction by John E. Miller
472 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/4, map, index, bibliography, paperback, Minnesota Historical Society Press / Borealis Books Imprint
A snapshot of South Dakota as our grandparents knew it.
Rolling prairie grasslands in the east, surreal Badlands and lush Black Hills in the west: South Dakota is a state of vivid contrasts. In this classic and now-rare guide to Depression-era South Dakota, you can discover the historic byways and back roads of this beautiful state. Originally part of the American Guide Series, this book was written both to chronicle the physical and cultural landscape of the Mount Rushmore State and to employ out-of-work writers. The result is a snapshot of South Dakota as our grandparents knew it.

About Author
John E. Miller, professor emeritus of history at South Dakota State University–Brookings, is editor of History of South Dakota (4th edition, revised).
Price: 17.95 USD

The WPA Guide to 1930s Alabama, Harvey H. Jackson III

3 The WPA Guide to 1930s Alabama
Harvey H. Jackson III
584 pages, paperback / softcover, University of Alabama Press
A fascinating time capsule, this classic guide captures Alabama at a critical moment in its history between the Great Depression and World War II and its aftermath.
The WPA guide to Alabama provides a unique snapshot of 1930s Alabama life and culture. Like the other state guides in the WPA's American Guide Series, it features essays on history, economy, people, folkways, education, and other characteristics of the state, as well as general information about the towns and cities. Fifteen suggested automobile tours encourage visitors and residents to explore every corner of the state, from the Gulf Coast to the Black Belt and the Tennessee Valley, from bayous to farmlands to mountain gorges.
When it was first published in 1941, the guide went far to dispel the myth of an Alabama consisting only of cotton fields, magnolias, and plantation houses by highlighting the vibrant university life in Tuscaloosa, the modern industrial activity in Birmingham, the informality of politics in Montgomery, the cultural diversity in Alabama's port city, Mobile, and the small town life in Huntsville before it became home to the space industry. The book includes a calendar of annual events, census data, and a wealth of information useful to the traveling public of the time and enlightening to readers today. The guide lists radio stations, buses, railroads, and highways as they existed before the advent of television, interstates, and malls.
Harvey Jackson's fascinating introduction assesses the guide as a historical document and recounts the involved and sometimes controversial process by which it was researched and written. Project directors struggled to make the guide palatable to its public while still addressing such issues as poverty and race relations and recognizing the state's diversity and its rich folk culture. The result makes for compelling reading for general readers and historians alike.

About Author
Harvey H. Jackson III is Professor of History at Jacksonville State University. His books include Rivers of History: Life on the Coosa, Tallapoosa, Cahaba, and Alabama and Putting Loafing Stream to Work: The Building of Lay, Mitchell, Martin, and Jordan Dams, 1910-1929, both published by The University of Alabama Press.

"How this volume was compiled and edited and how for a generation it came to be the definitive interpretation of the state's past are detailed in Harvey Jackson's sensitive introduction to this reprint. The story tells much about the people of Alabama and their perceptions of the state and its history. The WPA Guide to 1930s Alabama evokes the time of its compilation and helps us understand this era. It is a must for the bookshelves of Alabama's citizens, and Jackson's introduction is invaluable to understanding the full significance of the Guide to the state's history."—Leah Rawls Atkins, Auburn University
Price: 24.95 USD



4 All of This Music Belongs to the Nation: The WPA's Federal Music Project and American Society
Kenneth J. Bindas
paperback / softcover, University of Tennessee Press
Established in 1935 under the aegis of the Works Progress Administration, the Federal Music Project (FMP) was designed to employ musicians who were hard hit by the economic devastation of the Great Depression. All of This Music Belongs to the Nation is the first book-length study of the FMP and the many paradoxes and conflicts that marked its four-year existence.
As Kenneth J. Bindas points out, the FMP leadership was more conservative than that of the sister projects in art, theater, and writing. Its stated aim of "raising" the taste of musicians and citizens alike created a particular problem. Although many unemployed musicians came from the sphere of popular music, such as jazz and Tin Pan Alley, the FMP chose to emphasize "cultured" music, particularly the orchestral works of composers in the European classical tradition. Inevitably, this created tension within the project, as those musicians deemed "popular" received second-class treatment and, in the case of racial and ethnic minorities, were segregated and stereotyped. Despite these troubles, Bindas demonstrates, the FMP succeeded in bringing music to millions of listeners across the country.
In exploring the FMP, its mandates, its leadership, and the strategies it employed to expose Americans to various kinds of music, Bindas brings to light one of the lesser-known programs of the New Deal and its impact on society.

About Author
Kenneth J. Bindas is assistant professor of history at Kent State University, Trumball. He is the editor of America's Musical Pulse: Popular Music in the Twentieth Century and the author of numerous scholarly articles on the history of American music and its cultural influences.
Price: 18.00 USD

The WPA History of the Negro in Pittsburgh, Laurence A. Glasco, Wright, J. Ernest

5 The WPA History of the Negro in Pittsburgh
Laurence A. Glasco, Wright, J. Ernest
432 pages, hardback, University of Pittsburgh Press
The first publication of a reclaimed WPA project studying Pittsburgh's black population. The book features articles on civil rights, social class, lifestyle, culture, folklore, and institutions, from colonial times through the 1930s.
The monumental American Guide Series, published by the Federal Writers' Project, provided work to thousands of unemployed writers, editors, and researchers in the midst of the Great Depression. Featuring books on states, cities, rivers, and ethnic groups, it also opened an unprecedented view into the lives of the American people during this time. Untold numbers of projects in progress were lost when the program was abruptly shut down by a hostile Congress in 1939. One of those, "The Negro in Pittsburgh," lay dormant in the Pennsylvania State Library until it was microfilmed in 1970. The WPA History of the Negro in Pittsburgh marks the first publication of this rich body of information. This unique historical study of the city's black population features articles on civil rights, social class, lifestyle, culture, folklore, and institutions from colonial times through the 1930s.

About Author
Laurence A. Glasco, associate professor of history at the University of Pittsburgh, is the author of Ethnicity and Social Structure: Irish, Germans, and Native-Born of Buffalo, N.Y., 1850–1860 and the coauthor of Legacy in Bricks and Mortar: African American Landmarks in Allegheny County.
Price: 39.95 USD

WPA Guide to Minnesota, The Federal Writers Project, introduction by Frederick Manfred

6 WPA Guide to Minnesota
The Federal Writers Project, introduction by Frederick Manfred
548 pp., 14 b&w illus., chronology, bibliography, index, paperback, Minnesota Historical Society Press / Borealis Books Imprint
A beguiling travel guide and history lesson in one, this volume offers an unprecedented look at Minnesota and its people.
In the 1930s, at the height of the Great Depression, the federal government put thousands of unemployed writers to work in the Federal Writers Project of the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Out of their efforts came the American Guide series, the first comprehensive guidebooks to the people, resources, and traditions of each state in the union.
The WPA Guide to Minnesota is a lively and detailed introduction to the state and its people. Much has changed since the book's first publication in 1938 when, as the authors noted, some Minnesotans could "clearly recall . . . the sight of browsing buffalo herds, and the creaking of thong-tied Red River carts." But the book vividly recaptures the era when annual fishing licenses cost fifty cents, farmers ran barn dances for motoring townfolk, Duluth was the headquarters of the Hay Fever Club of America, and the nearly new Foshay Tower loomed on the Minneapolis skyline.
The guide has much more than nostalgia to offer today's readers. Twenty auto tours and six special city tours tell the stories of the state's people and places and offer a fascinating alternative to freeway travel. Essays on major themes such as native peoples, history, arts, transportation, and sports provide an authentic self-portrait of 1930s Minnesota in humorous, loving, and literary prose.
This time-travelers' guide to Minnesota is an evocative reminder of the state's past and a challenge to contemporary readers who seek to find how that past lives on today.
Special features include 20 road trips, 6 city tours, 15 boundary waters canoe trips, 12 maps, 22 drawings, an introduction by the renowned Midwestern writer Frederick Manfred, a chronology, and a revised bibliography.

"[A] worthy road companion. . . . a book to keep readily at hand for a quick and nostalgic read." -- St. Paul Pioneer Press Dispatch

"A mine of many treasures." -- Frederick Manfred
Price: 17.95 USD

Works Progress Administration (WPA) Records of Prince William County, Virginia, W. R. Hobbs, Teresa A. Kelley, and Sallie C. Pusey

7 Works Progress Administration (WPA) Records of Prince William County, Virginia
W. R. Hobbs, Teresa A. Kelley, and Sallie C. Pusey
2001, 6x9, paper, index, 849 pp, paperback, Heritage Books
Material reproduced from the Virginia Historical Inventory relating to this county. It describes cemeteries, churches, history, homes, industry, schools, towns, personal papers and other subjects.
Price: 68.00 USD

WPA Guide to the Minnesota Arrowhead Country, Workers of the Writers’ Program of the WPA

8 WPA Guide to the Minnesota Arrowhead Country
Workers of the Writers’ Program of the WPA
235 pp., 1988, 37 illus., index, paperback, Minnesota Historical Society Press / Borealis Books Imprint
First published in 1941 as part of the American Guide Series, this lively book describes Minnesota's popular northern region. Special features include fifteen canoe trips; five maps; thirty-seven photographs; forty-seven city, town, and village profiles; four road tours; a chronology; a glossary; and a bibliography with updated suggestions for further reading in fiction and nonfiction about the region.

New introduction by Francis M. Carroll.
Price: 9.95 USD


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