THE ANXIOUS YEARS: America in the Thirties by Louis Ed. Filler

THE ANXIOUS YEARS: America in the Thirties

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

A most vivid reminder of the impact made on the lives of millions of people by the Great Depression. Though the '30's brought to the United States nothing approaching a revolution, it did bring to brief power the dictator-like Huey Long. It brought riots and a Communist led ""march"" on Washington. It saw a rapid growth in the intellectual and trade union influence of the Communists. Professor Filler has collected writings from the period and offers them as social evidence of America's reaction to that dreadful crisis. These writings raise spectres--the spectres of totalitarianism, of disabled liberalism, of anarchy. The images of America in the '30's projected by literary scenes are ones of fear, anger, disillusionment and hope:- the beggar, walking the streets of a large metropolis, without belief or hope or even self-regard; a shattered revolutionary, asking himself what is to become of his life and country; a confused union member, wondering how he could place his trust in the Communist agitator; the sick young man, about to begin his first job in six years--as a driver of trucks carrying high explosives, and little before him but a bleak integrity. The depression marked millions of people for the rest of their lives. Not only because they lost jobs, saw their careers broken, witnessed the suffering of their families and friends, and went hungry; but because what was happening to them seemed without reason. This reviewer knows of no better commentary on life in the thirties. Highly recommended to all libraries, this book should be of interest not only to the student of literature and politics, but to the general reader as well. It contains writings by John Dewey, John Steinbeck, Erskine Caldwell, Edmund Wilson, H.L. Mencken, Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, Archibald MacLeish, and many others.

Pub Date: Nov. 30th, 1963
Publisher: Putnam