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The Great Depression: A Diary

Roth, Benjamin

353 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 158648799X / ISBN 13: 9781586487997
Published by PublicAffairs, U.S.A., 2009
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Second Site Books (Chicago, IL, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

This title offers a first-person diary account of living through the Great Depression, with haunting parallels to our own time. Benjamin Roth was born in New York City in 1894. When the stock market crashed in 1929, he had been practicing law for approximately ten years, largely representing local businesses. After nearly two years, he began to grasp the magnitude of what had happened to American economic life, and he began writing down his impressions in a diary that he maintained intermittently until he died in 1978. Roth's words from that unique time seem to speak directly to readers today. His perceptions and experiences have a chilling similarity to our own era. Like many of us, Roth struggles both to understand and to educate himself about what was going on around him. He is sceptical of big government, yet ultimately won over by FDR's New Deal. This collection of his diary entries, edited by James Ledbetter, editor of Slate's "The Big Money," reveals another side of the Great Depression - one lived through by ordinary, middle-class folks, who on a daily basis grappled with a swiftly changing economy coupled with anxiety about the unknown future. It is highly topical - and timely. The greatest financial disaster since the Great Depression has many Americans wondering what things were like as the Great Depression unfolded and people did not yet know how or when it would end. It is clear-eyed, readable - and eerily familiar. In short, concise, and thoughtful entries, Roth chronicles the most telling moments of the Great Depression, from the drop in the price of movie tickets to Hoover's failed free-market solutions to the rise in foreclosures in his hometown and how to benefit from 'bargains' at the much-diminished stock exchange. It is published one-year after the bankruptcy of Lehman Bros sent the world markets on a deep downward slide, and around the 80th anniversary of 'Black Tuesday'. It is presented in a beautiful package - endpapers using original diary entries, period photos throughout, and gorgeous interior design. Signed on title page by Daniel Roth. Bookseller Inventory # 002612

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Great Depression: A Diary

Publisher: PublicAffairs, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 2009

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

In the early 1920s, Benjamin Roth was a young lawyer fresh out of the army. He settled in Youngstown, Ohio, a booming Midwestern industrial town. Times were good - until the stock market crash of 1929. After nearly two years of economic crisis, it was clear that the heady prosperity of the Roaring Twenties would not return quickly.
As Roth began to grasp the magnitude of what had happened to American economic life, he set out to record his impressions in a diary - a document that would grow to span several volumes over more than a decade. Penning brief, clear-eyed notes on the crisis which unfolded around him, Roth struggled to understand the complex forces governing political and economic life. Yet he remained eager to learn from the crisis. As he wrote of what is now known as the Great Depression, "To the man past middle life it spells tragedy and disaster, but to those of us in the middle thirties it may be a great school of experience out of which some worth while lesson may be salvaged."
Roth's words from that unique time seem to speak directly to readers today. His perceptions and experiences have a chilling similarity to those of our own era. Fearful of inflation and skeptical of big government, Roth yearned for signs of true recovery, and eventually formed his own theories of how a prudent person might survive hard times. The Great Depression: A Diary, edited by James Ledbetter, editor of Slate's "The Big Money," and Roth's son, Daniel B. Roth, reveals another side of the Great Depression - one lived through by ordinary, middle-class folks, who on a daily basis grappled with a swiftly changing economy coupled with anxiety about the unknown future.

About the Author:

James Ledbetter is the editor of "The Big Money," Slate.com's Web site on business and economics. Prior to joining Slate, he was deputy managing editor of CNNMoney.com, a financial news site. He is the author of several books, a former senior editor of Time Magazine, and his writing has also appeared in several other US publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Nation, Mother Jones, Vibe, Newsday, and The American Prospect. He lives in New York, NY.

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