Cover image for Daily life in the United States, 1920-1940 : how Americans lived through the "Roaring Twenties" and the Great Depression
Title:
Daily life in the United States, 1920-1940 : how Americans lived through the "Roaring Twenties" and the Great Depression
Author:
Kyvig, David E.
Personal Author:
Edition:
Revised edition.
Publication Information:
Chicago : Ivan R. Dee, [2004]

©2004
Physical Description:
xv, 330 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
General Note:
"This book is a second edition of Daily life in the United States, 1920-1939, published in 2002."--verso T.p.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781566635844
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

The twenties and thirties witnessed dramatic changes in American life: increasing urbanization, technological innovation, cultural upheaval, and economic disaster. In this fascinating book, the prize-winning historian David E. Kyvig describes everyday life in these decades, when automobiles and home electricity became commonplace, when radio and the movies became broadly popular. The details of work life, domestic life, and leisure activities make engrossing reading and bring the era clearly into focus.


Author Notes

David E. Kyvig is professor of history at Northern Illinois University.


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

What were your grandparents doing in the 1920s and '30s? How did they spend their days and how were they affected by the popular culture? What were their work and domestic lives like? These are the questions Kyvig, a Bancroft Prize winner for Explicit and Authentic Acts and Northern Illinois University history professor, explores probingly in his new study. Kyvig covers everything from the development of the small pick-up truck to the spread of country and western music and shifting practices in religion and health care. He delineates how the mass production of cars changed people's buying habits with the introduction of credit, and how battery-powered radios meant rural folks could share the new mass culture with city dwellers. Kyvig also documents the massive impact-most of it negative-of Prohibition, a sign of the federal government's growing impact on people's lives, an impact greatly heightened by the New Deal. In the midst of his quite lucid and readable analysis, the author also touches on race, gender, class and the differences between rural and urban environments. In sum, Kyvig's book represents a penetrating information-packed portrait of Main Street, USA, during tumultuous times. 53 b&w photos. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Kyvig (Nearby History) hitches us to the rhythms and interests of Americans' work and play for a ride through two decades of social change and political realignment, a time of sometimes surprising resilience in the habits of family and community. This book is a modest revision of the author's well-received Daily Life in the United States, 1920-1939, with a new year added. Instead of focusing on the middle or upper class and on intellectuals alone, Kyvig emphasizes the diversity of experiences. He relies on census data to gauge economic, social, and geographic mobility and makes much of the technological changes afforded by radio and automobile and the spread of movies, which brought Americans together even as race and class divided them. Especially instructive are his case studies of six places-urban and rural-from across America, which show the tenacity of racial, religious, and regional identities. This work lacks the verve of Frederick Lewis Allen's still useful, if somewhat outdated, Only Yesterday: An Informal History of the 1920s and Since Yesterday: The 1930s in America, but it stands strong on a bedrock of solid research and clear writing. Highly recommended for any library lacking the original.-Randall M. Miller, St. Joseph's Univ., Philadelphia (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

Prefacep. vii
1 The Circumstances of American Life in 1920p. 3
2 Automobiles and the Construction of Daily Lifep. 27
3 Electricity and the Conditions of Daily Lifep. 53
4 Radio and the Connecting of Daily Livesp. 71
5 Cinema and the Extension of Experiencep. 91
6 Carrying on Day by Day: Life's Basicsp. 106
7 Carrying on Year by Year: Making a Lifep. 131
8 Conflict, Crime, and Catastrophe: The Disruptions of Daily Lifep. 163
9 Culture for the Masses: The Standardizing of Daily Lifep. 187
10 Crisis: The Impact of the Great Depressionp. 209
11 Creating the New Deal: A Larger Role for Government in Daily Lifep. 231
12 Continuity and Change: American Communities at the End of the 1930sp. 257
Notesp. 301
For Further Readingp. 305
Indexp. 315