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Bunkhouse Boys: 1940

Bunkhouse Boys: 1940

December 1940. Construction workers gathered around the bunkhouse stove in the new craftsmen's barracks at Camp Blanding, Florida. View full size.
Medium-format safety negative by Marion Post Wolcott for the FSA.

 

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What the New Deal did...

Seeing these old FSA photos over the past month caused me to pull an excellent history of the era off my shelf and re-read some chapters on the New Deal era. An excellent overview can be found in the chapter "What the New Deal Did" in David M. Kennedy's "Freedom From Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945"

Not all New Deal programs worked, in fact, some were disastrous. Roosevelt had the good sense to abandon untenable projects and try new things. My recollection of the book's thesis (I didn't re-read the whole thing) is that FDR was driven by finding a way out for the American people, not by ideology. He was not afraid to buck conventional wisdom, liberals, conservatives, the press, friends, or enemies. His programs had flaws - only the good ones survived the war.

The book tells how amazingly close to chaos and civil unrest America was in 1933-35 at the depth of the Depression. I highly recommend this book!

Goober Pea

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