The Enduring Legacy of the WPA : When FDR Put the Nation to Work

Book - 2008
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When President Roosevelt took the oath of office in 1933, he was facing a devastated nation. Four years into the Great Depression, 13 million American workers were jobless. What people wanted were jobs, not handouts, and in 1935, after a variety of temporary relief measures, a permanent nationwide jobs program was created--the Works Progress Administration, which would forever change the physical landscape and the social policies of the United States. The WPA lasted for eight years, spent $11 billion, and employed 8 and a half million men and women. The agency combined the urgency of putting people back to work with a vision of physically rebuilding America. Its workers laid roads, erected dams, bridges, tunnels, and airports, but also performed concerts, staged plays, and painted murals. Sixty years later, there is almost no area in America that does not bear some visible mark of its presence.--From publisher description.
Publisher: New York : Bantam Book, [2008], ©2008
ISBN: 9780553381320
Branch Call Number: 973.917 Ta
Description: viii, 629 pages, 32 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm

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(This work may be more timely than the author realized when it fist went to print, as a new WPA is being considered to allay current double-digit unemployment nearly two years after the 2008 economic collapse and new TARP banking restrictions.) Taylor's book explores the legacy of art created by WPA craft persons during the New Deal, in Works Progress Administration programs developed by FDR. Random House created an informative web site for this work which includes a wealth of WPA facts, photos, and content. It can be found at:


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