Hope Among Us Yet

Social Criticism and Social Solace in Depression America

Title Details

Pages: 360

Trim size: 6.000in x 9.000in



Pub Date: 03/01/2008

ISBN: 9-780-8203-3140-9

List Price: $34.95

Hope Among Us Yet

Social Criticism and Social Solace in Depression America

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  • Description
  • Reviews

In Hope Among Us Yet, David Peeler examines art and literature of the Great Depression to reveal a common pursuit and common dream in the work of writers, photographers, and painters who turned their talents toward the utter dislocation and despair of 1930s America. Thrust out of the gilded world of the 1920s by the extent of the crisis, these artists used their canvases, cameras, and pens to condemn capitalism and seal its demise with stunning evidence of its evils. As the years drew on, however, artists began to dream of a new, more equitable social order, and the solace of those dreams rather than the earlier vilification came to dominate Depression art.

Discussing the photographs and paintings (many of them reproduced in this book), the essays and novels of the Depression era, David Peeler shows that in their pursuit of the reality of 1930s America, social artists also dreamed of a rebirth of Western art. But, as American capitalism revived with the onset of World War II, hopes for a new order faded, and the vision of the Depression's artists remained the unfilled prophecy of their works.

A carefully considered, substantial and well-written book which provides an excellent introduction to an academic field which requires more texts of interdisciplinary synthesis.

Southern Quarterly

Provides much food for thought to scholars and students of American culture in the Depression. In its careful selection of artists and works, its inventive juxtapositions, and its solid research, it challenges us to think about the achievements and the failures of those artists who sought so vigorously to depict their age through their art in the decade following the Stock Market Crash.

American Studies

Historians often have simply passed on generalizations about leftist writers and social realism in art without probing very deeply. Peeler corrects this with a careful analysis of fiction and nonfiction writing, photography, and painting. . . . A worthwhile book, not only for history buffs but also for those interested in art and fiction.

Library Journal

A comprehensive study of intellectual response to the Great Depression . . . Peeler's work supplements, and surpasses in some sections, Richard Pell's more general Radical Visions and American Dreams.


About the Author/Editor

DAVID P. PEELER is a professor of history at the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis.