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America 1933

America 1933

The Great Depression, Lorena Hickok, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Shaping of the New Deal

DURING THE HARSHEST year of the Great Depression, Lorena Hickok, a top woman news reporter of the day and intimate friend of Eleanor Roosevelt, was hired by FDR’s right-hand man Harry Hopkins to embark upon a grueling journey to the hardest-hit areas of the country to report back on the degree of devastation.

Distinguished historian Michael Golay draws on a trove of original sources—including the moving, remarkably intimate, almost daily letters between Hickok and Eleanor Roosevelt—as he re-creates that extraordinary journey. Hickok traveled by car almost nonstop for eighteen months, from January 1933 to August 1934, surviving hellish dust storms, rebellions by coal workers in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, and a near revolution by Midwest farmers. A brilliant observer, Hickok wrote searing and deeply empathetic reports to Hopkins and letters to Mrs. Roosevelt that comprise an unparalleled record of the worst economic disaster in the history of the country. Historically important, they crucially influenced the scope and strategy of the Roosevelt administration’s unprecedented relief efforts.

America 1933 reveals Hickok’s pivotal contribution to the policies of the New Deal and sheds light on her intense but ill-fated relationship with Eleanor Roosevelt and the forces that inevitably came between them.
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  • Free Press | 
  • 336 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439196014 | 
  • June 2013
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Read an Excerpt

America 1933 1

VIEW TO A NEW DEAL
June 1932–June 1933

Lorena Hickok drew two prime assignments from the Associated Press in New York in the summer of 1932. She would be among a dozen reporters covering Franklin Delano Roosevelt while the Democratic National Convention met in Chicago, and one of three AP reporters—and the only woman—attached to the nominee’s presidential campaign. As the summer advanced, though,... see more

About the Author

Michael Golay
Photo by Cheryl Senter

Michael Golay

Michael Golay teaches history at Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire. He is the author of a number of books, including A Ruined Land: The End of the Civil War, a finalist for the Lincoln Prize in American History, The Tide of Empire: America’s March to the Pacific, and Critical Companion to William Faulkner. He lives in Exeter and Old Lyme, Connecticut.

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