From Publishers Weekly
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.
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Kyvig—a respected historian . . . writes in an agreeably lucid style . . . about subjects that should be of immediate interest to all readers. (Review Of Higher Education
Kyvig regularly comes up with illuminating details . . . and new ways of thinking about familiar subjects. . . . This is an unusually satisfying book. (Atlantic Monthly
The details of work life, domestic life, and leisure activities make engrossing reading . . . on a level we can all understand. (Walla Walla Union Bulletin
This enjoyable read brings the period clearly into focus. (Forbes
Virtually encyclopedic in its coverage of a vast array of topics, yet it manages to be readable and engaging. (Ronald E. Butchart University Of Georgia
David Kyvig’s Daily Life in the United States, 1920–1940 is an excellent social history which examines how 'ordinary people' reacted to the massive changes during what have been called the 'prosperity' and 'depression' decades. (Roger Daniels, Charles Phelps Taft Professor Emeritus of History, University of Cincinnati)
Daily Life in the United States, 1920–1940 is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand the origins of contemporary America. (William L. O'Neill, Professor of History, Rutgers University; author of Coming Apart)
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. (Publishers Weekly)
Stands strong on a bedrock of solid research and clear writing. (Library Journal)
A happy marriage of political and social history. (William E. Leuchtenburg, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, author of The Supreme Court Reborn)
An excellent popular approach to an important subject by a well respected historian. (G. Wesley Johnson, Brigham Young University)