on December 3, 1998
Although expecting a technical manual on the role of the Civilian Conservations Corps in the "New Deal" era, I was pleasently surprised at the direction this book takes. "In the Shadow of the Mountain" is a first person narative of life in two separate CCC camps, one on the east coast and one on the west. This book provides plenty of insight into the accomplishments of the CCC and of the daily life of its members. I highly recommend this book to those interested in the political and economic history of the Great Depression and beyond.
on February 14, 2000
Mr. Hill does an excellent job of weaving the personal narratives of the "We Can Take It" boys with the potentially dry historical subject of the Civilian Conservation Corps. Not only do I now understand how the boys lived, what they did, how they felt, etc., but also how, why, and when the program began. It's a rich part of our history and one that each generation should know about. This is a book each family needs to include in their family library!
on April 9, 2005
I became interested in learning more about the CCC when so many of the National and State parks that I visit had displays lauding the accomplishments of the CCC. Over 65 years later we're still enjoying the fruits of their labor! This book was my first attempt at reading more about them and I wasn't disappointed.
Mr. Hill does a very good job describing his own personal experiences, those of his personal CCC buddies, and adds several other brief first-person accounts at the end. All together, the reader gets a good overall taste for what camp life was like and the tremendous accomplishments of this civilian army (some examples: 38,087 vehicle bridges, 83,548 miles of telephone lines, 5.9 million erosion check dams, 2.2 billion trees planted, 6.3 million mandays fighting forest fires). Woven throughout is a sense of just how brillant this government program was during the desperate times of the Depression--the CCC was simply a spectacular win-win for everyone.
Overall, there seems to be a lack of good detailed histories and first-person accounts about the CCC. I cannot figure out why--so many lives were benefically influenced by the CCC and their successes are almost innumerable. "In the Shadow" was a great place to start learning more about the "We can take it" boys and has only whetted my appetite for more.