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HALL OF FAMEon October 13, 2010
"The Great Depression" is a four chapter documentary of the Great Depression during the 1930's. Each is interesting and can be watched separately as it will take over 3 hours to watch all four. They are 1) The New Deal, 2)Mass Media, 3) Marathon Dancing, and 4)Hard Times and American Hobo. This is a great historical time and shows the foundations of many of today's organizations, media and government programs. The History Channel does an excellent job and Mario Cuomo narrates and introduces each piece - without political coloring. It is interesting how his family survived during the Depression as well as thrived when the economy recovered.

Tidbits learned in the first segment include information about the popularity (and depravity) of dance marathons early in the Depression (45 minutes on, 15 minutes off, with 7 meals a day; they sometimes continued for months), that the Depression prodded many to 'go West' - either in their own autos or through riding the rails (Robert Mitchum James Michener, and Melvin Belli were hobos), and the fact that the Dust Bowl coincided with an worsened the Great Depression. The second segment tells us that movies were a great escape from reality and often had air-conditioning; actors worked very long hours, and movie sales took a two-year dive in 1931. Day labor earned about 50 cents/day. Radio use grew during the Great Depression and FDR made the most of this via his 'Fireside Chats.'

I also learned tidbits on where "Depression Glass" came from and how it was connected to the movies - eating/drinking items made of glass used to be entirely hand-made and very expensive. However, shortly after the Great Depression began they began making these items with automated machinery, drastically lowering the costs to the point where movie theatres often gave pieces out as enticements.
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on June 21, 2013
The United States came close to falling into a depression in 2008 as a result of the financial crisis and the stock market crash. I was wondering about the last depression so I picked this DVD up. The film gives a lot of good information about the depression, just about everything from what caused it to how people live through it to how it finally ended with the start World War II. This country as well as the rest of the world is still not out the woods yet. I recommend you pick this little film up to get a feel for what we might be in for if present day problems continue to grow.
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on October 20, 2012
This is a good documentary about a very complex and multifaceted historical event. This relatively short documentary is an introduction for those who do not like to read. It is not the best intro nor is it by any means the worst intro. The best is a seven part PBS series which apparently is no longer available at all.

One comment about the end of the depression: It ended with the massive and unprecedented influx of government (tax-payer) money into the economy as a result of our entry into WWII. It did not end because FDR got off the back of big business as one reviewer imagines. It might have ended a bit sooner if the Republicans had not limited to a great extent public spending in 1936 and 1937.
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on October 6, 2011
My husband and I travel the country in our motor home and often do not get a good signal for t.v. so we rely on dvd's for evening entertainment. We both enjoy documentories and this one was well worth the price. We buy most of our books and dvd's from amazon.com. A source we can trust.
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on March 23, 2012
A very good history of the Great Depression, what led up to it as well as what happened during which it occurred.
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on January 31, 2011
Wonderful service. Had a problem with mailing the item, not sure what happened but the seller stayed in communication with me and promptly resent the item! Great customer service. Thanks!
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on November 3, 2012
I really thought this CD was biased in favor of FDR and his policies.
Maybe I should have expected that point of view since it was narrated by Mario Cuomo, but I was hoping for a neutral perspective. I also agree with another commentator, why did they spend so much tape covering marathon dancing?!
A bette CD for your money would be The emergence of Modern america in both the roaring twenties and the great depression series.
terry Jennrich
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on December 30, 2014
There is some good information on this DVD but definitely not a Christian perspective. There are a few inappropriate things discussed.
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on July 18, 2015
Historically sound. A great asset to my coursework and beneficial to me,as,a teacher.
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on April 15, 2009
I was completely disappointed in this pedestrian rehashing of the story of the Depression...why must we see the same footage of breadlines and wall street panic that has been used countless times in documentaries since the 1950's...There MUST be fresh images and film that we haven't seen to death..how's about a little research!!!...anyway, it IS the story of that period in history but there is nothing fresh here!
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