- Series: Keystone Books
- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: Penn State University Press; 1 edition (July 3, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0271028769
- ISBN-13: 978-0271028767
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#3,523,130 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #624 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > Public Affairs & Policy > Regional Planning
- #3160 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > Public Affairs & Policy > Environmental Policy
- #6342 in Books > Textbooks > Social Sciences > Political Science > Political History
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At Work in Penn's Woods: The Civilian Conservation Corps in Pennsylvania (Keystone Books) 1st Edition
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“An excellent study of state history with national themes.”
—P. D. Travis, Choice
From the Inside Flap
The Civilian Conservation Corps was one of the most popular programs of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal. Over the nine years of the program, from 1933 to 1942, over two and one-half million unemployed young men found work on conservation projects across Depression-stricken America. "Roosevelt's Tree Army," as the CCC men were sometimes called, planted billions of trees, fought forest fires, did historic preservation work, and constructed recreational facilities in state and national parks. At Work in Penn's Woods offers a rich and compelling portrait of Pennsylvania's CCC program.
In Pennsylvania the CCC had one of its largest and most successful programs. The state recruited the second-highest number of workers and had the second-highest number of work camps in the country. Gifford Pinchot, perhaps the most famed conservationist of the first half of the twentieth century, was governor of the state in 1933, and his state foresters were well prepared to make use of the abundant labor the CCC made available to them. The Pennsylvania CCC men planted over 60 million trees in a state that had been scarred by clear-cut logging, rampant forest fires, and destructive tree diseases. They also worked at creating and upgrading state park recreational facilities; some of the camps did historic preservation work at Gettysburg, Hopewell Village, and Fort Necessity. A dozen camps provided assistance to farmers on soil conservation projects.
Aside from conservation work, the CCC program also played another important role in providing relief assistance to Pennsylvania's families in need. The men were paid $30 a month, but usually $22 25 of that was sent home to their families, who were often on relief and in need of the extra money their sons earned. In their free time the men were given the opportunity to take courses in a variety of academic and vocational subjects to train them for life after the CCC. At Work in Penn's Woods, the first comprehensive study of Pennsylvania's CCC program, combines administrative history with portraits of many of the men who worked in the camps. Speakman draws on archival research in primary sources, including some source collections never used before, and on interviews with former CCC men. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top customer reviews
He does an excellent job of describing what the purpose of the CCC was; the politics involved in administering it; the role African-Americans took (had to take) in the CCC; the role of the CCC during the Depression, when the Corps began, through to the buildup to, and beginning of, World War II, when the program was finally shut down; tasks that the CCC men (boys) performed; as well as other topics.
Although there are some statistics and charts in the book, they are interesting and needed, and most are contained in an appendix.
As mentioned in other reviews, Dr. Speakman's inspiration for the book came from the fact that his father was in the Pennsylvania CCC. My father was also in the Corps, hence my interest. Unfortunately, my father's time and work in the CCC was a topic that we didn't really talk about, so I have no oral history from him about his experiences. On the bright side, my sister does have the documentation of my father's service in the Corps, so at least I know the Camp, Company, and time that he served. That's a start.
To those who have had a relative in the Pennsylvania CCC, this book is a must read. To those who did not, or don't realize that they did, it is still very highly recommended for the fact that you will be amazed at how many projects these men worked on throughout the Commonwealth. I'd be willing to bet that there's one close to where you live - most likely still in existence.