Giants in Their Time: Representative Americans from the Jazz Age to the Cold War

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Rowman & Littlefield, 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 259 pages
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From the 1920s to the end of the Second World War, the American experience was one of both unbounded optimism, monumental achievements, and tragic loss. In Giants in their Time, the latest volume in the Representative Americans Series, noted historian Norman K. Risjord uses biographical sketches to create a composite portrait of the United States during this dynamic and trying period. Beginning with the promise held by Americans in the 1920s, Risjord focuses on the creative genius of Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington and the extraordinary life of evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson. Plunging readers into the Great Depression, Risjord looks at the lives of Samuel Insull, Herbert Hoover, and John L. Lewis to better understand efforts to save a struggling nation. And while George Marshall and Robert Oppenheimer epitomize the nation's war efforts from a military perspective, Risjord looks at the experiences of the Nisei Japanese and women participating in the war effort to provide a window into the experiences of ordinary Americans during the war. Through these biographical sketches, Risjord makes the past more vivid and concrete, revealing a heritage that present-day readers can feel and experience.
 

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Contents

Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington Giants of the Jazz Age
3
Aimee Semple McPherson Jazz Age Religion
27
Samuel Insull and the Great Crash
51
Battling the Depression
71
Herbert Hoover and the Crisis of American Individualism
73
Harry Hopkins Quintessential New Dealer
97
John L Lewis Labor Giant and Public Villain
117
Mickey Mouse Laughter in Hard Times
145
A War of Hate and Heroism
161
Monica Sone Richard Nishimoto and Daniel K Inouye The Nisei Japanese Experience
163
General George G Marshall Duty Bound
183
Rosie the Riveter Four Lives
211
J Robert Oppenheimer Father of the Atomic Bomb
231
Index
249
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About the author (2006)

Norman K. Risjord is emeritus professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he taught for over three decades.

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