American Guides: The Federal Writers’ Project and the Casting of American Culture

Research output: Book/ReportBook


In the midst of the Great Depression, Americans were nearly universally literate—and they were hungry for the written word. Magazines, novels, and newspapers littered the floors of parlors and tenements alike. With an eye to this market and as a response to devastating unemployment, Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration created the Federal Writers’ Project. The Project’s mission was simple: jobs. But, as Wendy Griswold shows in the lively and persuasive American Guides, the Project had a profound—and unintended—cultural impact that went far beyond the writers’ paychecks.
Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherThe University of Chicago Press
Number of pages320
ISBN (Electronic)9780226357973
ISBN (Print)9780226357669
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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