California on the Breadlines: Dorothea Lange, Paul Taylor, and the Making of a New Deal Narrative

California on the Breadlines: Dorothea Lange, Paul Taylor, and the Making of a New Deal Narrative

California on the Breadlines: Dorothea Lange, Paul Taylor, and the Making of a New Deal Narrative

California on the Breadlines: Dorothea Lange, Paul Taylor, and the Making of a New Deal Narrative

Synopsis

California on the Breadlines is the compelling account of how Dorothea Lange, the Great Depression's most famous photographer, and Paul Taylor, her labor economist husband, forged a relationship that was private--they both divorced spouses to be together--collaborative, and richly productive. Lange and Taylor poured their considerable energies into the decade-long project of documenting the plight of California's dispossessed, which in 1939 culminated in the publication of their landmark book, American Exodus: A Record of Human Erosion. Jan Goggans blends biography, literature, and history to retrace the paths that brought Lange and Taylor together. She shows how American Exodus set forth a new way of understanding those in crisis during the economic disaster in California and ultimately informed the way we think about the Great Depression itself.

Excerpt

On June 24, 1919, at 4:30 P.M., the University of Wisconsin– Madison conducted a ceremony that set out to do double duty, both a formal tribute to “her Men of the Service and the Dedication of Lincoln Terrace.” Sunny skies gave way to a trace of precipitation, and it remained cloudy afterward, with a gentle wind blowing from the northwest. the university’s program began with the playing of “Semper Fidelis,” followed by assembly of the men of service, the bugle’s clear notes likely sustained solemnly by the breeze. a procession to “Stars and Stripes Forever” wound through the campus’s Column of Honor and halted at the Lincoln Monument, where the band played “On, Wisconsin.” the national anthem preceded an invocation by Bishop Samuel Fallows, class of 1859. Then the university president took the stage, leading the varsity toast and offering a welcome to alumni, soldiers, sailors, and marines. Wisconsin Governor Philipp extended an official welcome, and University Regent Colonel Gilbert Seaman’s address, “Our Men in Action Overseas,” followed, after . . .

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