Growing Up in Twentieth-Century America: A History and Reference Guide

Growing Up in Twentieth-Century America: A History and Reference Guide

Growing Up in Twentieth-Century America: A History and Reference Guide

Growing Up in Twentieth-Century America: A History and Reference Guide

Synopsis

We cannot understand the United States in the twentieth century, the "century of the child", without understanding the prominent part that children and adolescents have played in the American story. Much has changed for young people during this century, and this is the first work to examine those developments from the turn of the century to today. Designed to be a ready-reference tool, the work is divided into four chronological chapters - 1900 to 1920, 1921 to 1940, 1941 to 1960, and 1961 to the present - and each chapter contains six sections: at home, at play, at work, at school, health, and children and the law. Each chapter offers copious detail and fascinating narrative about children's lives. The reader can learn about all of the topics in a particular era or focus on one topic and follow it through the decades. Topics discussed range from events of historical significance to cultural fads: from the teddy bear to the Barbie doll, from child labor in sweatshops to teenage workers at McDonald's, from the one-room schoolhouse to the SATs, and from childhood scourges to the eradication of many childhood diseases. Growing Up in Twentieth-Century America will be invaluable to social studies and American history teachers, librarians, and students. The many tables and statistics included in the book will aid the reader and researcher. Each chapter concludes with a narrative bibliography of recommended works of interest on the topics discussed, and a selection of photos complement the text.

Excerpt

How can we describe a "typical" American family during the early years of the 20th century? Such a family lived on an isolated farm, in a gloomy and crowded tenement, or in a quiet neighborhood of tree-lined streets. That family scraped by on the labor of the father, mother and seven children, who picked cotton, gathered rags, or washed and pressed shirts twelve hours a day; they passed their days in tidy schoolrooms and offices; they moved around the country looking for work. Come evening, they fell exhausted into bed or relaxed around a parlor organ, singing "I Want to Go Back to Michigan." They told how their ancestors had climbed a pine tree out of the earth and into their world; they read news from the old country and felt homesick for the forests of Lithuania, for the farm they remembered in southern China, or for the Mexican highlands. They complained about the dirt sifting from the roof of their sod house or about the taxes on their thousand-acre estate. They thanked God for the chance to come and work in America's packing yards or because no black folk or strange, garlic-smelling immigrants lived in their neighborhood of modest bungalows.

Ruiz, Larson, Williams, Limp, Johnson, and Blue Jacket; Chin, Green, Erickson, Goldstein, Chappell, and Gump; Payne, Finlay, Westermeier, Szasz, Lone Wolf, Smith, Marcos, Lewis, and Kim: they were as diverse . . .

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