Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

List of Abbreviations

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pp. ix-xii

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Introduction

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pp. 1-18

Young people between the ages of 18 and 25 experienced the Great Depression rather differently than adults. Their shared experience involved not only concern about finding a job and getting married, but also a deep- seated concern about the future of America for that future was...

Part I. Seeing the Problem and Envisioning a Plan

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1. The Effects of the Crash: The Youth Problem from New York City to Harlan County, Kentucky, and Back Again

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pp. 21-39

The Great Depression’s effects reached all strata of society, leaving virtually no one unscathed. There were social, cultural, and political effects to be sure, but the economic effects were, by far, the most pressing, even for America’s youth. Young people were generally unconcerned...

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2. The Reed Harris Affair: Youth Claim Their Rights and Freedoms at Columbia University and Beyond

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pp. 40-60

Trying to voice their concern about the conditions under which coalminers suffered in Harlan County came to no avail for young people in 1932. Yet they had come together through the efforts of the National Student League (NSL), and their unity only grew stronger...

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3. The Scottsboro Boys: Demands for Equality from the Deep South to New York City

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pp. 61-82

In March 1931—a full year before the Harlan County, Kentucky, trip and the Reed Harris expulsion—nine black boys ranging in age from 13 to 19 years old were arrested on a freight train near Scottsboro, Alabama. Within twelve days of their arrest, they were indicted, tried, and all...

Part II. Implementing a Vision

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4. The Popular Front. Strength in Unity: New York City Organizations Come Together in Solidarity

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pp. 85-123

Young activists had tried, with some limited success, to make the educational system more amenable to their needs and more responsive to their worldview by demanding free speech and racial equality. Compared to their goals for a free, democratic, and equal society, though...

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5. Playing Politics and Making Policy: Institutionalizing a Vision from New York to Washington

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pp. 124-162

That the New Deal attempted to solve the “youth problem” through constructive programs is indicative of the Administration’s recognition of the particular needs of people aged 18–25. Yet the narrow design of those programs demonstrated that the New Deal did not understand...

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6. The Fight Against Fascism: The Spanish Republicans Find Their Support in New York City

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pp. 163-188

In the early evening hours of July 17, 1936, a military coup d’état against the Second Spanish Republic began, which, confronted by leftist opposition, led to a three-year civil war often remembered as the opening salvo of World War II. The coup and the civil war that followed were the...

Part III. Disillusion and Dissolution

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7. Dissolution: World War II Subverts the Zeitgeist and Youth’s Vision for America

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pp. 191-226

On February 10, 1940,1 American Youth Congress Chairman Jack McMichael2 addressed a crowd of over 5,100 from the portico of the White House as an introduction to the keynote speaker for the National Citizenship Institute—President Franklin D. Roosevelt. In what...

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Conclusion

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pp. 227-230

During the Cold War many aspersions were cast upon young, left-leaning activists of the 1930s, often made by former young radicals themselves. That should not eclipse what they believed, the policies they pursued, and the goals they sought at the time. Looking at the 1930s...

Notes

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pp. 231-312

Bibliography

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pp. 313-318

Index

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pp. 319-332