Jazz Age, Great Depression and New Deal Era History Reading List

Our Main Reading List for the Jazz Age, Great Depression, New Deal and World War II in America Study Group

The Big List of Jazz Age, Great Depression and New Deal Era Reading List

  1. Dancing In The Dark by Morris Dickstein
  2. The New Deal by Michael Hiltzik
  3. Roosevelt’s Second Act by Richard Moe
  4. No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II by Doris Kearns Goodwin
  5. Those Angry Days by Lynne Olson
  6. The Perils of Prosperity, 1914-1932 by William E. Leuchtenburg
  7. Since Yesterday: The 1930’s in America by Frederick L. Allen
  8. Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World by Liaquat Ahamed
  9. Wall Street by Charles Geisst
  10. Birth of an Industry: Blackface Minstrelsy and the Rise of American Animation by Nicholas Sammond
  11. The Gospel of the Working Class: Labor’s Southern Prophets in New Deal America by Erik S. Gellman and Jarod Roll
  12. Traitor to His Class: The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt by H.W. Brands
  13. Flapper: A Madcap Story of Sex, Style, Celebrity, and the Women Who Made America Modern by Joshua Zeitz
  14. The Forgotten Man by Amity Shlaes
  15. 1920 by David Pietrusza
  16. Killing for Coal: America’s Deadliest Labor War by Thomas G. Andrews
  17. Anything Goes: A Biography of the Roaring Twenties by Lucy Moore
  18. The Lawless Decade: Bullets, Broads and Bathtub Gin by Paul Sann
  19. America in the Roaring Twenties. Life. Women. Fashion. Glamour. Art. Society. Radio. Sport. Science. Literature. Cities. Streets. Buildings. Politics. People by Maximillien de Lafayette
  20. American Nightmare: The History of Jim Crow by Jerrold M. Packard
  21. Supreme City: How Jazz Age Manhattan Gave Birth to Modern America by Donald L. Miller
  22. The Defining Moment by Jonathan Alter
  23. Herbert Hoover in the White House: The Ordeal of the Presidency by Charles Rappleye
  24. Invisible Hands: The Businessmen’s Crusade Against the New Deal by Kim Phillips-Fein
  25. Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition by Daniel Okrent
  26. Coming to America: A History of Immigration and Ethnicity in American Life by Roger Daniels
  27. Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of the United States by Kenneth T. Jackson
  28. Main Street Oklahoma: Stories of Twentieth-Century America by Linda W. Reese (Editor), Patricia Loughlin (Editor)
  29. The Golden Age of Cinema: Hollywood, 1929-1945 by Richard Jewell
  30. Fundamentalism and American Culture by George M. Marsden
  31. The Genius of the System: Hollywood Filmmaking in the Studio Era by Thomas Schatz
  32. Becoming Mexican American: Ethnicity, Culture, and Identity in Chicano Los Angeles, 1900-1945 by George J. Sanchez
  33. The Teapot Dome Scandal: How Big Oil Bought the Harding White House and Tried to Steal the Country by Laton Mccartney
  34. Working-Class Americanism: The Politics of Labor in a Textile City, 1914-1960 by Gary Gerstle
  35. Baptists in America: A History by Thomas S. Kidd and Barry Hankins
  36. American Methodism: A Compact History by Russell E. Richey and Kenneth E. Rowe
  37. Fear Itself: The New Deal and the Origins of Our Time by Ira Katznelson
  38. American Catholic: The Saints and Sinners Who Built America’s Most Powerful Church by Charles Morris
  39. Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945 by David M. Kennedy
  40. The Great Crash 1929 Paperback by John Kenneth Galbraith
  41. Colossus: Hoover Dam and the Making of the American Century by Michael A. Hiltzik
  42. A New Deal for Blacks: The Emergence of Civil Rights as a National Issue: The Depression Decade by Harvard Sitkoff
  43. Hammer and Hoe: Alabama Communists During the Great Depression by Robin D. G. Kelley
  44. The Banana Wars: United States Intervention in the Caribbean, 1898-1934 by Lester D. Langley
  45. 1920 by David Pietrusza
  46. Franklin D. Roosevelt and American Foreign Policy, 1932-1945 by Robert Dallek
  47. Defying Dixie: The Radical Roots of Civil Rights, 1919-1950 by Glenda Elizabeth Gilmore
  48. Gender and Jim Crow by Glenda Elizabeth Gilmore
  49. At America’s Gates: Chinese Immigration during the Exclusion Era, 1882-1943 by Erika Lee
  50. Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World by Liaquat Ahamed
  51. The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl by Timothy Egan
  52. Dust Bowl: The Southern Plains in the 1930s by Donald Worster
  53. The Destruction of the Bison: An Environmental History, 1750-1920 by Andrew C. Isenberg
  54. Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age by Kevin Boyle
  55. The New Deal: The Depression Years, 1933-1940 by Anthony J. Badger
  56. The Modern Temper: American Culture and Society in the 1920s by Lynn Dumenil
  57. Daily Life in the United States, 1920-1940: How Americans Lived Through the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression by David E. Kyvig
  58. New World Coming: The 1920s And The Making Of Modern America by Nathan Miller
  59. The 1920s: American Popular Culture Through History by Kathleen Drowne and Patrick Huber
  60. The 1930s: American Popular Culture Through History by William H. Young
  61. The Great Depression: America in the 1930s by T. H. Watkins
  62. Only Yesterday: An Informal History of the 1920s by Frederick Lewis Allen
  63. The Great Depression: America 1929-1941 by Robert S. McElvaine
  64. The Great Depression: A Diary by Benjamin Roth
  65. First Lady Florence Harding: Behind the Tragedy and Controversy by Katherine A. S. Sibley
  66. Exile’s Return: A Literary Odyssey of the 1920s by Malcolm Cowley and Donald W. Faulkner
  67. The Damned and the Beautiful: American Youth in the 1920s by Paula S. Fass
  68. Republican Ascendancy 1921-1933 by John D. Hicks
  69. In the Beginning: Fundamentalism, the Scopes Trial, and the Making of the Antievolution Movement by Michael Lienesch
  70. The Nazi Connection: Eugenics, American Racism, and German National Socialism by Stefan Kuhl
  71. War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race by Edwin Black
  72. IBM and the Holocaust: The Strategic Alliance Between Nazi Germany and America’s Most Powerful Corporation by Edwin Black
  73. Illiberal Reformers: Race, Eugenics, and American Economics in the Progressive Era by Thomas C. Leonard
  74. Harlem Renaissance by Nathan Irvin Huggins
  75. When Harlem Was in Vogue by David Levering Lewis
  76. The New Negro : Voices of the Harlem Renaissance by Alain Locke (Editor)
  77. The Harlem Renaissance: A Brief History With Documents by Jeffrey B. Ferguson
  78. Immigrant America: A Portrait by Alejandro Portes and Rubén G. Rumbaut
  79. The Great Crash 1929 by John Kenneth Galbraith
  80. The Dollar Decade: Mammon and the Machine in 1920s America by Gary D Best
  81. Making a New Deal: Industrial Workers in Chicago, 1919-1939 by Lizabeth Cohen
  82. Voices of Protest: Huey Long, Father Coughlin, & the Great Depression by Alan Brinkley
  83. The Emergence of the New South, 1913–1945: A History of the South by George Brown Tindall
  84. The End Of Reform: New Deal Liberalism in Recession and War by Alan Brinkley
  85. Making a New Deal: Industrial Workers in Chicago, 1919-1939 by Lizabeth Cohen
  86. Guarding the Golden Door: American Immigration Policy and Immigrants since 1882 by Roger Daniels
  87. My Blue Heaven: Life and Politics in the Working-Class Suburbs of Los Angeles, 1920-1965 by Becky M. Nicolaides
  88. Lynching in the West: 1850–1935 by Ken Gonzales-Day
  89. The Spectacular Modern Woman: Feminine Visibility in the 1920s by Liz Conor
  90. Traces Of A Stream: Literacy and Social Change Among African American Women by Jaqueline Jones Royster
  91. Making Whiteness: The Culture of Segregation in the South, 1890-1940 by Grace Elizabeth Hale
  92. Posing a Threat: Flappers, Chorus Girls, and Other Brazen Performers of the American 1920s by Angela J. Latham
  93. Flappers and the New American Woman: Perceptions of Women from 1918 Through the 1920s by Catherine Gourley
  94. Flappers: Six Women of a Dangerous Generation by Judith Mackrell
  95. Careless People: Murder, Mayhem, and the Invention of The Great Gatsby by Sarah Churchwell
  96. Prohibition: Thirteen Years That Changed America by Edward Behr
  97. Bootleg: Murder, Moonshine, and the Lawless Years of Prohibition by Karen Blumenthal
  98. Prohibition Gangsters: The Rise and Fall of a Bad Generation by Marc Mappen
  99. Deliver Us from Evil: An Interpretation of American Prohibition by Norman H. Clark
  100. The Deluge: The Great War, America and the Remaking of the Global Order, 1916-1931 by Adam Tooze
  101. American Agriculture: A Brief History by R Douglas Hurt
  102. The Communist Party of the United States from the Depression to World War II by Fraser Ottanelli
  103. America Walks into a Bar: A Spirited History of Taverns and Saloons, Speakeasies and Grog Shops by Christine Sismondo
  104. Thunder In the Mountains: The West Virginia Mine War, 1920-21 by Lon Savage
  105. The Battle of Blair Mountain: The Story of America’s Largest Labor Uprising by Robert Shogan
  106. The History of Jazz by Ted Gioia
  107. The Dodge Brothers: The Men, the Motor Cars, and the Legacy by Charles K. Hyde
  108. The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson
  109. The Racketeer’s Progress: Chicago and the Struggle for the Modern American Economy, 1900-1940 by Andrew Wender Cohen
  110. Culture of Empire: American Writers, Mexico, and Mexican Immigrants, 1880-1930 by Gilbert G. González
  111. Right Out of California: The 1930s and the Big Business Roots of Modern Conservatism by Kathryn S. Olmsted

The United States in World War II

  1. Roosevelt’s Second Act by Richard Moe
  2. FDR and the Jews by Richard Breitman
  3. American Warlords: How Roosevelt’s High Command Led America to Victory in World War II by Jonathan W. Jordan 
  4. From Munich to Pearl Harbor: Roosevelt’s America and the Origins of the Second World War by David Reynolds
  5. A Call to Arms: Mobilizing America for World War II by Maury Klein
  6. Bankrupting the Enemy: The U.S. Financial Siege of Japan Before Pearl Harbor by Edward S. Miller
  7. No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II by Doris Kearns Goodwin
  8. Those Angry Days by Lynne Olson
  9. Freedom’s Forge by Arthur Herman
  10. Just Americans: How Japanese Americans Won a War at Home and Abroad by Robert Asahina
  11. Now It Can Be Told: The Story Of The Manhattan Project by General Leslie R. Groves
  12. Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes
  13. The War in American Culture: Society and Consciousness during World War II by Lewis A. Erenberg and Susan E. Hirsch
  14. 1944: FDR and the Year That Changed History by Jay Winik
  15. Freedom From Fear by David Kennedy
  16. Scorpions: The Battles and Triumphs of FDR’s Great Supreme Court Justices by Noah Feldman
  17. In the Shadows of War: An American Pilot’s Odyssey Through Occupied France and the Camps of Nazi Germany by Thomas Childers
  18. The Invasion of France and Germany: 1944-1945 (History of United States Naval Operations in World War II) by Samuel Eliot Morison
  19. Prompt and Utter Destruction: Truman and the Use of Atomic Bombs against Japan by J. Samuel Walker
  20. When Books Went to War: The Stories that Helped Us Win World War II by Molly Guptill Manning
  21. Fog of War: The Second World War and the Civil Rights Movement by Kevin M. Kruse (Editor), Stephen Tuck (Editor)
  22. The American Axis: Henry Ford, Charles Lindbergh, and the Rise of the Third Reich by Max Wallace
  23. Henry Ford’s War on Jews and the Legal Battle Against Hate Speech by Victoria Woeste
  24. Henry Ford and the Jews: The Mass Production Of Hate by Neil Baldwin
  25. Only What We Could Carry: The Japanese American Internment Experience by Lawson Fusao Inada
  26. Infamy: The Shocking Story of the Japanese-American Internment in World War II by Richard Reeves
  27. The Train to Crystal City: FDR’s Secret Prisoner Exchange Program and America’s Only Family Internment Camp During World War II by Jan Jarboe Russell
  28. Looking Like the Enemy: My Story of Imprisonment in Japanese American Internment Camps by Mary Matsuda Gruenewal
  29. Silver Like Dust: One Family’s Story of Japanese Internment by Kimi Cunningham Grant
  30. The Colonel and The Pacifist by Klancy Clark De Nevers
  31. Democratizing the Enemy: The Japanese American Internment by Brian Masaru Hayashi
  32. Eisenhower’s Armies: The American-British Alliance during World War II by Niall Barr
  33. Prisoners Without Trial: Japanese Americans in World War II by Roger Daniels
  34. Supreme Power: Franklin Roosevelt vs. the Supreme Court by Jeff Shesol
  35. Years of Infamy: The Untold Story of America’s Concentration Camps by Michi Nishiura Weglyn
  36. Politics as Usual: Thomas Dewey, Franklin Roosevelt, and the Wartime Presidential campaign of 1944 by Michael A. Davis
  37. The Politics of Prejudice: The Anti-Japanese Movement in California and the Struggle for Japanese Exclusion by Roger Daniels
  38. Hiroshima Nagasaki: The Real Story of the Atomic Bombings and Their Aftermath by Paul Ham
  39. Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes
  40. No End Save Victory: How FDR Led the Nation into War by David Kaiser
  41. The First to Cry Down Injustice?: Western Jews and Japanese Removal During WWII by Ellen M. Eisenberg
  42. American Inquisition: The Hunt for Japanese American Disloyalty in World War II by Eric L. Muller
  43. Allies and Adversaries: The Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Grand Alliance, and U.S. Strategy in World War II by Mark A. Stoler
  44. 1944: FDR and the Year That Changed History by Jay Winik


  1. Eleanor and Franklin by Joseph P. Lash
  2. The People’s Tycoon: Henry Ford and the American Century by Steven Watts
  3. FDR by Jean Edward Smith
  4. Franklin and Eleanor: An Extraordinary Marriage by Hazel Rowley
  5. Eleanor Roosevelt: Volume I, 1884-1933 by Blanche Wiesen Cook
  6. Eleanor Roosevelt: Volume II, The Defining Years, 1933-1938 Blanche Wiesen Cook
  7. Eleanor: The Years Alone by Joseph P. Lash
  8. Henry L. Stimson: The First Wise Man by David F. Schmitz
  9. Herbert Hoover by William E. Leuchtenburg
  10. Radical Innocent: Upton Sinclair by Anthony Arthur
  11. Lindbergh by A. Scott Berg
  12. Warren G. Harding by John W. Dean
  13. Thomas E. Dewey and His Times by Richard Norton Smith
  14. Calvin Coolidge by David Greenberg
  15. The Life of Herbert Hoover: Part 1 – The Engineer 1874-1914 by George H. Nash
  16. The Life of Herbert Hoover: Part 2 – The Humanitarian, 1914-1917 by George H. Nash
  17. The Life of Herbert Hoover: Part 3 – Master of Emergencies, 1917-1918 by George H. Nash
  18. The Life of Herbert Hoover: Part 4 – Imperfect Visionary, 1918-1928 by Kendrick A. Clements
  19. The Life of Herbert Hoover: Part 5 – Fighting Quaker, 1928-1933 by Glen Jeansonne
  20. The Life of Herbert Hoover: Part 6 – Keeper of the Torch, 1933-1964 by Gary Dean Best
  21. Grace Coolidge: The People’s Lady in Silent Cal’s White House by Robert H. Ferrell
  22. Huey Long by T. Harry Williams
  23. Walt Disney by Neal Gabler
  24. The Animated Man: A Life of Walt Disney by Michæl Barrier
  25. Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination by Neal Gabler
  26. Coolidge by Amity Shlaes

World War II Biographies

  1. FDR by Jean Edward Smith
  2. No End Save Victory: How FDR Led the Nation into War by David Kaiser
  3. The Mantle of Command: FDR at War, 1941-1942 by Nigel Hamilton
  4. Eisenhower in War and Peace by Jean Edward Smith
  5. General of the Army: George C. Marshall, Soldier and Statesman by Ed Cray
  6. Omar Bradley: General at War by Jim DeFelice
  7. Omar Nelson Bradley: America’s GI General by Steven L. Ossad
  8. Patton by Alan Axelrod
  9. Colonel, The: The Life and Wars of Henry Stimson, 1867-1950 by Godfrey Hodgson
  10. Henry L. Stimson: The First Wise Man by David F. Schmitz
  11. Patton: Ordeal and Triumph by Ladislas Farago
  12. American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur 1880 – 1964 by William Manchester
  13. The Most Dangerous Man in America: The Making of Douglas MacArthur by Mark Perry
  14. Roosevelt’s Centurions by Joseph Persico
  15. The Admirals: Nimitz, Halsey, Leahy, and King–The Five-Star Admirals Who Won the War at Sea by Walter R. Borneman
  16. Admiral Nimitz: The Commander of the Pacific Ocean Theater by Brayton Harris
  17. Admiral “Bull” Halsey: The Life and Wars of the Navy’s Most Controversial Commander by John Wukovits
  18. Master of Seapower: A Biography of Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King by Thomas B. Buell
  19. Monty: The Battles of Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery by Nigel Hamilton
  20. The Hopkins Touch: Harry Hopkins and the Forging of the Alliance to Defeat Hitler by David L. Roll
  21. The Great Plains during World War II by Prof. R. Douglas Hurt
  22. Colonel, The: The Life and Wars of Henry Stimson, 1867-1950 by Godfrey Hodgson
  23. The American Home Front: 1941-1942 by Alistair Cooke
  24. The Nazi Connection: Eugenics, American Racism, and German National Socialism by Stefan Kuhl