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Little Girl Who Fought the Great Depression: Book by John F. Kasson

Little Girl Who Fought the Great Depression

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ISBN: 9780393350616    Publisher: WW Norton & Co Year of publishing: 2015     Format:  Paperback No of Pages: 320        Language: English
Her image appeared in periodicals and advertisements roughly twenty times daily; she rivaled FDR and Edward VIII as the most photographed person in the world. Her portrait brightened the homes of countless...Read more
Her image appeared in periodicals and advertisements roughly twenty times daily; she rivaled FDR and Edward VIII as the most photographed person in the world. Her portrait brightened the homes of countless admirers: from a black laborer's cabin in South Carolina and young Andy Warhol's house in Pittsburgh to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover's recreation room in Washington, DC, and gangster "Bumpy" Johnson's Harlem apartment. A few years later her smile cheered the secret bedchamber of Anne Frank in Amsterdam as young Anne hid from the Nazis. For four consecutive years Shirley Temple was the world's box-office champion, a record never equaled. By early 1935 her mail was reported as four thousand letters a week, and hers was the second-most popular girl's name in the country. What distinguished Shirley Temple from every other Hollywood star of the period-and everyone since-was how brilliantly she shone. Amid the deprivation and despair of the Great Depression, Shirley Temple radiated optimism and plucky good cheer that lifted the spirits of millions and shaped their collective character for generations to come. Distinguished cultural historian John F.
Kasson shows how the most famous, adored, imitated, and commodified child in the world astonished movie goers, created a new international culture of celebrity, and revolutionized the role of children as consumers. Tap-dancing across racial boundaries with Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, foiling villains, and mending the hearts and troubles of the deserving, Shirley Temple personified the hopes and dreams of Americans. To do so, she worked virtually every day of her childhood, transforming her own family as well as the lives of her fans.
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About the author: John F. Kasson
John F. Kasson is a professor of history and American studies at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and the author of Amusing the Million, among... Read more
John F. Kasson is a professor of history and American studies at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and the author of Amusing the Million, among many other seminal works of cultural history. He lives in Chapel Hill.
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Review:
[A] look back to a moment in American society when...the movies mattered and when one magnetic star could help change people's minds and hearts." "In a time of widespread suffering and frequent...Read more
[A] look back to a moment in American society when...the movies mattered and when one magnetic star could help change people's minds and hearts." "In a time of widespread suffering and frequent despair, this little girl touched the hearts of millions of people in our own land and others... John F. Kasson shows how her films provided therapy as well as entertainment." -- Richard Striner "[Kasson's] insightful new book explores the politics of the time, racial attitudes, movie-going habits and the breadth and depth of Shirley Temple's appeal." -- Elizabeth Bennett "Sparkling, beautifully written, nearly impossible to put down... A compelling and creative new cultural history of the 1930s." -- Karen Halttunen, author of Confidence Men and Painted Women: A Study in Middle-Class Culture, 1830-1870 "John Kasson delights the reader with his lively account of feel-good films starring the adorable curly-headed moppet who, with radiant smile and winsome guile, lit up the dark nights of the 1930s. A brilliant analyst, Kasson lays bare coruscatingly, too, how exploited child actors serve as canaries in the mine shaft of modern consumer culture." -- William E. Leuchtenburg, author of In the Shadow of FDR: From Harry Truman to Barack Obama "Illuminating and highly entertaining." -- Steven J. Ross, author of Hollywood Left and Right: How Movie Stars Shaped American Politics
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