Soul of a People
David Taylor talked about his book Soul of a People: The WPA Writers' Project Uncovers Depression America (Wiley; February 9, 2009). Mr. Taylor wrote the article for Smithsonian that is the basis for this book and the Smithsonian/Channel HD special of the same title. He recounts the Works Progress Administration’s Writers Project that was started in 1935 and the authors that were given government instructions to “hold up a mirror to America.” The authors involved in the project, who were unknown at the time, included Richard Wright, Zora Neale Hurston, John Cheever, and Louis L’Amour. In his book he interweaves the story of the travel guides produced by the project and the lives of the authors. He talked about the effect of the project on the morale of the writers and about the historic importance of the work. Mr. Taylor responded to questions from members of the audience. close
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