• 10 Best Books About the Great Depression in 2022 1
  • 10 Best Books About the Great Depression in 2022 2
  • 10 Best Books About the Great Depression in 2022 3
  • 10 Best Books About the Great Depression in 2022 4
  • 10 Best Books About the Great Depression in 2022 5

10 Best Books About the Great Depression in 2022

The Great Depression was arguably one of the most harrowing points of American history. Learning about such a crisis can shed light on future economic problems and ensure that we don't make the same mistakes again. There is much to learn from this historical period and how it has shaped the world and left its mark.


To learn more about this era, we have compiled a list of our top 10 best books regarding the Great Depression. Start with our number one book, The Great Depression by Robert S. McElvaine. This entry point lays out the economic struggles leading up to the Great Depression and includes personal accounts of the people who have been most affected by the crisis. Read on to see our other top picks and learn how to choose the right book for you!

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  • Last updated: 08-26-2022
Table of Contents

How to Choose a Book About the Great Depression

Several key events occurred during the Great Depression years, and it may be overwhelming to try to select the right book on the topic. The following tips will help narrow down your search for the right book to read up on to learn more about the economic tragedy.

Choose a Specific Period During the Great Depression

During the years of the Great Depression, there were various events that contributed to the economic decline. Choosing the right book depends if you are looking for a general history or an event-specific book.

Get an Overview of the History of the Great Depression From 1929 to 1933

Get an Overview of the History of the Great Depression From 1929 to 1933

Some books describe the events that led up to the Great Depression, what happened during it, and the final years of its resolution. These books may offer timelines that let you get an overview of the entire period. This can be handy if you want to learn about the general history of the Great Depression.


On the other hand, this type of book may skip over some of the nuances and fine details that had pivotal effects during these years. And if you already have a good grasp of the situation, you might want to look for a more detailed read.

Delve Into Specific Events or Topics of the Great Depression

Delve Into Specific Events or Topics of the Great Depression

Some books discuss the stock market crash of 1929 in-depth. They study the mistakes made by the populace, investors, banks, and other players on the market in the 1920s. They examine the various problems which arose from poor finance management choices. These books are good for readers who are interested in global economics.


Other books examine the Hoover Administration. They break down the political decisions during the administration and expound on which policies were for the detriment or the betterment of those years. They are for readers who would like to closely examine the political decisions of that time.


The Dust Bowl is another topic that comes up in many books. There’s no denying that the severe drought and dust storms contributed greatly to the economic downward spiral at that time. These books discuss the effects of the "Dirty Thirties" and their long-lasting impact on the American economy.

Learn About the Aftermath and Lasting Effects of the Great Depression

Learn About the Aftermath and Lasting Effects of the Great Depression

Some books discuss how the dark years gradually improved and the economy was able to get back on its feet. Other books talk about the lasting impact the Great Depression has made on the entire world.


Books like these use this era as a point of comparison to discuss the current global economic crisis. The lasting impression of the Great Depression is undeniable and has since been a learning experience for everyone involved.

Decide on the Perspective You Want to Hear From

There are various sources of information regarding the Great Depression. Some authors study the event and give their scholarly input. Other books are not written by academics but rather by the survivors who give their testimonies about the hard times. Both kinds of books are valuable sources of information.

Approach the Great Depression from an Academic Point of View

Approach the Great Depression from an Academic Point of View

Some books are written by economists and give an analysis of how the economy and stock market fluctuated. They explain, from an economist's point of view, how one bad financial decision led to another which snowballed into the Great Depression. 


Others discuss the Great Depression from a political point of view, focusing on the presidential administration of that time. There is a lot of academic writing on the topic, so keep that in mind.

Read a Personal Account for a More Interpersonal Experience

Read a Personal Account for a More Interpersonal Experience

Personal accounts come from men and women of that time who were greatly affected by the economic climate. These are for readers who would like to look into firsthand accounts of what it was like at that point in history.


This type of book can make for a more emotional and engaging reading experience, allowing you to understand the economical crisis on a personal level.

Check Out Works of Literary Fiction From the Great Depression Era

Check Out Works of Literary Fiction From the Great Depression Era

Several literary masterpieces were published during the years of the Great Depression. Literature flourished at such a time because the works of fiction mirrored what was happening in reality. Including John Steinbeck, William Faulkner, and Margaret Mitchell, the years of the Great Depression introduced a lot of great works of fiction.


It was in literature that readers found solace and validation for their anxiety and fear. These works are noteworthy as they were written by authors who experienced the hardships firsthand and they will give you an idea of how things were like back then.

Look at Reviews on Book Recommendation Websites

Look at Reviews on Book Recommendation Websites

One such website is librarything.com, one of the oldest and largest reading communities online. It provides discussions that are worth looking into when finding the right read. It also provides insights into readers' impressions and it will give you a better grasp of the contents of books.


Another popular website is goodreads.com, which hosts community reviews and recommendations as well as custom lists for any topic you can imagine.


Lastly, Literary Hub is a great website that publishes articles about books regularly. It includes recommendations on books on specific topics. It also publishes interviews with authors, which can be useful when seeking out more information on books to read.

10 Best Books About the Great Depression

Here are our top picks for books on the Great Depression, including academic accounts, survival memoirs, and more!

Image
1
Robert S. McElvaine The Great Depression 1

Robert S. McElvaine

2
Frederick Lewis Allen Since Yesterday 1

Frederick Lewis Allen

3
David M. Kennedy Freedom from Fear 1

David M. Kennedy

4
Liaquat Ahamed Lords of Finance 1

Liaquat Ahamed

5
Studs Terkel Hard Times 1

Studs Terkel

6
John Kenneth Galbraith The Great Crash 1929 1

John Kenneth Galbraith

7
Timothy Egan The Worst Hard Time 1

Timothy Egan

8
Amity Shlaes The Forgotten Man 1

Amity Shlaes

9
Gordon Thomas, Max Morgan-Witts The Day the Bubble Burst 1

Gordon Thomas, Max Morgan-Witts

10
Mildred Armstrong Kalish Little Heathens 1

Mildred Armstrong Kalish

Name

The Great Depression

Since Yesterday

Freedom from Fear

Lords of Finance

Hard Times

The Great Crash 1929

The Worst Hard Time

The Forgotten Man

The Day the Bubble Burst

Little Heathens

Features

A Reliable Study of the Great Depression Years

An Examination of the Critical Years of the Great Depression

An Account of Two Tragedies

An In-Depth Look at Financial Decisions

A Compilation of the Survivors' Experiences

An Entertaining Economic Perspective

Surviving the Years of the Dust Bowl

A Reinterpretation of the Great Depression

The Days That Led Up to the Great Depression

A Heartwarming Tale During the Era of the Great Depression

Price$15.89$13.89$11.96$18.19$14.69$13.19$12.65$14.95$19.50$14.95
Publication year1993198620012009200520092006200820142008
Available formatsHardcover, paperback, eBookHardcover, paperback, audiobook, eBookHardcover, paperback, audiobook, eBookHardcover, paperback, audiobook, eBookHardcover, paperback, eBookHardcover, paperback, audiobook, eBookHardcover, paperback, audiobook, eBookHardcover, paperback, audiobook, eBookHardcover, paperback, eBookHardcover, paperback, audiobook, eBook
Page count448400936576480224340496714292
eBook price$9.99$2.99$12.73$13.99$9.99$9.99$9.99$7.49$10.44$12.99
Link
1

Robert S. McElvaineThe Great Depression

$15.89

Publication year1993
Available formatsHardcover, paperback, eBook
Page count448
eBook price$9.99
2

Frederick Lewis AllenSince Yesterday

$13.89

Publication year1986
Available formatsHardcover, paperback, audiobook, eBook
Page count400
eBook price$2.99
3

David M. KennedyFreedom from Fear

$11.96

Publication year2001
Available formatsHardcover, paperback, audiobook, eBook
Page count936
eBook price$12.73
4

Liaquat AhamedLords of Finance

$18.19

Publication year2009
Available formatsHardcover, paperback, audiobook, eBook
Page count576
eBook price$13.99
5

Studs TerkelHard Times

$14.69

Publication year2005
Available formatsHardcover, paperback, eBook
Page count480
eBook price$9.99
6

John Kenneth GalbraithThe Great Crash 1929

$13.19

Publication year2009
Available formatsHardcover, paperback, audiobook, eBook
Page count224
eBook price$9.99
7

Timothy EganThe Worst Hard Time

$12.65

Publication year2006
Available formatsHardcover, paperback, audiobook, eBook
Page count340
eBook price$9.99
8

Amity ShlaesThe Forgotten Man

$14.95

Publication year2008
Available formatsHardcover, paperback, audiobook, eBook
Page count496
eBook price$7.49
9

Gordon Thomas, Max Morgan-WittsThe Day the Bubble Burst

$19.50

Publication year2014
Available formatsHardcover, paperback, eBook
Page count714
eBook price$10.44
10

Mildred Armstrong KalishLittle Heathens

$14.95

Publication year2008
Available formatsHardcover, paperback, audiobook, eBook
Page count292
eBook price$12.99

Looking for More Books on American History?

Learn more about the many facets of American History from our other articles. Check out our recommendations below!

Author: Samantha Isabela Castro


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