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Scott Borchert with Republic of Detours: How the New Deal Paid Broke Writers to Rediscover America
August 17 @ 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM EDTCost: free
The plan was as idealistic as it was audacious, and utterly unprecedented. Take thousands of hard-up writers and put them to work charting a country on the brink of social and economic collapse, with the aim of producing a series of guidebooks to the then forty-eight states—along with hundreds of other publications dedicated to cities, regions, and towns—while also gathering reams of folklore, narratives of formerly enslaved people, and even recipes. With this effort, America was documented, its families and their sensibilities brought to life by such celebrated authors as Nelson Algren, Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright. Don’t miss Scott Borchert’s discussion with genealogist Rhonda McClure about this remarkable, history-making Federal Writers’ Project, part of the Works Progress Administration (WPA)’s New Deal initiative.