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Amity Schlaes And The Graphic Novel Version Of The Great Depression

May 28, 2014|

Amity Shlaes author of the bestseller The Forgotten Man, the stories of the common people who struggled during the Great Depression, joined us to talk about the new innovative graphic novel version of her book.

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Joining us now on the line is is Yemeni each -- she she wrote the great book Coolidge via a biography of one -- one of the greatest presidents Vermont Massachusetts Calvin Coolidge. And before that she she -- she wrote a book called the forgotten man a new history of the Great Depression very very readable. Account of the the great depression and a how how -- You know the average America the average everyday American. In addition to what are you focusing on some audio leading characters of the time. And so I opened up well. Idea of block the came from the publisher of the -- couple weeks ago. And it was a new paperback edition of the forgotten man. -- looked at it expects that graphic condition Susan that's chemistry inch graphic edition of the man I opened it. And it's it's it's -- history -- In in the form of com hit it in the form of comics were like a comic book. But but Metallica Superman Kirk Marvel Comics there something like I mean this is this is real history. And evident how I was I wanted to have you on the show focused I thought I just but this was a brilliant idea for a blocked I'm I'm really impressed. -- well thank you as you know you have ideas you work -- three years maybe people liken -- maybe they won't but we have guys. You know we want to get to more people and I love comic. And -- a lot of others so we told the history of the 1930s. For our children and for ourselves into comics. Thank you for appreciate. No it's it's just great I mean you know -- -- and you have the it's it's well look like a comic book too cautious look at through today you know yet. You have a picture you'll FBI first hockey but he's a poll. But model you see in the pool but he smoke at his cigarette in the cigarette is a beholder so you know you're getting you're getting all these little -- the diesel items that should be writing about you'd have to write about and a block but. In a comic book you could just expressed Lamotte through the through the actual art work. Well it took it we had a brilliant artist for this I'm not the artists I'm an author the artist is called Paul -- -- and Canada any party won a comedian prized for their cover. From from the art authorities there he worked so hard and it's interesting you pick abundant detail there's a lot of New England detail and it. For example I've bought -- and irons so he could see what kind of iron a leading might have in the 1920s for its iron up close with that. You know before electricity and after oral you know we went and looked at pictures of buildings so will we ever. Roosevelt in Albany this State Capitol. Paul got pictures of what our State Capitol here in Europe looks like and what the threat you know what the president that he was the governor governor Roosevelt you know what it will look like in the executive -- On law and silly there was an enormous amount of work behind this almost like making it would be a lot of fives. Could -- is a may have just look at it this popular you have the you know and it was Samuel Kent and shall go on up the up to courthouse steps it's raining hard and -- guys they come up. Guys taking a picture of him with a flash -- with an old bus speed graphic type camera. Weren't you know we're in an old Fedora you have guys at the at at Euro -- you know with the old I don't putt pushed its -- -- I can't believe how much work this must take it. Well yet Nike people are crazy today. I think it's so much and how we -- is that -- is I do. If we gotta talk for that with this from the artist and I elect. You know for example of this guy. They're thinking you're in is that even though it's not a standard -- in -- -- superhero it's Wendell Wilkie. Electricity and because guy in in the 1930s. He kind of got the new deal was okay and it destroyed his company. Which was called commonwealth of southern until he fought back in as you know is -- and now eventually ran for president to. Speak his mind and he's very happy guide jolly guy great and happy warrior of them. But he at a girlfriend named he read a van -- and he helped him get his thoughts together. And so we we drew the cottage where they met which is in Cornwall Connecticut I mean quite -- like that every detail and I can't promise every detail in the book is -- but we we we worked on a lot of details let's stop. There this guy I -- is just paperwork for a radio you don't forgive the the regular comic book cup. He's absolutely. Appalled -- -- so I just I'm picking my hat off to him -- they had on the cover. And there are a lot of hats and there we had to -- and what kind of hack you know. -- -- of it picks each. He needed you know that it's for Batman graphic and Amazon. We you know we chat and we decide. -- -- -- people -- gonna get a look at some of the stuff I just you know the -- just -- -- believe how how -- how amazing it is to have a history book written like Thursday. Its its its release it's really something special is there is there a special web site they can go to. There's that -- for forgotten -- graphic. And DL are and you can email me personally it it you know comic FaceBook page -- -- -- the picture -- And asked if he can't find it. You can also in Amazon -- -- -- about their quite a number of images. That you can click on when you open a book BE book is not quite ready bout will be coming shortly and Paula tonight the -- are very excited about that. And the answer is. He had done that man. He called revenge this artist but he's John a lot of things I don't even know all what -- -- John. All over the place. And Iron Man I think as I wanna get some credit to chuck Dixon the adapter -- started out with doesn't help to think how you turn. The history impact to occur in. Yeah it it -- is just the first of its kind ever. Not quite but almost I mean I I I went looking looking. Looking. Four on cartoon book a bit different genre called the graphic novel which is like a bad name because yeah it's -- although it. But got a graphic that that's -- this is so different than that -- because it's kind of like you know just kind of really twisted but seems like the kind of stopped the virgin killer would be reading you know graphic novels you know -- right. It penetrated it at that Indonesians graphic out of patience like I think kept Dixon who worked in the years. Ago. -- that I fell in love with two books one -- person that bullet which is that cartoon book about the running in revelation. And I just thought that it was a great way to look at direct you know it's a hard topic the Iranian revolution and if I -- be great. And they captured it. In a -- that this artist -- -- that -- he did it and its world. Hundreds of thousands of copies and people would never have land about thanking Teddy and me about it is which is -- -- And then it's malice which is about the Holocaust kind of improbable. -- notebook. But he let me get this right. They do I mean I. -- -- -- -- And the -- -- page and be speaking as someone who is also via those ethnicity. Are not trying to prevent -- -- -- you go. Look at the black -- captures your captive -- it conveys more about the archive and a lot of -- excitement permanent trade do that. And I sorry I. I showed it to -- a daughter today and who goes to BC of -- have you receive anything like this. It should mention my house she is that's the thing that's that's what she said she and she. Told me that was about the Holocaust but let's take some calls for a -- -- ways 18774694322. If you wanna talk about the -- -- to put the oral book that's a comic book Aurora or just ask her about the baucus. Richard great it was a great book just that you're always says it's great look at the regular you know. And it was just see you sort of gave it knew that a new spin you know does that mean it just it seemed so far away now. The the the depression and you know that also tells what the book is based on. Well I think partly the you know that about ten years ago I was working in the history the great depression and it with. That much closer. People remembered it more of them right. People who who wrote about was people didn't have video games so much then. So but I have not that and much is you NIA. Might talk about history a lot of people are interest Sydney -- Especially in and I have a lot of respect for younger people they're smarter than I am. But they weren't interested in reading all books. So what do where they re and I looked around and I thought these graphic novels some discreet manga in the nickel from mango which is this an agent tendencies style in -- So so I -- page diet you know and I went on the hunt. And tell me if I'm boring airlift and they went on -- high up to white river junction Vermont which is not that far from where you are often. To look at that -- is there an event you know they have a little -- school there with some beautiful trying and eventually have found Paul is social. Who is getting. -- that we use like I believe -- -- -- you can really good -- trying hat and that he tales of the 1930. That's perhaps she I loved acts. It's just you know I saw a guy wearing a -- last night amity and he you know he and he. He just you know it was like a half it was like one of the hats on the cover -- the book only it was a sort of -- but -- -- look like a flop wearing. Today that it and it's just it's kind of sad. But that you don't acts of god so far office files that you are almost flopped to Wear them today you know what I mean it's it's an expectation. Well I'm married where but how. Yeah but -- what I mean let's say you don't like eight in the -- the old radio shows sometimes and they always say. You you know one of the things they yeah they always say committee you know we commended or the private detective comes in the door. Can I take your -- Who what was -- -- Europe and somebody say that -- I know you know that we can do mad men which is -- television show which is work hard to be historically accurate. We can heal print book about the Great Depression what. Getting this typically buy that hat question how -- I didn't want my forgotten man in this book to look like he was totally impoverished. -- least just disillusioned. Which is different and we. If so what -- and disillusioned -- aware and we you know we worked a lot of the forgotten man in the first went up to do more to -- that is a of course people were -- starving in the Great Depression but a lot more people. We're just without did it you know and so we we put quite a bit energy into. The into the hat into the clothing is a picture in this book of the very famous for iconic new deal photo my grandmother. Yes some of the listeners will know about it fat lady with two children about her -- sort of like. I would just look at kind of look at and try to find that he had an. I believe it's page all man around page 190. And we drew her because. We wanted to -- -- page 200 in this book we wanted to draw this. How articulate created content spoke -- also about. What was wrong with the new deal it's not you know the book doesn't say it in new dealers were murderers. But it's an economic history of the 1930s. The forgotten man. It says maybe the government to do a great job bringing economy in the thirties that that's what it's about. And so would that particular famous photo. Which they are historians -- have retrospective with. One of the propaganda photo by the administration. In order to. Justify large. Just revealed so. So hey you know there's a lot of their many many jokes about trying to graphics and here in many many animal farms had met yet. You know that trials. I'm sort of -- -- cargo until you got him that's what he -- he's of course around. Foot problem he was I mean that was a and -- there was a yet he he end up he was very big and in Boston and you know. -- -- big radio two big. Allies with Detroit you difficult beginning of being carried nationally -- it was trying to figure out ways states. -- have them appear again and again father coddling. You know -- while he's snickering really inappropriate. And you know he went in but he had tremendous. Power he is very interest staying. We have bothered buying me in this book he was -- -- we -- body was father divine that's controversial with some of the but he also was sort of a self help leader he's led by house. You know we have alcoholics anonymous in here in detailed look at as a big part of thirty. Foundation of that group and they're more powerful than any added about -- -- that great book. That the founder Bill Wilson. Made that sold millions. 01877469432. To appear to questions remedy actually is what you wanna know how to spell last may actually could find the book more easily. SHL. AES. Amity bush -- SHL AES name of the book is. The forgotten man -- bully beat you have never I don't think you've ever seen a book like this -- I've never seen a book like this before it's silly it's just that it's it's really literally -- the it it'll look. I think you're getting back to the way people dress -- while amity that you're in spite of the fact that they -- like you say discouraged and beaten down and depressed. We just see the pictures and again you've captured in the block people still dressed up a lot more than they did they used. You know and that they do now. Did in what -- do we lose that. I don't know I mean you think of it as a parent or child. You look at how we ourselves go I also studied how Germans looked after World War II in Germany they were really starting in 1946. They would China issues is because had breakfast it was so -- about self respect. And it so it is the needy people of the 93 putted incredible dignity even knows source starving and I to the forgotten man is. The man who tries. Do his best notwithstanding. Circumstance. Yet the yeah. They they did they did you why I think though that people's I've ever remember watching is watching of ESPN classics just just open around the dial once I turned the 1965. World Series between. The Minnesota Twins in the -- Dodgers. And I -- -- -- cut did give a cut away at the crowd and everybody was wherein all the men were wearing coats and ties and I said. This has got to be right around the turning this has got to be right around the time -- turned 65 you know. Where where people you don't meet if you went to if you want to -- little ball game -- especially on the weekend you ever gonna see anybody co -- -- -- -- But back then people would be evil of almighty weekend they would pour cold and -- for something like a ball game. Who didn't know this about other people telling other people how to draft on what I like about the -- is this with about their own self respect. Com and add their own effort. You know lay another reason we did this. What we wanted to today. What happened in the thirties and so there's -- heroic little businesses in this story. It what is it. Poultry business in New York that got it grants by that regulator another Intel you mentioned who witnessed great electricity -- kind of cropped. Maybe not to corrupt hard canal by the police targeted Adam by the government is as the cause of the great depression and basically. You know driven out of life is the prosecution to get involved -- never ended and his achievements which -- wiring Chicago. Well you know they were not forgotten I come from Chicago and I never heard of until even though he built the opera house. So so we -- all the pictures of the prosecution -- an insult. And now maybe you need a cartoonist for for white people tour. Love this story -- -- I I really loved the way they do it. A great artist John. Yeah blogs look at the flood of 1927. But you know the respect of the -- of it you know war the the Randy Newman saw you know about the flawed and and that's it integrates that's a great -- -- would just but it it really captures that here people just -- -- -- -- -- if I sit on the -- with their -- let's take some calls here for -- -- The forgotten man is the name of the book -- new history of the Great Depression you for the -- you probably heard of the port but now for a while was a New York Times best -- but this new graphic condition that he has just come it's just actually it's really fascinating. At work just yeah I just gets -- much work it wants to put it put together cut your next with how we card -- each -- go ahead pat. Hey am I read the book I think it's absolutely outstanding -- a question for you. It seems that Obama following what FDR did during the new deal and it didn't seem that too much for at -- -- why do you. Politician continue to make its -- mistakes when it's all documented that there thinks they're doing don't work. So that's right. Thank you for that call. I think you read the print book in this in this spoke what is created and your question basically. It life in the book of laughter and -- getting and most of our politicians have let ever parties -- -- after timing people due to the certain. Proposals don't work very well. In 1930s examples specifically get a liar it's government programs around the private economy needs it just didn't work and eventually was found unconstitutional. I personally and it gave me some analogies to the health care in -- And we'll be just telling wanna start everyone can have his own opinion but he wanted to start is knowing what happened and I young people forget. And they may -- they never knew maybe their -- cent share this with them where we're really eager for the home schooling wreckage to. To have a look at this book in any case in the first answer is learn a little bit about the -- in -- way that you know appeals. -- -- -- So he's somebody says -- does this early second term of Obama remind you when he over or early -- the our second term. It's I mean I AM you know I'm speaking here -- personally not as a either yeah it does because there's this idea that. No other economic proposals will be accepted and and generally redistribution is one. That's really excelled in the new deal after allow you could propose anything about what the government was proposing this kind of terrible line in our institutions. That everybody only thinks one way it's a lot less treatment in another point is that it that it in schools and universities to actually talked about that. And in the conversation. Well that broke up around 1938 in his protection that people that they didn't it's crazy that have different point of view. Different points of view it and will keep this super hero of -- We expressed that I like -- It will. You know I I wasn't alive in 1940 obviously but you know from what I read you know. Wilkie just seemed to take the country by storm but -- crashed in the election. What happened. Plus he didn't win because he wasn't very good at the electoral politics so yeah. He lost a lot of Electoral College votes but he had a large number of popular. We here I believe autocratic look at my book I believe he had even more popular resonance Herbert Hoover had had. But don't hold me proud that so you know he would and not -- -- it didn't manage and for that that was different. And he did pretty well for a bit. So current interest thing. I -- he'd died right before the 44 election. He had a bad hard data and it -- Graham -- he's -- -- glad he was -- -- -- did a good times you know it. You have stated that he. In this. -- -- -- well who is the government planner and I do it will be an analogy forgive me romped around an annual weights and I you know a crisis of the terrible thing -- always writes. I know mr. Manuel. You know I but the. Now we -- he appears to be in a crisis of resolve electorally speaking. Right he'd be forgotten is that where we're at someone I at what I like about Emanuel it also about Rex well. Is there that person to work for the party who says this stuff to other people don't have to say that so what would -- as socializing this year or -- or. You know well you know we need to you know -- we need to market don't a lot of collective farms and some of the other new dealers were to politic to acknowledge. What they were doing well that's what elect Rahm Emanuel in his -- he would say what other people were too timid to stay in likened it actually. Talk well my my -- My anti hero had to leave the administration the Roosevelt administration could he was too controversial. Mr. -- your next with how we card a British -- her new graphic graphic nonfiction book the forgotten man is -- just an issue go ahead mr. acts. Yeah BM media US and anti semite. My cup Bob what do you what do you get our other women that I don't know what he's I don't know when he was yet. Yeah -- all the mouse thing he was going on about the most. -- magic in the Jewish. On the island and I'm not even itself needing to. Know what I am saying is specifically the -- spoke when you hear about it and they'd choose there my -- let's see. And the polls are paid and that Germans -- tax you don't like any -- that -- They've -- and I didn't like that I did a good -- wanna be depicted malice. -- Forecast but when I get off the mound but and I what the artists are -- -- -- I -- into France and so -- about it. How how to get it is gonna -- did you think it's gonna sell well hurried or just the head of this time. You know they pay an economics an old kind of quiet created then demand that sometimes true. I hope cola fell well I think it's if it says it -- be -- because they're not many that have liked it he that's part of how we why. -- -- Was like hit I suddenly remembered there are some things I wanted to mention one is that 9/11 report the government's report. What made into a cartoon book did pretty well. So that's the -- on it yeah I have it in my you know in my library of courage in the face studies another example would be Howard. And -- classes. Yet Howard it. He has me. He's he's gone now he's passed but we had a cartoon history of American empire we don't. Very well but he really mature a lot of pictures of burning crosses and how origins book right. -- when -- confirmed that that there there are and this is for the buck was more negative than. Us. So you know and that you can. Yeah a lot of people really happy went custer's last stand occur is that kind of thing circular toasting one another somewhere sure. Yeah he's it was a it was a strange guy yeah. Strange guy great but but -- apple canceled for years and one reason I did this thankfully with. Forgotten man is is the history book it's based on this book is. Is the repeat -- history because it does say that new deal didn't work even now I personally like Roosevelt. Admiral I don't think he was a great economist. And -- many many people said I like your book but it's too long can you share this message in another way. So I don't he mania that the free market cartoon books that we back in. A long long time ago that great economist Friedrich Hayek wrote to wrote to his serve them about how. Little changes seem like nothing that they put it on a path sister and then there was up cartoon versions that it was more than half a century ago. Somebody just saw a quote from Henry Morgenthau junior while testifying before congress in 1939 we have tried spending money. We are spending more money than we have ever spent before and it does not work -- -- -- some -- what's a -- to. Well. Well I mean I don't wanna -- the president that you can -- your he could gyro in connection error on the what's that thirty Barrett is. An argument for. More spending now you know that's of people use it for the period they say that we -- in the thirties. That we should spend that that evidence is not suggest that a number of levels but anyhow. I am not a big fan of spending as a solution is the the -- economist -- -- don't agree with in this book and his you know that is contained. John Maynard -- But I don't make in my tibia villain in fact Paul do some beautiful -- -- that anyone who looks and their please look at to China that -- Has been a fan because we use that it was kind of China because he was in England John Maynard Keynes. -- did some spots in pictures for you. -- -- This is just. You know I I thought to myself why did the Whitey -- trial in the about two weeks you know I'm just -- -- as the trial went along and put the pictures and almost opposite. Man I'm so Smart I did I you know -- come up with this new way to write a book quick and get an -- for Christmas etc. senator. About a pick this thing up I said man this is a whole new way to write a block. That -- I'm sorry I've just I usually I just don't trust. Appreciate it and I wanna say that is why Harry Carey is getting ready to advocate yet more creativity in. Anybody that Alley where one question is are there too many pictures -- each year and when we do we're just doing e-book now. Maybe we should divide up the pictures you know cartoons that was Okur can get -- panel on the page sometimes yeah. I -- feel like each of these panels deserves its own page and that would be 18100 pages that they're -- Yeah they are immediate policy genius. It did there it's just -- I think I have my age you know but they -- the publisher did meet this wonderful Faber publishing this harpercollins. And -- pack them enormously would be endeavor. Because it's hard to do a cartoon book you wanna change -- that the and you know that. I pay no right now we're gonna go with discipline and I think they did it gorgeous job balancing things go out. Let -- trying to think. It it you know the whole graphic he met harpercollins. Who made at -- can you tell about the flap. Got a bit yup they're just yet the it's. It's out of -- that I having a dust jacket there's just that there are flops in the and opened the flaps and you get a giant picture like on the backside you get to two huge acts. If you're feeling like a forgotten that your picture is this is you know really we and we. The artists I wanna say his name. At harpercollins who helped the graphics then -- on both fiction. They're this is along with -- -- ocean and chuck Dixon and Cunningham helped I mention these people 'cause like for five years they're about this. You one of the things that we're trying to get that with this book -- these young people it is teaching in school and I also want to mention it's where. Talking to Massachusetts that we are bringing them home schoolers got to president Coolidge is house in Plymouth notch -- mind. And we hope that home schoolers will calm to learn about Coolidge. And economic. Social legislation that -- you were you -- -- wrote the great biography of -- -- -- -- just so I'll ask you about since you brought up cool -- before election go. He said that Coolidge was more -- yet Tea Party person and Reagan do you agree with that. Well I mean. The cool widget Coolidge was a concern super conservative but Coolidge came out of the the regular. Republican Mitch machinery so and that's it she's not really -- Tea Party. You and I talked about this last time. -- rose to their ranks as -- -- he put his foot and every step in the latter and boy Rivera a lot of tests. You're worried -- forgive me if I get things. You know slightly wrong of the technical name is solicitor. For the town of North Hampton -- that mayor represented many leaving your lower house in the general course. NBA was president of the senate and and and then. It is time and intended to. So Cooley did his time -- that was a party app Barack you know party machine in in actually made good sense of for him. And day he was faithful to the party did not vote against the party that are. So yes so he's he electorally I don't think that's a proper comparison exactly. But some of the principles that he believed it at that time we're closer to the Tea Party. Parties than -- -- physically. Prepared a lot about the budget. And Reagan cared less because he was that because current president and frankly we quit about grown and and did often. Outgrow our problems formally in the United States in in the week period now all we are challenged -- we -- -- every problem we also need to. Cut the budget so. So Coolidge. Believe and that and a third of the Tea Party I don't I don't. So they're ordering the book people say -- -- the ordering the book on Amazon -- check in and out there really impress someone wants to know how much it cost 1999. That's this that's this list price I -- we get a for less than that right. Now I'm I'm a little irritated did say you can make by -- alphabet because I see here that is flat -- -- -- And I I -- I thank you. So much for even understanding there's ever anyone wanna talk about is on the air how we get home mean to drop road. I think world but we're -- -- -- up just twelve sevenths has just -- forgotten man a bull -- music in Waterville -- so if it's good that you're gonna you -- I think this book is gonna do well let me take -- -- -- to catch on but I think -- I think people gonna dig this it. That again and I mean this is it. Wanna teach I'm -- much interest there is teacher history -- -- -- you know but it's if you wanna teach history I mean this is certainly the way to start right. Think you will you know when telling bad happens people -- our industry it's it's not they they realize they need to educate themselves. Are. You know -- here via other point of view. -- you can make up the you control your own mind but at least know who is Roosevelt who is market value of that quote. On the -- who are these people and and then you'll see the parallels with your own I don't need anybody to point now. Editing thanks thank you very much for -- the said the you know again congratulations on this this this this this. A little religious holiday you do a unique. -- -- Please come visit us -- this quality foundation this summer and real out from the beautiful Coolidge had a bad feed to your listeners of lots going on for free. Marketeers. Or just to. And that could learn more about the cool should they go to college foundation dot org you can write events that Calvin -- in Coolidge got -- But the Coolidge foundation. It's great to sign up to common read it from the beautiful Coolidge got a -- Great -- thanks for being with establish -- lead author of the forgotten man check it out the check out online the new public the new graphic portion of it thank you -- always -- pleasure of how we car.