Soul of a People: Writing America's Story

Soul of a People: Writing America's Story

Director: Andrea Kalin Cast: Patricia Clarkson, Studs Terkel, Douglas Brinkley



Students of American history are well acquainted with President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal, and in this documentary filmmaker Andrea Kalin offers a detailed look a perhaps lesser-known components of the Works Progress Administration. The Federal Writer's project was an arts program founded under the WPA with the goal of producing informative content for state travel guides. It was a time not too different from our own: in the wake of the stock market crash, unemployment skyrocketed and desperate families began looking to the government for help. Unemployed writers hired as part of the Federal Writer's Project were faced with the daunting task of traveling across the country and gathering information that would fill guidebooks for each of the 48 states. The project turned controversial, however, when authors hired to detail America's strengths put equal effort into detailing the devastation that had washed across the land. Interviews with such participants as Studs Terkel and Stetson Kennedy, as well as an impressive collection of poets, historians, and writers including David Bradley and Douglas Brinkley, offer an unflinching portrait of an important chapter in American history.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/29/2010
UPC: 0617742221190
Original Release: 2009
Rating: NR
Source: Smithsonian Networks
Sound: [Dolby Digital Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time: 1:32:00

Special Features

Closed Caption

Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Soul of a People: Writing America's Story
1. Introduction [4:00]
2. The Great Depression [5:03]
3. Works Progress Administration [8:57]
4. Federal Writers Project [11:02]
5. A "Safe" Assignment [12:44]
6. A Time Of Crisis [8:07]
7. Pressing On [13:42]
8. The Folklore Division [8:48]
9. Under Attack [11:22]
10. Epilogue [5:08]
11. Credits [3:28]

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