The New Deal and the WPA

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There were years in the depths of the Great Depression when masses of Americans lived in desperation for a meal, a pair of shoes, and most of all, a job.

And then, in a world of hobos and shantytowns, came the New Deal and the WPA — the Works Progress Administration. The federal government directly gave jobs — shovels, wheel barrows, sometimes pen and paper — to millions.

They dug ditches. They painted. They built Camp David and LaGuardia Airport and schools and parks in every state.

This hour, On Point: a new history remembers the radical experiment of the WPA.


Nick Taylor, author of "American-Made: The Enduring Legacy of the WPA."

Barry Bluetsone, professor of political economy, director of the Center for Urban and Regional Policy, and dean of the School of Social Science, Urban Affairs, and Public Policy at Northeastern University.

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst and senior editor at The Atlantic Monthly.

This program aired on February 26, 2008.


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