Exploding the myth that Depression culture was merely escapist, it concentrates instead on the dynamic energy and insight the arts could provide and the enormous lift they gave to the nation’s morale. Dancing in the Dark shows how our worst economic crisis, as it eroded American individualism and punctured the American dream, produced some of the greatest writing, photography, and mass entertainment ever seen in this country.
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The American economy felt into a slump after the Crash of 1929 and continued at low levesl throughout the next decade. Duke Ellington was a famous jazz trumpeter who became an international ambassador for American culture. Norman Mailer was one of the generation of American writers who emerged from World War II.