The Little Girl Who Fought the Great Depression: Shirley Temple and 1930s America by John F. Kasson

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Read The Little Girl Who Fought the Great Depression: Shirley Temple and 1930s America Online Free - Her image appeared in periodicals and advertisements roughly twenty times daily; she rivaled FDR and Edward VIII as the most photographed person in the world. Her portrait brightened the homes of countless admirers: from a black laborer’s cabin in South Carolina and young Andy Warhol’s house in Pittsburgh to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover’s recreation room in Washington, DC, and gangster “Bumpy” Johnson’s Harlem apartment. A few years later her smile cheered the secret bedchamber of Anne Frank in Amsterdam as young Anne hid from the Nazis.
For four consecutive years Shirley Temple was the world’s box-office champion, a record never equaled. By early 1935 her mail was reported as four thousand letters a week, and hers was the second-most popular girl’s name in the country.

What distinguished Shirley Temple from every other Hollywood star of the period—and everyone since—was how brilliantly she shone. Amid the deprivation and despair of the Great Depression, Shirley Temple radiated optimism and plucky good cheer that lifted the spirits of millions and shaped their collective character for generations to come. Distinguished cultural historian John F. Kasson shows how the most famous, adored, imitated, and commodified child in the world astonished movie goers, created a new international culture of celebrity, and revolutionized the role of children as consumers.

Tap-dancing across racial boundaries with Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, foiling villains, and mending the hearts and troubles of the deserving, Shirley Temple personified the hopes and dreams of Americans. To do so, she worked virtually every day of her childhood, transforming her own family as well as the lives of her fans.

Title : The Little Girl Who Fought the Great Depression: Shirley Temple and 1930s America
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0393350614
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 320 pages


Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) rated it ★★★☆☆

April 10, 2017

Interesting, though not what I thought it would be. If you're looking for a straight-up biography of Temple, you won't find it here. In fact the author did not speak directly to anyone associated with Temple's acting career; his information is gleaned from books, periodicals and geneaology-type w...

Trailhoundz rated it ★★★★☆

May 13, 2014

If you're looking for an easy-read biography of Shirley Temple, don't pick up this book. But if you're looking for a small slice of Shirley, highlighting her rise to fame in the 1930's and the cultural, societal and racial implications of her Depression-era movies- this is the book for you. It's...

Susanbarto rated it ★☆☆☆☆

May 09, 2014

I was really disappointed in this book. The first half was barely about Shirley. The first chapter was about Roosevelt and the second was all about Bojangles. I guess because I love Shirley Temple so much I was just expecting so much more. Even the ending stopped abruptly.

Deborah rated it ★★★★☆

January 18, 2018

This book really surprised me. I picked it up as a Shirley Temple fan, thinking it was a biography. But this book is much more than that. Kasson talks about the mood of the country in the 30's and why Shirley became so popular. He parallels her movies with FDR's New Deal programs and shows how th...

Biblio rated it ★★★★☆

March 02, 2014

This is not a biography or a filmography of Shirley Temple and her movies, although it does contain plenty of information about both. The Little Girl Who Fought the Great Depression is a history of America when Shirley Temple's movies were massively popular, a period that lasted from 1934 until a...

Lori rated it ★★★★☆

April 27, 2015

This book was pretty good. If people are fans of Shirley Temple. John F.Kasson, writes a unique approach. This book also focuses on the 1930s and the depression. How much affect this little star had on the Country. I have read many times that Shirley Temple was the number one box office attracti...

Ally rated it ★★★★★

January 03, 2015

A fascinating and astute analysis of the political and cultural climate in the 1930s. What I really love about this book is that it goes into the in-depth analysis of the life and films of not only Shirley Temple, but her family, her fans, and even FDR, using her life and experiences as a kind of...

Lori rated it ★★☆☆☆

May 31, 2014

The first half of the book was ok. Far too many quotes from other sources - somewhere between 'I get the point already' and 'I wonder if they've been added to meet a required word count for the chapter?' And, periodically, a statement in the text as to how the chapter relates to the title of the...

Kate rated it ★★★★★

December 14, 2016

This book was a pleasant surprise. I grabbed it from my library assuming it was a bio of Shirley Temple, but it's more of a cultural history of the Depression and movies. It focuses on the role that "feel good" movies (like the ones that Shirley Temple appeared in) had in during the Depression, a...

Hannah rated it ★★★☆☆

January 31, 2015

As others have said before, the second part of this book was far more interesting. While reading about President Roosevelt's plans for the economy, I was just itching to read about Shirley. I do realize the title includes "1930s America", but I wish it included more about Shirley herself, not abo...

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