The WPA Guide to Ohio
ebook ∣ The Buckeye State
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During the 1930s in the United States, the Works Progress Administration developed the Federal Writers' Project to support writers and artists while making a national effort to document the country's shared history and culture. The American Guide series consists of individual guides to each of the states. Little-known authors—many of whom would later become celebrated literary figures—were commissioned to write these important books. John Steinbeck, Saul Bellow, Zora Neale Hurston, and Ralph Ellison are among the more than 6,000 writers, editors, historians, and researchers who documented this celebration of local histories. Photographs, drawings, driving tours, detailed descriptions of towns, and rich cultural details exhibit each state's unique flavor.
For a reader interested in small town life in the early 20th century, the WPA Guide to Ohio is an excellent resource. A series of photographs by Ben Shahn for the Farm Security Administration is well complemented with 17 selective essays about the political, industrial, and cultural life in the Buckeye State. The essay on the economy provides interesting information on the labor movement in Ohio.