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Download PDF The Little Girl Who Fought the Great Depression: Shirley Temple and 1930s America

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Growing up, my mother spoke of despising Shirley Temple and preferring Jane Withers because she was a brat. Now I realise just exactly what she wasn't saying out loud. 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.

Then he goes on to show how movie merchandising really took off in the 30's especially relating to Shirley Temple. At one point, literally thousands of people owed their jobs This book really surprised me. At one point, literally thousands of people owed their jobs directly to her. Probably many more were indirectly employed because of her. This is an interesting side to Shirley's story that I have never seen explored before. Highly recommended.

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 's and the cultural, societal and racial implications of her Depression-era movies- this is the book for you. It's quite deep and often reads like an academic textbook not surprising, as it was written by a university professor but if you can get past that you'll be in for a nice treat.

Within the scope of the text If you're looking for an easy-read biography of Shirley Temple, don't pick up this book. Within the scope of the text, each movie is analyzed extensively- quite fascinating. I'll never watch "The Little Princess" one of my favorite movies the same way again! 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.


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I guess because I love Shirley Temple so much I was just expecting so much more. Even the ending stopped abruptly. View 1 comment. 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 until about Author John F.

Kasson describes the period leading up to the Depression and the conditions that made a child star such as Shirley Temple a perfect fit for the times. I enjoyed reading about Sh This is not a biography or a filmography of Shirley Temple and her movies, although it does contain plenty of information about both. I enjoyed reading about Shirley's stage mother, perhaps the first stage mother in Hollywood to achieve such fabulous success.

Apparently Shirley was not a natural blonde and her mother bleached her hair once a week in addition to adding the trademark curls which Kasson correctly calls "sausage curls" or "ringlets", but a few times incorrectly calls "pin curls. She was a hard worker and got along with everyone. Kasson goes along with that belief for the most part, but does include the occasional tantrum or misbehavior, some of which Temple herself confesses to in her autobiography. Grahame Greene was one of the rare non-fans, characterizing her appeal as "dubious coquetry" and "dimpled depravity.

I turned around to ask my mother, who had grown up in the Depression, a question, and caught her silently mimicking Shirley. She had hated Shirley Temple and had had to suffer having her straight hair curled and had been constantly told to smile "like Shirley" throughout her childhood.

All in all an informative book about the Depression, Hollywood, child actors and stage parents, privacy laws which were originally to protect public figures , and the movies that helped get America and the world through tough times. View 2 comments. Apr 24, Lori rated it really liked it Shelves: non-fiction. This book was pretty good. If people are fans of Shirley Temple.

John F. Kasson, writes a unique approach.

The Little Girl who Fought the Great Depression - abepivurev.tk

This book also focuses on the s 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 attraction four years in a row. She became popular during a very difficult time in America. Some of this book talks about what is was like during the s, the struggles, poverty, the presidents during this tim This book was pretty good.

Some of this book talks about what is was like during the s, the struggles, poverty, the presidents during this time. But mostly this is devoted to Shirley Temple. There are many chapters describing the movies she was in. I especially liked the chapter on Bill "bojangles" Robinson.

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Along with the fame her daughter had,were all the Shirley Temple dolls, games, paper dolls. Moms wanted to dress their little girls up like the famous child star. And much more on the talented little girl who won the hearts of America then and now. A pretty good read. One of my complaints is the chapters are very long with no stop off parts.

I did not detect any mud slinging by the author. A fascinating and astute analysis of the political and cultural climate in the s. 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 ballast to give better weight and relevance to the challenging political, economic, and yes, technological changes in the early 20th century, in America.

It does this without compromising analysis of th A fascinating and astute analysis of the political and cultural climate in the s.


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It does this without compromising analysis of the emerging of popular culture, and the lasting effects that the new world of "movie stars" and media would have on girlhood, on womanhood, on our cultural perception of childhood, and on consumer culture. And without compromising the details of the life of Shirley Temple; her family, her career, the myths that built up around her real-life vs.

If you have any interest at all in the history of pop culture, or early cinema, this is a book you really want to read. 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, ultimately, I don't think the title befits the book - maybe it should be 'A History of Shirle The first half of the book was ok. The last half of the book is a much easier read, and here it finally felt like I was learning something about the era, Shirley Temple, Hollywood, child actors in general, without feeling like data was being thrown at me. Overall it was ok. I'm glad I struggled through the first half of it to get to the better parts at the end. 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 "s America", but I wish it included more about Shirley herself, not about the box offices and what critics thought about her after her peak of stardom. I learned little about Shirley than I did her career. Nonfiction is admittedly a difficult genre to write. The struggle to As others have said before, the second part of this book was far more interesting. The struggle to give it voice but hold back personal opinion is tremendous, just as not making your work a list of facts is also.

I do think this piece was written rather dully, to be honest. Very much informative, but not quite compelling. Dec 14, Kate rated it it was amazing Shelves: movie-related , history , bio. 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, and what the cult of Shirley Temple brought to people in America.

If you just want to know about Shirley Temple's life, this is the wrong book. If you want to know about how FDR's attitude of public optimi This book was a pleasant surprise. If you want to know about how FDR's attitude of public optimism relates to themes in Shirley Temple movies, or the impact of the Shirley Temple movie persona had on girls' self-image in the 30s, then this is a great book.

I really enjoyed it, but recognize it's not for everyone. Dec 18, Anna rated it really liked it. No doubt the majority of people choosing to read this book will do so believing it to be focussing entirely on Shirley Temple herself. I certainly did. No one refutes her enormous talent however this unique book relates her success to the feeling amongst people at this difficult period of war and depression.

She was most certainly additionally 'in the right place at the right time'. A most interesting book and the title truly does reflect the most interesting content. I only finished it because I kept waiting for it to tell me something I did not know or something that brought Shirley to life for me. I was disappointed. Maybe this book would be a decent read for someone who knows nothing about Shirley Temple, FDR, the Great Depression, stage mothers, or the role of blacks in s cinema.

Nah, I take that back. Just watch some Shirley Temple movies and feel good. Jan 15, Kimberly rated it it was ok. The book begins by setting up all the characters of the Great Depression and how Shirley Temple would chance the hearts of the world during a time in American history correctly, but then the very long chapters begin to go off into many scatty directions.

The author John F. Kasson has an excellent knowledge of history, but at times goes on a tangent of information not relevant to the book just to use as an example to highlight the point he is making about Shirley Temple of the Great Depression. A The book begins by setting up all the characters of the Great Depression and how Shirley Temple would chance the hearts of the world during a time in American history correctly, but then the very long chapters begin to go off into many scatty directions.

The ending was very flat and seemed to be tied up in only a few pages. Closed the book very disappointed and yearning for more.

The Little Girl who Fought the Great Depression

Kasson equates Shirley Temple's film career in the s with the propaganda campaign of the U. Although Shirley was a symbol of the promoted attitude, she was not a single force.

Shirley Temple and the Great Depression

The movie industry was pushed to show Americans overcoming hardship to create a better country; to avoid showing the true depth of despair; to uplift people's spirit and to promote an attitude of all being in this together. Other issues made included were: Kasson equates Shirley Temple's film career in the s with the propaganda campaign of the U.

Other issues made included were: her marketing getting people to buy and stimulate the economy; her connection with black performers pulling races together; and her ability to reconcile enemies to bring peace. Kasson skillfully uses Shirley Temple as a prism to cast light on a vast range of subjects: The rise of FDR, optimism as Depression-era propaganda, the double existence of African-American stars, innocence as a consumer commodity, the fickleness of star adoration and the dangers of the mob, the meaning of childhood in a changing culture, and Hollywood's exploitation of its human profit centers, no matter how small.

Connecting them all is Temple herself, serene, self-composed, and indestructible the one movie star who wasn't putting on an act. John Kasson moves behind the seemingly effortless smile of Shirley Temple to uncover the child labor it required, and explores the complex emotional work performed by that smile for Americans struggling to survive the Great Depression. A compelling and creative new cultural history of the s. Convert currency. Add to Basket.

Compare all 2 new copies. Book Description Thorndike Press, Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory P More information about this seller Contact this seller. Book Description Thorndike Press. Seller Inventory NEW Publisher: Thorndike Press , This specific ISBN edition is currently not available. View all copies of this ISBN edition:. Synopsis About this title Discusses the optimism and good cheer that surrounded the adored, young, Depression-era, box office star whose singing, acting and charming smile helped revive the American spirit during the s and for many decades after.

About the Author : John F.