Boosterism, ’30s Style

Although the Roosevelt Administration was (whatever its other mistakes) candid about the economic conditions it faced, there was in the ’30s, as there has been over the 2010s in Wisconsin, a delusional impulse to happy talk – regardless of economic conditions – among some politicians and some business groups.

Margaret Bourke-White‘s Kentucky Flood depicts the 1937 contrast between black flood victims in Louisville lining up for food and an advertiser’s happy billboard:

Queue of black residents of Louisville KY waiting for distribution of relief supplies during the 1937 Ohio River flood; photo by Margaret Bourke-White.

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4 years ago

This is a powerful photograph that illustrates the point about “happy talk” versus reality.
Thank you for posting it.