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Forgotten Men and Fallen WomenThe Cultural Politics of New Deal Narratives$
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Holly Allen

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780801453571

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801453571.001.0001

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The War to Save the Forgotten Man

The War to Save the Forgotten Man

Gender, Citizenship, and the Politics of Work Relief

(p.11) Chapter 1 The War to Save the Forgotten Man
Forgotten Men and Fallen Women

Holly Allen

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines the politics of federal relief and its implications for gender, race, and citizenship. It considers how the figure of the forgotten man came to represent unemployment during the Great Depression, and particularly for jobless white men dependent on relief. It presents civic stories of forgotten manhood to elucidate how a particular, emotionally charged narrative about collective white masculine identity contributed to the hegemonic power of the New Deal state. Focusing on the Civil Works Administration and the Works Progress Administration, the book shows that the institutional history of federal emergency relief is intertwined with the broader narrative of forgotten manhood.

Keywords:   politics, federal relief, gender, race, citizenship, forgotten man, unemployment, Great Depression, civic stories, New Deal

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