An illustrated edition of Amity Shlaes's bestseller The Forgotten Man, featuring vivid black-and-white illustrations that capture this dark period in American history and the men and women, from all walks of life, whose character and ideas helped them persevere
It's difficult today to imagine how America survived the Great Depression. Only through the stories of the common people who struggled during that era—the ones with rock-solid values that helped them through the toughest of times—can we really understand how the nation endured.
These are the people at the heart of The Forgotten Man. This imaginative illustrated edition highlights one of the most devastating periods in our nation's history through the lives of American people, from politicians and workers to businessmen, farmers, and ordinary citizens. Smart and stylish black-and-white art from acclaimed illustrator Paul Rivoche provides an utterly original vision of the coexistence of despair and hope that characterized Depression-era America. Shlaes's narrative and Rivoche's art illuminate key economic concepts, showing how government intervention helped to make the Depression great by overlooking the men and women who were trying to help themselves.
The Forgotten Man Graphic Edition captures the spirit of this crucial moment in American history and the steadfast character and ingenuity of those who lived it.
Shlaes's histories are beloved among Congressional budget hawks for suggesting that Calvin Coolidge was the last great thrifty president and that F.D.R. prolonged the Great Depression by ramping up federal spending. This adaptation of Schlaes's history of the Depression by Dixon (Batman) and Rivoche (Mister X) represents her political views faithfully. Its hero and narrator is the practically forgotten Wendell Willkie, Roosevelt's opponent in the critical election of 1940, but all the major social and political players of the time, from Andrew Mellon, Ayn Rand, and Father Divine to the Schechter brothers (kosher poultry kings who won a Supreme Court case against the constraining practices of F.D.R.'s National Recovery Administration), make appearances. The research-heavy narrative sometimes reads like an economics master class: competing government policies and business practices are discussed at length. The real hero is Rivoche, who manages to dramatize this polemic with stunningly realized b&w art and intuitive storytelling, which does not hesitate to open the tale into two-page spreads when necessary. The Keynes vs. Hayek debate may still be unresolved, but no one will argue that this is a beautiful use of comics to boil down a complex, abstract narrative.