During the 1930s, the literary world was rocked by massive layoffs and publishing restructuring. Journalist David A. Taylor studied how writers survived the Great Depression in his timely book, and today, he offered advice for contemporary writers on the Morning Media Menu.
Around the 6:00-minute mark, Taylor outlined the unique social pressures placed on laid-off media workers during the Great Depression: “Back then there was a lot more isolation…A lot of people who lost editing or writing jobs just fell out of the discussion, out of the dialogue. There was a sense of shame–the atmosphere up until then was: ‘You create yourself as an American, you have it in your power to pull yourself up by your bootstraps’… If you lost your job, there was a sense of shame.”
Taylor explored all these dark feelings in his recent book, “Soul of a People: The WPA Writers’ Project Uncovers Depression America.” During the interview, he offered some historical hope for contemporary publishing folks suffering through similar problems, studying a historic writing bailout that may have saved American letters.