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The Republic of Detours: How the New Deal Paid Broke Writers to Rediscover America
  • Date: Tuesday, June 15, 2021
  • Time: 6:30 pm
  • Location: Online

Scott Borchert will discuss the story of the Federal Writers’ Project—a division of the Works Progress Administration founded to employ jobless writers, from bestselling novelists and acclaimed poets to the more dubiously qualified. It was a predictably eclectic organization, directed by an equally eccentric man, Henry Alsberg. Under Alsberg’s direction, the FWP took up the lofty goal of rediscovering America, and soon found itself embroiled in the day’s most heated arguments regarding literary representation, radical politics, and racial inclusion—forcing it to reckon with the promises and failures of both the New Deal and the American experiment itself. Joining Scott Borchert in conversation will be Susan Rubenstein DeMasi, Author of Henry Alsberg: The Driving Force of New Deal Writers.

Presented in partnership with the Living New Deal.