The word “soul” feels rare these days. But it is perhaps the single perfect word to call a reader’s attention into Soul of a People: The WPA Writers’ Project Uncovers Depression America by David A. Taylor ’83. Get a copy today and begin reading—David Taylor will join us here for discussion Wednesday through Saturday, April 17–20, 2013!
Soul of a People is about a handful of characters who were on the Federal Writer’s Project in the 1930s, individuals who went from poverty to great things later: John Cheever, Ralph Ellison, Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright, and Studs Terkel. Through striking images and firsthand accounts, the book reveals their experiences and the most vivid excerpts from selected guides and interviews: Harlem schoolchildren, truckers, Chicago fishmongers, Cuban cigar makers, a Florida midwife, Nebraskan meatpackers, and blind musicians.
Taylor served in the Peace Corps in Africa after graduating from Davidson, and has traveled the globe since to write about the revealing connections between people and their worlds. His articles have appeared in Smithsonian, The Washington Post, The Village Voice, Outside, The Christian Science Monitor, and Oxford American, and he is author of four other books: Tall Ship Odysseys; Ginseng: The Divine Root; Success: Stories; and The War of 1812 and the Rise of the U.S. Navy.