Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Teaching the American Twenties: Exploring the Decade through Literature and Art

Big Debates

Debates about war, capital and labor, women's rights, and Prohibition find uneasy resolutions as the Twenties begin.

After the War

William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, Willa Cather, and Langston Hughes America examine both personal and generational experiences of World War I in their writing.

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Capital and Labor

Pro-business supporters President Calvin Coolidge and Henry Ford are often at odds with labor leaders Eugene Debs, Bill Haywood, and Emma Goldman. The literature of Upton Sinclair exposes the struggle between capital and labor.

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Rise of Women

Women gain voting rights but not equal rights. Some use their political clout to fight for Prohibition while others become consumers. While the carefree flapper image prevails, Margaret Sanger documents the frustration and despair of many American women.

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