Going It Alone: Fargo Grapples with the Great Depression
A unique study of one U.S. city, whose resourcefulness and self-help enabled growth during the Depression.
In 1930 Fargo was a winner in a region where winning came hard. As the commercial center for the vast, sparsely settled Northern Plains, it grew even during the Depression, attracting hopeful entrepreneurs off the farm. In Going It Alone, historian David B. Danbom shows how the city struggled to survive problems it could not solve by itself. A critical complement to Depression histories focused on federal policies and programs, this study demonstrates how Washington’s initiatives for relief played out in a community of people born into a steadfast culture of self-sufficiency and independence.
David B. Danbom is a professor of history at North Dakota State University and author of Born in the Country: A History of Rural America.