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I do not mean to overemphasize the criticism, because as I said people unanimously recognize the necessity for relief and for Federal aid in it. On the way the program is being carried out they are widely ignorant, recognize their ignorance, having thrown up their hands some time back over ever understanding the various Governmental "alphabets."  >>more...>>

Title:     Report, Boston, Massachusetts, November 17, 1934
Author:    Washburn, Robert
Source:     Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, Hopkins Papers, Box 66
Date:     November 3, 1934

Publisher:     Hopkins Papers, FDRL
Type:     Letter

Listed Under:
Federal Emergency Relief Administration

Notes:     In the Fall of 1933, Federal Emergency Relief Adminstration director Harry Hopkins sent sixteen reporters to investigate social and economic conditions around the country. "I don't want statistics from you," the journalist Lorena Hickok remembers him saying. " I don't want the social-worker angle. I just want your own reactions, as an ordinary citizen." (Bauman and Coode, p. 1) This is one such report.

For a detailed account of the FERA Reports, see In the Eye of the Great Depression : New Deal Reporters and the Agony of the American People, by John F. Bauman and Thomas H. Coode. (DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 1988).