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"Somehow, in the hardest of times, with America slipping away, our parents and grandparents found the courage to fight their way out," begins THE GREAT DEPRESSION, an unprecedented seven-hour public television series. "Nothing turned out exactly the way they planned. What began in the roaring twenties ended when war exploded in the forties. They may have done an imperfect job - some lost their nerve and some gave their lives. But by the time The Great Depression was over, they had done better than simply save America — they had made a new America." THE GREAT DEPRESSION offers the untold story of how Americans responded to the greatest crisis to confront them in this century.

Episode 4: WE HAVE A PLAN
Produced by Lyn Goldfarb

Hollywood glamour, political intrigue and socialism combine in one of the Depression decade's most fascinating campaign sagas. In California, world-famous author and socialist Upton Sinclair (best known for The Jungle) runs for governor as a Democrat, promising to "End Poverty in California" and tests the limits of the New Deal. When Sinclair overwhelmingly wins the democratic primary, the most powerful forces in California join together to ensure his defeat in the November elections, and in the process, invent the modern media campaign. One year later, President Roosevelt signs the Social Security Act, a signal that the American system is moving from a relatively unfettered capitalism to the beginnings of a modern welfare state.

Produced by Blackside, Inc. Broadcast in 1993 on PBS.


Executive Producer: Henry Hampton
Producer: Lyn Goldfarb
Writers: Lyn Goldfarb and Steve Fayer
Associate Producer: Tracy Strain
Director of Photography: Michael Chin, Emiko Omori, Robert Shepard, Jon Else
Editor: Howard Sharp
Composer: Brian Keene


The Great a seven hour masterpiece...this type of riveting history is rare. Standout hours include "We Have a Plan" (by Goldfarb) which starts with a snippets of "My Forgotten Man"—a somber musical number from the movie "Gold Diggers of 1933" and ends up chronicling the media machinations that torpedoed socialist author Upton Sinclair's campaign for California governor.
Daily News, 1993

This seven-hour admirably lively and complex…a fascinating look at novelist Upton Sinclair (the Jungle), a democratic socialist whose EPIC (End Poverty in California) campaign nearly got him elected governor of the state in 1934. Full of juicy plots and political skullduggery, The Great Depression teaches history with vividness and sorrowful wit.
Entertainment Weekly, 1993

Henry Hampton's latest documentary is a gift to viewers; another case of artfully joined scholarship and entertainment in a single slab of joltingly honest, stunningly good television.
Howard Rosenberg, Los Angeles Times, 1993

Ultimately, The Great Depression is a masterwork, a colorful quilt of perspectives, stories and testimony. A document to be treasured, savored, remembered, the series is the finest example of public television can offer and contribute to building national insight and character.
The Boston Herald, 1993

...This is an exceptional piece of work.
USA Today, 1993

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The Great Depression: Stories of a Generation's Struggle for Democracy

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Copyright 2008 Lyn Goldfarb Productions, Inc.