Best of the Decade: 1930s

Editor’s Note: This year, our Half Price Books calendar once again features lists of books, movies and music. We’re heading into a new decade with a new focus…the past. Each month, we’ll share a list of events, inventions and, of course, books, movies and music, from every decade since the 1900s right here on the blog. Enjoy!


The Chrysler Building makes its mark on the Big Apple and up in the sky, it was a bird, a plane! This time it’s everyone’s favorite reporter turned caped hero…given that there’s a place to change nearby. Superman swoops in to save the day and we showcase a slew of other things that capture the hearts, and bookshelves, of the nation in the 1930s.

1930s 1

BOOKS

The Good Earth – Pearl S. Buck
The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien
The U.S.A. Trilogy – John Dos Passos
Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
Gone With the Wind – Margaret Mitchell
Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Neale Hurston
The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
Murder on the Orient Express – Agatha Christie

MUSIC

Live at Carnegie Hall: 1938 Complete – Benny Goodman
Porgy and Bess – George Gershwin
Symphony No. 1, Afro-American – William Grant Still
The Original American Decca Recordings – Count Basie
Anthology: 1935-1973 – Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys
King of the Delta Blues Singers – Robert Johnson
Lady Day: The Master Takes and Singles – Billie Holiday
Can the Circle Be Unbroken? – The Carter Family

1930s 2

MOVIES

Gone With the Wind
The Rules of the Game
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
The Wizard of Oz
Stagecoach
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
It Happened One Night
Modern Times
 

EVENTS

1930 Birds Eye sells first line of frozen food
1930 Chrysler Building opens in NYC
1932 Franklin D. Roosevelt elected president
1933 Prohibition ends
1935 Flash Gordon debuts
1936 LIFE magazine hits newsstands
1938 The War of the Worlds radio drama causes scare
1938 Superman debuts
1939 World War II begins

Yep. That’s how things went in the 30s. Between The Hobbit, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Porgy and Bess, Gone With the Wind and The Wizard of Oz, we’d say the arts made it out okay. What say you? …and what were your favorite 30s-era finds? Let us know in the comments!

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