This week we are talking about the field of home economics or domestic science. Was it really a science? To what extent was it a marketing exercise? Can it ever really overcome its founding racist and classist overtones? Does home economics even exist anymore?
The non-profit Council on Books in Wartime (from US publishers) during World War II single-handedly made a bunch of books like The Great Gatsby into major American texts by providing specialized paperback copies free to the troops. (Bill and Rachel)
From 1934 to 1936, the US Senate’s Nye Committee examined the role of the private defense industry (and capitalism more broadly) in fomenting global conflict and dragging the US into WWI. (Bill and Rachel)
The recent failure of Silicon Valley Bank and federal intervention to protect its previously uninsured accounts has brought renewed focus to Federal Deposit Insurance. Contrary to popular belief, it was not part of the New Deal and was not championed by FDR. (Bill and Rachel)
The failed anthracite coal mine workers strike of 1887-88 in eastern Pennsylvania illustrates some of the fault lines and contradictions within capitalism and highlight some of the ways our 21st century economy is devolving back toward older patterns. (Bill and Rachel)