Chapter 4: Pull Yourself up by Your Bootstraps: Personal Failure and the Great Depression

  1. How did the Great Depression seem to influence celebrity stories?
  2. Why did stories focus on wealth during the Depression, rather than thrift?
  3. What challenges did the movie industry, fan magazines, and advertisers face during the Depression?
  4. How did changes in the movie industry coincide with economic changes in society? How were these changes reflected in fan magazines?
  5. Describe the concerns about independent women reflected in the fan magazine articles and ads. How are these concerns related to the economic downturn?
  6. How did the stories about celebrities during the Depression promote the idea that economic failure was the individual’s fault?
  7. Why do you think the Depression was so rarely addressed directly in fan magazines?
  8. Compare and contrast celebrity stories with letters from readers to fan magazines during the Depression.
  9. How did the magazines’ advertisements change between times of prosperity in the 1920s compared with the Depression?
  10. How do you think celebrity coverage during the Great Depression compares with coverage during the Great Recession?
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