Currently, working on a paper about Thomas Hart Benton’s Susanna and the Elders. Reading The Revolt of the Provinces, by Robert Dorman, p. 107.
Prohibition, the Scopes Monkey Trial, the 1928 presidential race, the 1924 immigration laws, the Republican ascendency, Henry Ford’s Greenfield Village, the Ku Klux Klan, the 1928 gubernatorial victory of Huey Long, Rockefeller’s Williamsburg, the Nonpartisan League – all had constituencies, audiences or visitors clinging confusedly, swearing allegiance to, wistfully remembering, an older America. The sometimes ugly social and political dimensions assumed by these reaffirmations of faith were a measure of siege mentality, of a stern, labor-centered, patriarchal, white, family-oriented, God-fearing mind-set unable to understand why automobiles, radios, working women, picture shows, credit buying, membership organizations, home appliances, and factory jobs were causing its world to atomize.
Sounds familiar, eh?
Don’t know at all what I’m going to have to say.
ETA: the book goes on to talk about a “fed-up 100 percent American, name of William H. Murray,” former congressman, rounded up some like-minded citizens and headed for Bolivia to start a farming colony with the Ten Commandments as the given foundation of laws. People got missing the “Bright lights of Home” before the boat landed. Murray came back and was elected governor.
Even if you know the past, it still comes back.