Discontent and Reform Books and Films | Student Handouts
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Unit IX: Discontent and Reform
www.studenthandouts.com > U.S. History > Discontent and Reform > Books and Films
 The Negro and the Nation by Hubert Harrison Democracy and Education by John Dewey Days of Heaven (1978) Movie Review and Guide for History Teachers Triangle Fire (PBS American Experience, 2011) TV Documentary Sacco and Vanzetti (2006) Movie Review for History Teachers 
 The Negro and the Nation by Hubert Harrison Democracy and Education by John Dewey Days of Heaven (1978) Triangle Fire (PBS American Experience, 2011) Sacco and Vanzetti (2006) 
Studying the discontent and reform in the United States at the turn of the last century, particularly during the Progressive Era, can be enriched by watching historical films that provide insights into the period. Here are some of the best films that American History students can explore.

The Roosevelts: An Intimate History (2014): This Ken Burns documentary series focuses on the lives and legacies of Theodore, Franklin, and Eleanor Roosevelt, three key figures in the Progressive Era. It provides a comprehensive view of their contributions to reform and social change.

Iron Jawed Angels (2004): This film tells the story of the women's suffrage movement and the struggle for women's right to vote. It's an engaging portrayal of the suffragettes' activism and their impact on American society.

Matewan (1987): Directed by John Sayles, this film is set during the early 20th century and depicts the conflict between coal miners and mine owners in West Virginia. It offers a powerful portrayal of labor struggles and social reform.

Bread and Roses (2000): Directed by Ken Loach, this film explores the experiences of immigrant workers in Los Angeles as they fight for workers' rights and social justice. Though modern in its setting, it illustrates to students how labor struggles persist to today.

Newsies (1992): This musical film is based on the real-life newsboy strike of 1899 in New York City. It offers a glimpse into the struggles of working-class youth and their fight for fair wages and labor rights.

The Great Debaters (2007): This film, inspired by the true story of the Wiley College debate team, addresses issues of racial inequality and the fight for civil rights in the early 20th century.

Harlan County, USA (1976): This documentary film provides an unvarnished look at the labor strike in Harlan County, Kentucky, in the 1970s, emphasizing the challenges faced by coal miners and their families. Despite its more recent setting, many of the labor issues fought for in the seventies reflect those of decades prior, as well as today.

These films offer valuable insights into the discontent and reform movements in the United States during the Progressive Era and beyond, showcasing various aspects of social, political, and labor struggles. They can be a compelling addition to the study of this period in American history.
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