The once mighty jumped to their deaths from skyscrapers, former millionaires sold apples on street corners, and every metropolis sprouted Shantytowns. America was in the grip of the Great Depression – but rather than dwell on its terrible effects, popular culture from Tin Pan Alley to Hollywood celebrated the nation’s can-do spirit. Paul Taylor recalls the valiant souls of the ’30s with a masterwork from his Americana series. He peoples his Shantytown with Vaudevillians and Doughboys, hookers and showgirls, all eking out a meager existence on the streets of the city. Music hall hoofers recall their heyday, down-and-out couples jitterbug down Park Avenue, a pimp continues to hawk his wares, and a newsgirl pretends to slay the big bad wolf that is the Depression. Sections set to The Boulevard Of Broken Dreams – the era’s great torch song – and Brother, Can You Spare A Dime? – its enduring anthem – powerfully illustrate the tragedy of shattered hopes and dreams.