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"This revised award-winning Yale dissertation brings to life the distinct but intersecting worlds of black and white Americans during the Depression. A collapsing cotton economy, alternating floods and droughts, and racial stratification meant that hard times came early and stayed late in Memphis and the Delta. By 1929, the region teetered on the brink of crisis and churches could no longer carry the burden. Change came quickly and relentlessly during the 1930s, and this upheaval carved new contours in the religious landscape. The ethnic and theological diversity of Memphis and the Delta included an array of black and white Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, and Episcopalians typical to the South, a number of Pentecostal and holiness denominations, a small but disproportionately influential Jewish community, a thriving minority of black and white Catholics, and a homegrown denomination, the Church of God in Christ (COGIC). The region embodied broader national trends in American religion during the 1930s, both despite and because of its particularities. From the poorest sharecropper in Arkansas to the wealthiest philanthropist in New York, Depression-era Americans re-envisioned the relationship between church and state and reevaluated the responsibilities of each for the welfare of the nation and its people. This groundbreaking historical study focuses on the effects of the Great Depression on American religious life, exploring the shifts in power among American religious bodies and the everyday lives of American citizens as a result of the Great Depression"--Provided by publisher.