Somehow, in the hardest of times, with America slipping away, our parents and grandparents found the courage to fight their way out, and in the process, create a new America. The Great Depression, an unprecedented seven hour public television series, tells the untold story of how Americans responded to the greatest crisis to confront them in this century.

WE HAVE A PLAN (Episode 4)

Hollywood glamour, political intrigue and socialism combine in one of the Great Depression decade’s most fascinating campaign sagas. In California, world-famous author and socialist Upton Sinclair (best known for The Jungle) runs for governor as a Democrat, promising to “End Poverty in California” and tests the limits of the New Deal. When Sinclair overwhelmingly wins the Democratic primary, the most powerful forces in California join together to wage a campaign to defeat Upton Sinclair in the November elections, and in the process, invent the modern media campaign.

1993 National Primetime PBS Broadcast



  • Produced and Directed by: Lyn Goldfarb
  • Writers: Lyn Goldfarb and Steve Fayer
  • Associate Producer: Tracy Strain
  • Directors of Photography: Michael Chin, Emiko Omori, Robert Shepard, Jon Else
  • Editor: Howard Sharp
  • Composer: Brian Keene

Executive Producer: Henry Hampton

Produced by Blackside, Inc.


Festivals & Awards

  • Emmy Award
  • DuPont-Columbia Award
  • Time Magazine, 2nd Best Television Program, 1993

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Selected Reviews

“The Great Depression…is a seven hour masterpiece…this type of riveting history is rare. Standout hours include We Have a Plan.”

– Daily News, 1993

” …a fascinating look at novelist Upton Sinclair (the Jungle), a democratic socialist whose EPIC (End Poverty in California) campaign nearly got him elected governor of the state in 1934. Full of juicy plots and political skullduggery, The Great Depression teaches history with vividness and sorrowful wit.”

– Entertainment Weekly, 1993

“Henry Hampton’s latest documentary is a gift to viewers; another case of artfully joined scholarship and entertainment in a single slab of joltingly honest, stunningly good television.”

– Howard Rosenberg, Los Angeles Times, 1993

“Ultimately, The Great Depression is a masterwork, a colorful quilt of perspectives, stories and testimony. A document to be treasured, savored, remembered, the series is the finest example of public television can offer and contribute to building national insight and character.”

– The Boston Herald, 1993

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