WPA Guide to Iowa
The Hawkeye State
During the 1930s in the United States, the Works Progress Administration developed the Federal Writers’ Project to support writers and artists while making a national effort to document the country’s shared history and culture. The WPA Guides to America series consists of individual guides to each of the states. Little-known authors—many of whom later became celebrated literary figures—were commissioned to write these important books. John Steinbeck, Saul Bellow, Zora Neale Hurston, and Ralph Ellison are among the more than 6,000 writers, editors, historians, and researchers who documented this celebration of local histories. Photographs, drawings, driving tours, detailed descriptions of towns, and rich cultural details exhibit each state’s unique flavor.
The rolling hills between the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers are home to the Midwest’s Hawkeye State, catalogued in The WPA Guide to Iowa. Stressing the state’s agricultural roots and varied crops, this guide includes images depicting the lives of 1930s Iowa farmworkers.