Live It Again: 1940


One of the best things about the good old days is that they were always wonderful enough to make you want to go back and relive them. And one of the best things about the Live It Again™ series of nostalgia books, by DRG Publishers, is that they offer you a great starting place to begin your journey backward in time.

The Live It Again™ series opens with Live It Again™ 1940, the book that examines America a few years after the desolate Dust Bowl days. The American economy was on the upswing and FDR’s presidency campaign made the song “Happy Days Are Here Again!” an America staple.

With an array of photographs and cartoons from The Saturday Evening Post and nostalgia pictures, postcards and advertisements from the House of the White Birches, Live It Again™ 1940 examines every aspect of American life. Readers discover that some of the favorite hang-outs of the 1940’s – donut shops and parks – are not so different from those of our own generation, while other 1940’s gathering places, like dimes stores and soda fountains, would label today’s teens “loiterers” if they tried hanging out there.

The picture-book-loving historian learns that 1940 was the year that hats, suits and elegant dress were all the fashion – even on a casual date at the roller skating rink! It was the year when Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant were among Hollywood’s favorite stars, and the famous Mr. Schindler begin building his world-famous “list” of refugee Jews he planned to help.

Telephones had taken the place of telegraphs by 1940, and Americans were still in awe at actually hearing voices on the other end of a line. One funny tidbit is what I call an early form of “caller id.” You see, in 1940, each person on a party line was assigned a different number of rings, so that everyone knew ahead of time who was getting a call, based on the number of rings they heard. That’s equivalent to today’s ringmaster!

This book is chocked full of wonderful tidbits, like how 1940’s Americans gardened their own food and bartered their vegetables. But of course, self-sufficiency could not stop progress, so neighborhood supermarkets eventually shouldered mom and pop general stores out of the picture.

Animated films came into their own in 1940, and grandparents were all the fashion. In fact, this book offers many delightful photos of doting grandparents, like the hilarious one below right.

Yes, this is a lovely book! It has sections on everyday life, including what play-time was like for the children born before technology, television, cell phones, microwaves and internet. There are cartoon re-prints that give historians, picture-book-lovers, baby boomers and everyday readers a glimpse at what 1940’s humor was all about. There are also sections on the music of the day, the radio shows, the presidential election, and even the 1939-1940 World’s Fair.

Live It Again™ 1940 is a historical writer’s dream! There are pictures of the sleek (and HUGE) automobiles of the ‘40’s, eye-popping reproductions of Norman Rockwell paintings of everyday life, and there’s even an index in the back that includes average costs for foods like bread ($0.08 lb), gas ($0.11 gal) and cars ($990.00 each). The publishers also include notable inventions from that year, the number of high school graduates via gender, and the minimum wage for American workers (a whopping $0.30 per hour!!-—can you believe that?).

If you love American history; if you’re a history writer, a history teacher, a professional or independent historian, or if you’re just a picture-book-lover who loves looking at old pictures, you simply can’t miss out on this first in the Live It Again™ series.

You may be able to find it on (see link below), but to be honest, these books don’t stay on the shelves very long, so if Amazon doesn’t have it, you can click on this direct link to make your purchase:

BONUS: If you want the perfect companion for your Live It Again™ Series, don’t miss DRG’s flagship nostalgia publication: Good Old Days magazine – at this link: I subscribe to this magazine, and I can tell you that it’s packed with wonderful old stories, recipes, early memories and poems that will take you all the way back to your childhood days.

AND IF YOU’RE REALLY INTO NOSTALGIA, don’t miss out on The Good Old Days Store, which is a catalog for purchasing nostalgic items, including books and magazines –

I hope this review helps you make your decision to go back to the good old days. 5 STARS!!

Best wishes and happy reminiscing,

Rita Lorraine


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