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This study examines the lives of tenant farmers and sharecroppers during the Great Depression. Although many works have focused on the ills of the tenancy system and its ultimate collapse during the Depression, few have gone to great length to tell the story from the perspective of the tenant farmers themselves. This study draws extensively on oral history, the “life histories” of the Federal Writers’ Project, and letters from sharecroppers to overcome this imbalance. It focuses on how tenants interpreted their poverty and hardship, how they thought those problems could be remedied, the actions they took to do so, and how they viewed the federal programs aimed at combating farm poverty during the Depression.