In 2010, Hofstra University celebrated its 75th anniversary, inviting scholars to the campus to discuss the world as it was in the year Hofstra was founded. The conference “1935: The Reality and the Promise” provided a wide-ranging exploration of the 1930s with presentations, discussions, and events highlighting the arts, entertainment, society, politics, literature, and science in that momentous decade. This volume encompasses a selection of the most interesting and enlightening papers from this conference, providing both depth and breadth of coverage. By any measure, the 1930s was a pivotal decade in modern history – a time when the reality of current events and the foreshadowing of events to come tempered all promise. The tension between reality and promise is a recurrent theme in the chapters brought together here, as well as in the personalities and faces that came to define this decade.