The Boston Globe's Drake Bennett paints a portrait that bears little resemblance to the depression of the 1930s: lines at the ER instead of for bread; the rise of nationwide used-clothing chains (we're all hipsters now!); more home gardens and even chicken coops; and skyrocketing TV ratings. It's all bad, just not in the way--having been conditioned by Steinbeck--that we might have expected.

--Jason Zengerle