From the 1920s to the end of the Second World War, the American experience was one of both unbounded optimism, monumental achievements, and tragic loss. In Giants in their Time, the latest volume in the Representative Americans Series, noted historian Norman K. Risjord uses biographical sketches to create a composite portrait of the United States during this dynamic and trying period. Beginning with the promise held by Americans in the 1920s, Risjord focuses on the creative genius of Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington and the extraordinary life of evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson. Plunging readers into the Great Depression, Risjord looks at the lives of Samuel Insull, Herbert Hoover, and John L. Lewis to better understand efforts to save a struggling nation. And while George Marshall and Robert Oppenheimer epitomize the nation's war efforts from a military perspective, Risjord looks at the experiences of the Nisei Japanese and women participating in the war effort to provide a window into the experiences of ordinary Americans during the war. Through these biographical sketches, Risjord makes the past more vivid and concrete, revealing a heritage that present-day readers can feel and experience.