This is a very interesting piece by Joe Nocera in today's NYT. I think I'll buy the book.
Here are some pictures to go with the article. They show the decline and then rise circa 1937-38 of unemployment and the rebound of the stock market followed by a second large fall. Nocera has a nice discussion of the policy issues behind that increase of unemployment then and the implications for the current recovery.
And compare with now: (click on graph for full size)