Related to this topic , My grandparents lived through the Great Depression . I asked my grandmother a lot of questions about it before she passed away . They were rural people , and when I say rural , I mean very rural . Arizona still had a homestead act in place at the time . My grandfather and his brothers family found some good land by the side of a mountain , good for raising cattle , with a natural water source . They both built a house on the land and started raising cattle , and were given deed to the land after 3 years . When the depression hit , they were not all that affected , because living that far out , they were already living the lifestyle to a degree . Their electricity came from a windmill generator / battery system ( yes they had them in the 1930’s ) , water came from a well , that was plumbed into the house . As time went on , they started to get effected by it a little more . Raising cattle , they were able to get some of the things they needed by barter with beef . Indeed because of the banks , most people were using barter in the form of goods or from a trade skill they could offer . The people in the cities were by far the most desperate , no work , no food , little hope . THey were glad to have roughed it out in the country , as their life was better in the collapse on several levels . They actually benefited from WW2 , because they raised cattle , they were considered an essential industry , and always had plenty of gas when rationing went into effect . The conditions of the cities they described was frightening , and in modern day , a good warning of what to expect .