The Roaring ’20s: Crash Course U.S. History #32

This video gives a number of historical facts about the era in which The Great Gatsby was written and published. It emphasizes the American economy, which is useful for understanding the novel’s discussion of wealth and social class. The information is presented in an informational way while also being entertaining.

“One blow after another . . . and finally something snapped”

This is an edited version of an interview with F. Scott Fitzgerald conducted by Michel Mok and first published in the New York Post in 1936. This offers some autobiographical information about the author, which is especially useful because of how many details from Fitzgerald’s own life appear in the novel.

“The Fight for Women’s Suffrage,” by Yohuru Williams

This is a brief retelling of the major aspects of women’s suffrage. The right to vote was gained in 1920, just five years before The Great Gatsby was published. This account adds historical context to how one reads the female characters.

“The Age of Empire: Rise to World Power (1898-1945), U.S. History”

This video gives an overview of American expansion in other countries during the 19th and 20th centuries, exploring the role of the United States in the world and how it came to be such an economic powerhouse. The video helpfully contextualizes the references to the United States and “East/West” that can be found throughout the novel.

“America in World War I Crash Course U.S. History #30”

This video gives a brief yet entertaining overview of World War I. World War I comes up numerous times in The Great Gatsby, given that both Nick and Gatsby fought in the war. Their experience as soldiers informs their characters in subtle ways. The war also affected America socially and economically.