One Summer: America, 1927 by Bill Bryson

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Read One Summer: America, 1927 Online Free - A Chicago Tribune Noteworthy Book
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In One Summer Bill Bryson, one of our greatest and most beloved nonfiction writers, transports readers on a journey back to one amazing season in American life.

The summer of 1927 began with one of the signature events of the twentieth century: on May 21, 1927, Charles Lindbergh became the first man to cross the Atlantic by plane nonstop, and when he landed in Le Bourget airfield near Paris, he ignited an explosion of worldwide rapture and instantly became the most famous person on the planet. Meanwhile, the titanically talented Babe Ruth was beginning his assault on the home run record, which would culminate on September 30 with his sixtieth blast, one of the most resonant and durable records in sports history. In between those dates a Queens housewife named Ruth Snyder and her corset-salesman lover garroted her husband, leading to a murder trial that became a huge tabloid sensation. Alvin “Shipwreck” Kelly sat atop a flagpole in Newark, New Jersey, for twelve days—a new record. The American South was clobbered by unprecedented rain and by flooding of the Mississippi basin, a great human disaster, the relief efforts for which were guided by the uncannily able and insufferably pompous Herbert Hoover. Calvin Coolidge interrupted an already leisurely presidency for an even more relaxing three-month vacation in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The gangster Al Capone tightened his grip on the illegal booze business through a gaudy and murderous reign of terror and municipal corruption. The first true “talking picture,” Al Jolson’s The Jazz Singer, was filmed and forever changed the motion picture industry. The four most powerful central bankers on earth met in secret session on a Long Island estate and made a fateful decision that virtually guaranteed a future crash and depression.
     All this and much, much more transpired in that epochal summer of 1927, and Bill Bryson captures its outsized personalities, exciting events, and occasional just plain weirdness with his trademark vividness, eye for telling detail, and delicious humor. In that year America stepped out onto the world stage as the main event, and One Summer transforms it all into narrative nonfiction of the highest order.

Title : One Summer: America, 1927
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0767919408
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 456 pages


Jim rated it ★★★★★

January 05, 2017

A non-fiction work centered around events of one particular year but about the 1920’s in general. It’s really a collections of mini-biographies and vignettes of the major players and events of the 1920’a. Fifty photos are included. The two main characters threaded throughout the book whose storie...

Diane rated it ★★★★☆

February 06, 2014

This is a fun and interesting look at America in the 1920s, but specifically the summer of 1927. It is remarkable how much happened in a few short months: "Babe Ruth hit 60 home runs. The Federal Reserve made the mistake that precipitated the stock market crash. Al Capone enjoyed his last summer o...

Kemper rated it ★★★★☆

September 03, 2016

If you think that you had a busy summer, consider 1927: Charles Lindbergh crossed the Atlantic and became a national hero. Babe Ruth broke his own home run record on a Yankees club that would be remembered as one of the best baseball teams ever assembled. The Midwest was devastated by extensive fl...

Matt rated it ★★★★☆

July 22, 2016

There are some very obvious qualities to look for when choosing a history book. Accuracy is one thing. You want the facts to be factual. Analysis is another. You want there to be some meaning to the facts presented. Storytelling, though. Storytelling is the thing. And it’s hard to find. So often...

Jason rated it ★★★★☆

November 03, 2016

I know I'm Johnny-come-lately on the Bill Bryson bandwagon, but I am fast becoming a full-fledged fanclub member! Honestly, I'd read just about anything that dude wrote. In fact, if I can convince him to write my obituary, I'm going to throw myself in front of a bus the first chance I get just so...

Carmen rated it ★★★★☆

September 16, 2015

The more things change, the more they stay the same. [Insert Snake Plissken gif here] Bill Bryson takes a look at almost everything going on in the summer of 1927. Think Sacco and Vanzetti, Charles Lindbergh, Babe Ruth, Al Capone, the invention of TV and talkies, Coolidge, Hoover, and Henry Ford. Wh...

Mike rated it ★★★★★

December 03, 2013

Only one man could take Charles Lindbergh's 1927 transatlantic flight, Babe Ruth's record setting home runs, the worst flooding in US History, a surprise announcement by President Coolidge, the execution of two Italian anarchists, the introduction of taking motion pictures, television and the ele...

Larry rated it ★★★☆☆

October 06, 2013

It has been a long time since I have read a Bill Bryson book so when I happened upon an opportunity to win an ARC of One Summer: America, 1927, I jumped at the chance. Bryson is nothing if not prolific. He cranks them out. C-SPAN’s Book TV has an eight minute interview with him about his most rec...

Dedra rated it ★★★★★

December 04, 2013

A five star review from an avowed fiction reader for a non fiction book is pretty rare. But this book kept me just as enthralled as a great novel. What a summer 1927 was and what a storyteller Bill Bryson is! From the fascinating little known facts about Charles Lindbergh's flight (and all the di...

Miranda rated it ★★★☆☆

December 26, 2017

When I picked this up, I had no idea that it would be so interesting We travel forwards and backwards in history but all events converged to a significant moment during 1927. Unlike A Short History of Nearly Everything or At Home: A Short History of Private Life where Bill Bryson looks into the fu...

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