1927 : high tide of the twenties /
by Gerald Leinwand.
New York : Four Walls Eight Windows, 2001.
xi, 340 p. : ill.
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New York : Four Walls Eight Windows, 2001.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2001-01-15:
The traditionally nostalgic view of 1920s America recalls a boisterous, almost quaintly amoral nation peopled by revelers, flappers, gangsters and G-men, living alongside avaricious and immoral Babbitts and Arrowsmiths, governed by incompetent, narrow-minded politicians named Calvin and Herbert, all gleefully riding a roller coaster about to descend into the Great Depression. Much of Leinwand's material reflects this view. Al Capone and Elliot Ness, flamboyant evangelist Sister Aimee Semple McPherson, a virulently anti-Semitic Henry Ford, Sacco and Vanzetti, Charles Lindbergh, Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryant, Jack Dempsey and Babe Ruth all make appearances, but Leinwand also looks beyond the familiar to excavate America's psyche during that decade. He doesn't shy from what he finds there, offering a picture of America marred by racism, political arrogance reflected by the country's first jungle war (a foray into Nicaragua), pervasive corruption and religious intolerance. He also describes a country in the throes of change. Inequalities of income and opportunity between rural and urban America were driving poor farmers to the cities and changing traditional demographics. Women were entering the workforce in substantial numbers and feminism was emerging as a force in politics and daily life. African-Americans were involved in a mass migration from the South to the industrial North, driven by a new militancy within the African-American community and the aftereffects of the epochal 1927 Mississippi River flood. Focusing on these weightier subjects, Leinwand, founding dean of the School of Education at Bernard M. Baruch College, provides invaluable insights into fundamental historical concerns, many of them relevant today. His well-documented research and confident, unobtrusive prose will appeal to anyone interested in U.S. history or cultural studies. (Feb. 12) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Appeared in Library Journal on 2001-01-01:
Leinwand (The Pageant of World History, o.p.) unfurls this encyclopedic study of the year 1927 with all the verve and excitement of a finely tuned novel. There is a lot about 1927 that many readers may wish to forget. In the South, there was an epidemic of lynchings that would eventually help propel the Civil Rights crusade of the troubled Sixties. The lawlessness of the Prohibition era, personified by "Scarface" Al Capone, was also rampant. But there were heroes as well. For instance, in 1927 Charles A. Lindbergh captured the adulation of the nation with his solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean from New York to Paris. Meanwhile, Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover led a flood relief program along the Mississippi that would eventually lead him to the presidency. In addition, 1927 saw rapid growth of the movie industry, the advent of national radio, and even the early experiments with television. This is an outstanding book, recommended for all libraries.DChet Hagan, Historical Society of Berks Cty., PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Choice on 2001-12-01:
Leinwand (emer., Western Oregon Univ.) uses the year 1927 to draw a comparison between the decade of the twenties as a whole and the 1990s. He argues that the issues of that year seem for the most part to have stayed with Americans to the present time. For him the 1920s was a decade in which the pace of change, thanks to remarkable advances in technology, accelerated as never before. Then, as today, Americans debated the role of immigrants, liberation of women, opportunities for minorities, the role of religion in society, and exactly how high the separation should be between church and state. Then, as now, Americans were obsessed with ballyhoo, sex, scandals, and the stock market. The author also offers vivid snapshots of Charles Lindbergh, Duke Ellington, Babe Ruth, Al Capone, Mae West, and other contemporary newsmakers to give the flavor of the times. Based mainly on secondary sources and contemporary accounts, this book closely parallels the works of Frederick Lewis Allen (Only Yesterday, 1931) and William Leuchtenburg (Perils of Prosperity, 1958; 2nd ed., 1993). The book is descriptive and clearly written; but it presents little in the way of analysis. All levels. R. E. Marcello University of North Texas
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews, December 2000
Library Journal, January 2001
Publishers Weekly, January 2001
Booklist, February 2001
Reference & Research Book News, May 2001
Choice, December 2001
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Table of Contents
Prologuep. ix
The Year in Review
January 1: New York Celebrates the Arrival of 1927p. 1
The Coolidge Prosperity
February 11: "Happy Birthday Mr. Edison"p. 33
The State of the Union
March 4: Congress Adjourns and Will Rogers Commentsp. 62
America and the World
April 7: Television Is Demonstratedp. 95
Crime in America
May 18: Bath, Michigan, Is Scene of Most Violent School Bombing in American Historyp. 129
Race in America
June 27: Mr. Hoover Moved to Tears as Negro Children Serenadep. 153
The New Woman and the New Man
July 4: Celebrations Neither Safe nor Sanep. 171
Religion Old and New
August 7: International Peace Bridge Is Openp. 197
Health and Education
September 24: Cigarettes May Kill 60 Percent of Infants of Mothers Who Smoke: AMA Disagreesp. 221
That's Entertainment
October 10: Earl Carroll, Imprisoned for Allowing a Model to Bathe Nude in Tub of Champagne, Is Paroledp. 241
Writers and Readers
November 5: "Big" Bill Thompson, Chicago's Mayor Threatens to Burn Library Booksp. 279
Yesterday's Tomorrows
December 17: Entire Crew of Submarine Perishesp. 303
Suggestions for Further Readingp. 321
Indexp. 323
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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