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1927 and the rise of modern America /
Charles J. Shindo.
Lawrence : University Press of Kansas, c2010.
x, 244 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
0700617159 (hc.), 9780700617159 (hc.)
More Details
series title
series title
Lawrence : University Press of Kansas, c2010.
0700617159 (hc.)
9780700617159 (hc.)
contents note
The search for modern America -- Seeking mastery: the machine age and the idealized past -- Seeking equality: feminism and flood waters -- Seeking notoriety: the infamous and the famous -- Seeking respectability: modern media and traditional values -- The search for American culture.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. [201]-232) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2011-02-01:
Defining moments are the holy grail of historians. In this regard, Shindo's choice of 1927 is not unique. See, for example, Allen Churchill's work on 1927, The Year the World Went Mad (1960) and Gerald Leinwald's 1927: High Tide of the Twenties (2001). Shindo's approach provides a different perspective on the changes that were taking place by showing how they can be understood in terms of the events of that single year and, in particular, in the image and symbolism of Charles Lindbergh and his transatlantic flight. Shindo (Louisiana State Univ.) advances the work of Lynn Dumenil (The Modern Temper, 1995) and Roderick Nash (The Nervous Generation, 1970) in finding in the 1920s a "nervous generation" that struggled with modernity--alternately accepting or rejecting modernity's defining ideas. One could quarrel with an undue emphasis on one year and one event, but the author places both in the context of a wide variety of political, social, economic, and cultural developments to paint a convincing picture of a people searching for clarity and meaning, and not just having a good time. Summing Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries. B. F. Le Beau University of Saint Mary
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, February 2011
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Main Description
When Charles Lindbergh landed at LeBourget Airfield on May 21, 1927, his transatlantic flight symbolized the new era-not only in aviation but also in American culture. The 1920s proved to be a transitional decade for the United States, shifting the nation from a production-driven economy to a consumption-based one, with adventurous citizens breaking new ground even as many others continued clinging to an outmoded status quo. In his new book, Charles Shindo reveals how one year in particular encapsulated the complexity of this transformation in American culture. Shindos absorbing look at 1927 shatters the stereotypes of the Roaring 20s as a time of frivolity and excess, revealing instead a society torn between holding on to its glorious past while trying to navigate a brave new world. His book is a compelling and entertaining dissection of the year that has come to represent the apex of 1920s culture, combining references from popular films, music, literature, sports, and politics in a captivating look back at change in the making. As Shindo notes, while Lindberghs flight was a defining event, there were others: The Jazz Singer, for example, brought sound to the movies, and the 15 millionth Model T rolled off of Fords assembly line. Meanwhile, the eras supposed live-for-today frivolity was clouded by Prohibition, the revival of the Ku Klux Klan, and the execution of Sacco and Vanzetti. Such events, Shindo explains, reflected a fundamental disquiet running beneath the surface of a nation seeking to accommodate and understand a broad array of changes-from new technology to natural disasters, from womens forays into the electorate to African-Americans migration to the urban north. Shindo, however, also notes that this was an era of celebrity. He not only examines why Lindbergh and Ford were celebrated but also considers the rise and growing popularity of the infamous, like convicted murderers Ruth Snyder and Judd Gray, and he illuminates the explosive growth of professional sports and stars like baseballs Babe Ruth. In addition, he takes a close look at cinematic heroines like Mary Pickford and the "It" girl Clara Bow to demonstrate the conflicting images of women in popular culture. Distinctive and insightful, Shindos richly detailed analysis of 1927s key events and personalities reveals the multifaceted ways in which people actually came to grips with change and learned to embrace an increasingly modern America.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introduction: The Search for Modern Americap. 1
Seeking Mastery: The Machine Age and the Idealized Pastp. 14
Seeking Equality: Feminism and Flood Watersp. 52
Seeking Notoriety: The Infamous and the Famousp. 93
Seeking Respectability: Modern Media and Traditional Valuesp. 137
Conclusion: The Search for American Culturep. 190
Notesp. 201
Bibliographyp. 219
Indexp. 233
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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