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Viccie

One Summer: America 1927

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This is subtitled 'The summer when America changed the world' which is perhaps stretching it a bit (but nothing like so much as James Fox's recent series on BBC4 about years in cities that changed the world) but there's no doubt that it was a momentous summer in America.  To start with Lindburg flew across the Atlantic and a decision was made that would lead inexorably to the Wall Street crash.  Less world shattering (if you weren't American) Babe Ruth set a record and Jack Dempsey had his last and most famous fight.

 

And there's lots more.  Prohibition (some really startling facts there), the development of television, the proliferation of radio, Al Capone, Mount Rushmore, the Klu Klux Clan, possibly America's laziest and most laid back president....   As usual Bryson gathers together a whole lot of disparate strands and weaves them together - the constant strands running through the book are Lindburg's flight and the unwanted fame that came after and Babe Ruth's astonishing year - and manages to tell you a whole lot in a light, informative way.  There is a lot about baseball which might put some people off, but as a resolute non-sports fan I still enjoyed those parts.  It isn't as laugh-out loud funny as some of his other books though there's quite enough of his asides and comments to keep a smile on your face.

 

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