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I'm only half-way through this book, but I already wish I had to drive much more than I do. This book is a really engrossing study of the '20s, and Mr Lloyd is one of the best readers I have heard yet.
The author presents all the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of the 1920s, and there was plenty of each. There is much more to the '20s than Prohibition and Flappers - there were the almost unknown (today)administrations of Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge. Neither president was a 'great', but neither was as bad as usually presented in HS history classes either. There was Henery Ford's dream of an automobile that 'everyone' could afford, and the way his dream totally changed America.
Much more is in this book than I could list here. I gave this book a '5' rating because of the clarity of writing and the excellent reading talent. Highly recommended to any 'student' of American History.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
This book is written by a journalist, and as you hear it, that fact becomes more evident. And as a former journalist, I believe that's both good and bad.
Miller does a very nice job of telling the story of the 1920s. His research is extensive. He effectively sets the scene by describing the mid- to late-1910s, and his epilogue about the 1932 election is a nice way to end the book. I also loved the short biographical sketches that he wrote about all the key figures, from the politicians and writers to the crime bosses and sports stars. It is a very informative, easy-to-read account of this most fascinating decade.
The book is very thematic in that Miller spends most of the early part of the book on politics, from Harding to Coolidge. He then hits on one key aspect of the era's social history after another, including prohibition, immigration, religion, sports, art, etc. He later ties it together with the 1928 election and the Stock Market crash. It's impossible to read this book and not learn plenty about the period, unless you were already an expert.
The downside of Miller's journalist background is that, in writing the book like a massive feature/news story, he failed to include a central argument or theme. He opines a few times that the stereotypes of the 1920s are largely myths, and the title indicates that a case will be made for the decade as the time when the modern world really began to take shape. But I didn't find there to be a main theme. I just found it to be an enjoyable story of an interesting decade. And to be honest, that's OK with me.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful