One Summer: America 1927

English language

Published Dec. 15, 2013 by Bantam Dell.

ISBN:
9780767919401

View on OpenLibrary

4 stars (15 reviews)

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 …

6 editions

Review of 'One Summer: America 1927' on 'Goodreads'

2 stars

One Summer takes a look at headlines from 1927, and Bryson fleshes out the stories with background information in order to explain the story. Lots of little vignettes on Babe Ruth and Charles Lindbergh, but the only common thread is the year.

If you love Bill Bryson's voice and style, it doesn't matter what he writes -- you'll love it. I am not one of those people, so while I enjoyed his story of hiking the Appalachian Trail, I have not loved his other books. Stopped reading this one halfway through, and I don't regret it.

Review of 'One Summer: America 1927' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Bryson suggests calling the times about which he writes (summer of 1927 but including its influences from earlier and it's later consequences) the "Age of Loathing," a term which seems equally applicable to the present. Indeed, the levels of hatred by those professing to be Christians is reminiscent of those professing "values" today. It was a time of corruption in high places, or moral posturing, of anti-immigrant sentiments, of racial and religious casual and not so casual discrimination with no attempt to pretend otherwise. And yet, this was the time of heroic aviators, inventors, and sports champions. This is when America was great.

Often when reading this book, I felt the human races was hopeless--not a pleasant thing to feel, but that's not why I denied the book a fifth star. I did that because I felt manipulated by the way the Sacco and Vanzetti story was told, frontloaded with …

Review of 'One Summer: America 1927' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

If Bill Bryson wrote history textbooks, my knowledge on the topic would likely be improved ten-fold. He’s such a great storyteller, he’s able to suss out the interesting details that make people, places and times come to life.

In One Summer, he specifically focuses on the events of 1927, though - in honesty - it seems like that’s kind of an excuse for him to write about whatever he found interesting in the first quarter of the century, since he often backtracks to provide back-story leading up to the events of 1927. Regardless, it’s a great ride. One of the reviews I read criticized the book for being disjointed because Bryson hops from topic to topic without a clear plan. That might bother some people, but I didn’t find it distracting.

This book touches on:

* Babe Ruth
* Lou Gerhig
* Charles Lindbergh
* Aviation
* Henry Ford (in …

Review of 'One Summer: America 1927' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

I love Bill Bryson books.... this one was a bit different.

I skimmed over the baseball and boxing stuff - I know its very important to the American psyche, but my mind just could not take it in.

However, I have a picture of the USA now that is VERY different to before I read this book. I guess my impression of the fun loving democracy comes from post war and WW2 knowledge, the 1920's was a new area to me. Stunning and savage at times the level of graft, hypocrisy, racism and downright nastiness exposed.

Very entertaining, very enlightening.

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