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Paperback 1927: High Tide of the Twenties Book

ISBN: 1568582455

ISBN13: 9781568582450

1927: High Tide of the Twenties

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Book Overview

A tumultuous stock market, a media obsessed with celebrity and scandal, a time new technologies were rocking society: the 1920s bear more than a little semblance to today, and 1927 is a snapshot of the period. Photographs and illustrations bring to life a year with astonishing parallels to the present. " An] encyclopedic study with all the verve and excitement of a finely tuned novel . . . An outstanding book." -- Library Journal

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

1927: High Tide of the 1920s

A splendid book: comprehensive, thoroughly documented, and engagingly written. It must certainly be the definitive review of 1927 from an American perspective.

A fantastic book!

Gerald Leinwald's book "1927" offers far more than the title and subdued cover suggest. As an author who has been researching the 1920's for a few years, I highly value this work as a historiographic gold mine packed with valuable information. Works of this type covering the late '20's are few and far between. Leinwald delves deep into the details of American social and economic life of the late '20's, painting a much different picture than that of dancing flappers, speakeasies, gangsters, and wealthy stock speculators. As we are re-learning today, the warning signs of an economic meltdown appear years before they appear as losses on Wall Street. This book gives prime examples of the great lessons we have to learn from history. Leinwand's work is proof that history is not only a look backward, but, unfortunately for us, a look at what is to come. I am using Leinwald's book as a reference for the book I am currently writing. Alcohol, Boat Chases, and Shootouts! How the U.S. Coast Guard and Customs Fought Rum Smugglers and Pirates (Part I: 1919-1924)

A Literary Pageant with Profound Historical Significance

Throughout U.S. history, there are certain defining years and 1927 was certainly one of them. It was situated between two World Wars, during the so-called "Golden Age of Sports" and "Golden Years of Hollywood", on the eve of the Wall Street "Crash" and subsequent "Great Depression." Arguably no other single year (before or since) embraced the scope and depth of human diversity that 1927 did. So many authentic celebrities: Capone, Chaplin, Coolidge, Darrow, Dempsey, Ederle, Edison, Ellington, Fitzgerald, Ford, Gershwin, Grange, Jolson, Jones, Mencken, Rockne, Ruth, Sacco and Vanzetti, Tilden, and Tunney. In 1927, Leinwand asserts that "Americans were bombarded with the staccato of rapidly developing events at home and abroad from the ever-bolder tabloids and from the newscasts of the still-infant radio....If 1927 was the `high tide' of the twenties, then during that year could be found signs that the `good times' were nearing an end. But who would dare call attention to the chilling evidence if doing so might unleash a self-fulfilling prophecy and perhaps an economic collapse? Ostrich-like, Americans kept their eyes glued to the movies, their ears to the radio, their hands on the steering wheel, and their heads in the sand."Leinwand carefully organizes his material within a chronological framework which extends from New York's celebration of the arrival of 1927 (in Chapter 1) to December 17th when an entire submarine crew perished (in Chapter 12). The easiest way to understand Leinwand's strategy is to imagine that, on the reader's behalf, he has poured over all of the editions in 1927 of the nation's major newspapers, collecting information which best reveals those people, forces, events, and themes which most accurately define that year. With circumspection as well as precision, he also suggests correlations between and among the people and circumstances selected. His book is, in that sense, a literary pageant with a rock-solid foundation of historical fact. Leinwand answers three questions of greatest interest to me: First, what was it like to live in the United States in 1927? Next, what sets this year apart from any other in that nation's history? Finally, what were the nature and extent of 1927's impact (both positive and negative) on generations to come? For me at least, he successfully answers all three questions and does so with style and grace as well as with precision and conviction.

That Wonderful Year . . .

Amid the nostalgia and mystery that passes for rememberance of the Twenties, Gerald Leinwand makes a solid contribution by focusing on what he sees as the key year of the decade: 1927. And after reading his excellent book, it's hard to disagree.The popular view of the decade is a melange of flappers, gangsters, federal agents, flaming youth and athletic heroes, all set to a jazz beat. The Jazz era peaked in 1927: the stock market was hotter than ever, minting new millionaires almost daily; the wealth of America was as large as Europe combined; furniture and electric appliances sold more than ever thanks to the enormous popularity of the installment plan. Most households had a radio and over half owned an automobile. Movies began to talk and drew record crowds. The Yankees dominated baseball, with Babe Ruth smacking an unheard of 60 home runs. Tennis, golf, and even polo enjoyed a boom in popularity. 270 shows opened that year of Broadway, a record that still stands. English language daily newspapers enjoyed a circulation of 38 million, thanks in large part to the development of the tabloid. The tabloid publicized the more lurid aspects of the day's news, providing a fitting companion to the two most popular magazines of the day, "True Stories" and "Confessions." Thanks to the force of the media, celebrity was celebrated like never before. The world thrilled to the exploits of "Lucky Lindy" and his spirit of St. Louis. Jack Dempsey dominated boxing, until Gene Tunney took the heavyweight championship away from him that year. John Gilbert and Greta Garbo ruled the silver screen. And gangster Al Capone was practically a household word.Women had the right to vote; they wore their skirts short, bobbed their hair like movie idol Clara Bow, and smoked and drank bootleg whiskey in public. More American than ever were getting high school degrees and moving on to college. African Americans, after enduring decades of Jim Crow, seemed finally to be making progress, as witnessed by the Harlem Renaissance.But on closer inspection, a dark side emerged that would culminate in the Great Depression a little under two years later. (Hindsight is always 20/20.) Calvin Coolidge shook public confidence when he announced he would not seek another term. The income gap between rich and poor grew; many rural residents abandoned their farms to head to the cities and the promise of jobs. More and more money was being spent on education, yet teachers were drastically underpaid. In rural areas, some teachers barely had an elementary school degree. Lynching was still widespread, especially in the South, and the neo-apartheid policy of "separate but equal" still held the country in a tight grip when it came to race relations. Religious intolerance was the rule with an undeclared war against science, competing for the minds in America's schools. And America was caught up in a rather nasty jungle war against Sandino rebels in Nicaragua.If this all sounds somewhat familiar, it is p
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