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1927: High Tide of the 1920's Paperback – September 9, 2002

4.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The traditionally nostalgic view of 1920s America recalls a boisterous, almost quaintly amoral nation peopled by revelers, flappers, gangsters and G-men, living alongside avaricious and immoral Babbitts and Arrowsmiths, governed by incompetent, narrow-minded politicians named Calvin and Herbert, all gleefully riding a roller coaster about to descend into the Great Depression. Much of Leinwand's material reflects this view. Al Capone and Elliot Ness, flamboyant evangelist Sister Aimee Semple McPherson, a virulently anti-Semitic Henry Ford, Sacco and Vanzetti, Charles Lindbergh, Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryant, Jack Dempsey and Babe Ruth all make appearances, but Leinwand also looks beyond the familiar to excavate America's psyche during that decade. He doesn't shy from what he finds there, offering a picture of America marred by racism, political arrogance reflected by the country's first jungle war (a foray into Nicaragua), pervasive corruption and religious intolerance. He also describes a country in the throes of change. Inequalities of income and opportunity between rural and urban America were driving poor farmers to the cities and changing traditional demographics. Women were entering the workforce in substantial numbers and feminism was emerging as a force in politics and daily life. African-Americans were involved in a mass migration from the South to the industrial North, driven by a new militancy within the African-American community and the aftereffects of the epochal 1927 Mississippi River flood. Focusing on these weightier subjects, Leinwand, founding dean of the School of Education at Bernard M. Baruch College, provides invaluable insights into fundamental historical concerns, many of them relevant today. His well-documented research and confident, unobtrusive prose will appeal to anyone interested in U.S. history or cultural studies.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Leinwand (The Pageant of World History, o.p.) unfurls this encyclopedic study of the year 1927 with all the verve and excitement of a finely tuned novel. There is a lot about 1927 that many readers may wish to forget. In the South, there was an epidemic of lynchings that would eventually help propel the Civil Rights crusade of the troubled Sixties. The lawlessness of the Prohibition era, personified by "Scarface" Al Capone, was also rampant. But there were heroes as well. For instance, in 1927 Charles A. Lindbergh captured the adulation of the nation with his solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean from New York to Paris. Meanwhile, Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover led a flood relief program along the Mississippi that would eventually lead him to the presidency. In addition, 1927 saw rapid growth of the movie industry, the advent of national radio, and even the early experiments with television. This is an outstanding book, recommended for all libraries.DChet Hagan, Historical Society of Berks Cty., PA
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books (September 9, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568582455
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568582450
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.8 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #627,430 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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.
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Format: Hardcover
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.
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Format: Paperback
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)
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