The term Roaring Twenties connotates an era of uninhibited excess, characterized by drinking, shameless flappers, jazz, and gangland wars. All of these aspects are covered in this enjoyable, if uneven, survey of the decade. Moore also convincingly asserts that this was a period of significant social and political change with long-term effects. Utilizing a topical approach, she offers interesting descriptions of the emergence of organized crime, the excesses of big business, the Harlem Renaissance, and the stirrings of civil rights activism. She provides many useful tidbits about personalities as varied as Al Capone and Marcus Garvey. As long as Moore stays with her descriptive narrative, her account moves along smoothly. Unfortunately, her efforts to analyze these trends and to link them to our current economic and political conditions don’t ring true and are often based upon unwarranted assumptions. Still, for general readers, this work provides an interesting and wide-ranging look at a tumultuous period. --Jay Freeman
"An interesting and wide ranging look at a tumultuous period."
"A varied and dazzling portrait gallery of crooks and film stars, boxers and presidents, each brilliantly delineated and coloured in by a historian with a novelist's relish for human foibles."
-The Sunday Times
"Mesmerising... Like the champagne-immersed age she portrays, Moore's book effervesces with the detail of this fascinating story."- Juliet Nicholson, Evening Standard
"What a decade it was! What goings-on more violent, subversive and exotic than any of the parties, japes or shenanigans of our own Bright Young Things... Moore has knitted the various diverse strands together impressively with an overview of the large cast of characters, events, attitudes, industries and statistics."
-Anne de Courcy, Daily Mail
"Full of anecdote, detail and colour... Fluid and elegant."
-Marianne Brace, Independent
"Out-of-control consumer spending? Unregulated banking system? Feverish need to drink and drug the jumpy self into oblivion? Check, check, check. We have been here before, and in a much worse state too, at the end of the 'roaring' 1920s. If this book has a moral it is that, in the words of that balladeer of bad times Al Jolson, 'you ain't seen nothing yet.'"
-Kathryn Hughes, Guardian
"The great strength of this delightful canter through the history of America in the 1920s [is] the author's zestful way with a story... All the spirit of a Prohibition party."
Books of the Year
"The energy and dynamism that came to embody much of the 'Roaring Twenties' are palpable in Lucy Moore's portrait of American society throughout the decade ... Moore propels the reader at speed through the key social, cultural, political and economic events of the period. Beginning with notorious activities of Wall Street financiers, the result is a book that presents a powerful impression of both the glamorous and the dirty aspects of this era. This is clearly a book of timely relevance."
-Christopher Godden, Times Literary Supplement
"A gorgeous historical indulgence."
"Lucy Moore's enlightening, well-researched biography of the 1920s will appeal to scholars as well as a general audience. Filled with attention-grabbing details that many historians neglect and a wide range of subjects-from celebrities like Charlie Chaplin or Bessie Smith to political corruption and social upheaval-Anything Goes
will not disappoint readers, no matter their educational background...Anyone interested in discovering Al Capone, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Charles Lindbergh in the pages of the same book will find this broad-based work a worthwhile pursuit."