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The Writer's Guide to Everyday Life from Prohibition Through World War II (Writer's Guides to Everyday Life) Hardcover – September, 1995

3.7 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: Writer's Guides to Everyday Life
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Writers Digest Books; 1st edition (September 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898796970
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898796971
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #637,880 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The book is mainly in a dictionary style. This means that related details are not grouped together by topic but alphabetized so the onus is on you to piece together an image or understanding as you read. The book contains no illustrations or pictures, either, of any of the fashions, uniforms, vehicles, or other items being described. I wouldn't use it as a primary resource, or even an introduction, but I *would* use it to quickly look up a specific word or phrase, or perhaps for writing dialogue.

(I've owned many of Mr. McCutcheon's books, and once again I'm going to fault him for lacking an index.)
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Format: Hardcover
If you're doing a novel or short story set in the 1930s or 40s, get this book and keep it at hand. It will save you from the kind of screaming anachronisms that any seasoned reader of period fiction can spot at fifty paces.
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Format: Hardcover
This book covers a lot of ground which is especially good if you are writing a book or screenplay in this era. Your characters have to speak, engage their surroundings, wear the right clothes and even grab a ride with a friend in a Dusenberg or a Durant. That's a car, not a painting. The sections are
1. Slang, Colloquialisms and Everyday Speech - right at the beginning and with character-driven writers that's the way to go.
2. Prohibition
3. Great Depression
4. World War II - a good start but it's mostly the homefront. If you're writing about the War itself, then you'll need a lot more books.
5. Crime - where do plots start, huh?
6. Transportation
7. Clothing and Fashions
8. Radio and Radio Shows - no TV, no Internet, no mobile phones. Practically the Stone Age!
9. Music and Dance

Overall, a very useful book.
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Format: Hardcover
Not just for writers, but historians, hobbyists, and anyone interested in the small details of life in other times. This volume, like the others in the series, includes chapters (with figures and illustrations) on food, clothing, family life, work, education, religion, leisure activities, social and political history, etc. Great for browsing, great for research. Well recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
Even if your novel takes place in a time period just before or just after 1919-1945, chances are good that your characters and events will be or were affected by this era in American History. Being so well laid out and written with great wit and affection makes it a great read for anyone interested in nostalgia or for those looking to stir up and bring back some memories of their own.
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Format: Hardcover
Once again through the myriad of the time, the author guides you through the life, the words, and the advents of an age before most of our lives began. Thorough, thought-provoking, and full of nostalgic trivia. Even seasoned writers will find some interesting things to use in your novel. Sublimely titled and studded with perspiring facts and exciting surprises.
Cameron Rowe
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Honestly, this book is useless. It gives very little information about every day life in any of the periods. It's essentially a collection of slang. It gives nothing about living conditions, food, transportation of the average American, etc. On the contrary, it focuses in on things that most Americans had very little experience with, such as how long it takes to get a drink during prohibition in major cities (which most Americans never would have done).

If you're looking for caricatures you're already familiar with and slang virtually nobody actually used, by all means, this book is helpful. If you're looking for even basic details of every day life in America in the 20s-40s, there's nothing in this volume for you.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is very well presented. It is such a great trip down memory lane. It is such a nice snapshot of history. It isn't a narrative if that is what anyone is looking for. But that is what I like about it. You can just pick it up and put it down. I like the categories into which it is divided. It is so enjoyable, not only for personal use, but to share with friends. And I assume it would be a great resource for writers. I do love history and for me it is just a very fun book which I can carry with me to read anywhere anytime.
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