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One Summer: America, 1927 Hardcover – October 1, 2013

4.6 out of 5 stars 4,839 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, October 2013: It’s amazing what a talented writer at the top of his game can do with a seemingly narrow topic. The title of Bill Bryson’s latest sums up the simplicity of his task: to document the “most extraordinary summer” of 1927, beginning with Charles Lindbergh’s successful flight across the Atlantic. Even though we know many of these stories--Lindbergh’s flight, Babe Ruth’s 60-homerun season, the Mississippi River flood, Al Capone’s bullet-ridden reign over Chicago--in Bryson’s hands, and in the context of one amazing summer of twentieth-century ingenuity and accomplishment, they feel fresh, lively, and just plain fun. The book is so jammed with “did you know it” nuggets and fascinating origin stories (the opening of the Holland Tunnel, the first Mickey Mouse prototype, the source of the term “hot dog”), the effect is like sitting beside a brilliant, slightly boozy barstool raconteur, who knows a little bit about everything. From a tabloid murder trial to a flagpole-sitting record to the secret origins of the looming Great Depression, One Summer offers a new look at a transitional period in history, re-introducing us to such characters as Capone, Jack Dempsey, Al Jolson, Charles Ponzi, and Herbert Hoover. Ultimately, this is a book about the moment when important things, for good or ill, began happening in the US. With a giddy narrative voice and keen eye for off-kilter details, Bryson has spun a clever tale of America’s coming of age. --Neal Thompson

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*Starred Review* On May 21, 1927, when Charles Lindbergh set off to be the first man to cross the Atlantic alone in an airplane, he profoundly changed the culture and commerce of America and its image abroad. Add to that Babe Ruth’s efforts to break the home-run record he set, Henry Ford’s retooling of the Model T into the Model A, the execution of accused anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti, and Al Jolson appearing in the first talkie, and 1927 became the pivot point when the U.S. began to dominate the world in virtually everything—military, culture, commerce, and technology. Bryson’s inimitable wit and exuberance are on full display in this wide-ranging look at the major events in an exciting summer in America. Bryson makes fascinating interconnections: a quirky Chicago judge and Prohibition defender leaves the bench to become baseball commissioner following the White Sox scandal, likely leaving Chicago open for gangster Al Capone; the thrill-hungry tabloids and a growing cult of celebrity watchers dog Lindbergh’s every move and chronicle Ruth’s every peccadillo. Among the other events in a frenzied summer: record flooding of the Mississippi River and the ominous beginnings of the Great Depression. Bryson offers delicious detail and breathtaking suspense about events whose outcomes are already known. A glorious look at one summer in America. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Bryson is the author of such best-selling books as A Walk in the Woods (1998) and A Short History of Nearly Everything (2008) and is sure to make a repeat appearance on the best-seller lists with his newest work. --Vanessa Bush
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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Doubleday; 1st edition (October 1, 2013)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 528 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0767919408
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0767919401
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.96 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.45 x 1.36 x 9.52 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 4,839 ratings

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Bill Bryson was born in Des Moines, Iowa. For twenty years he lived in England, where he worked for the Times and the Independent, and wrote for most major British and American publications. His books include travel memoirs (Neither Here Nor There; The Lost Continent; Notes from a Small Island) and books on language (The Mother Tongue; Made in America). His account of his attempts to walk the Appalachian Trail, A Walk in the Woods, was a huge New York Times bestseller. He lives in Hanover, New Hampshire, with his wife and his four children.

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
4,839 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

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Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on October 14, 2022
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on October 17, 2013
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Jl Adcock
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but way, way, too long
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on August 8, 2020
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Owen Carter
5.0 out of 5 stars Bryson takes us on a fascinating journey
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on May 31, 2020
2 people found this helpful
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djlonboy
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but his other books are better
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on December 8, 2014
3 people found this helpful
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Teemacs
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on June 25, 2014
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samandalinoz
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Bryson
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on November 12, 2013
6 people found this helpful
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