Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Book Review: Only Yesterday

Only Yesterday; An Informal History of the 1920s, by Frederick Lewis Allen.

First, I'll admit....from high school and college....the 1920s are the weakest area written and covered by any instructor.  I probably should have picked up this book forty years ago and read it.

Allen does a great job in detailing the lead up to the 1920s and the whole decade.  He explains the effect of World War I and the Wilson era.  He leads you through a simplistic chapter on Harding and his failures as a leader and man.  And there's chapters twelve and thirteen, which detail the bull market of the 1920s and the eventual collapse.  If you were wanting a concise description over a two-hour read of the period and Wall Street's' collapse and our decade-long depression....go to chapters twelve/thirteen.

I strongly emphasize reading chapter ten, which covers the alcohol period and growth of the mafia through bootleg sales.

What you come away this significant change in America that comes from the war, women's voting, Prohibition and it's failure, and the arrival of innovation upon the doorstep of simple America.  We were never the same after 1920....we were an entirely different culture of people.

Chapter eleven will cover the boom and bust of real estate markets and closely parallel the decade prior to 2008's economic collapse in the US.  It's a shocker for most people who never heard of the various issues of the period.

An excellent book and worthy of any personal book collection.