One Summer: America 1927 Hardcover – 26 Sep 2013
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"Bill Bryson is a true master of popular narrative. Over the course of his career, he has bestowed a beautiful clarity on even the most recondite of subjects...Has history ever been so enjoyable?" (Craig Brown Mail on Sunday)
"A fascinating snapshot of a season during which America, for better or worse, ushered in the modern world." (Sunday Times)
"A gifted raconteur...The book is filled with eccentric, flamboyant characters and memorable stories...highly amusing." (Guardian)
"A great new form of literature: biography of a few months in one country." (Matt Ridley The Times (Books of the Year))
"Few writers of nonfiction, and,let's be honest,few enough writers of novels, can crack the narrative whip like Bryson. One Summer fairly whirls along...full of exhilarating, fact-filled fun...surely the most sublime distraction published this year." (Observer)
'A fascinating snapshot of a season during which America, for better or worse, ushered in the modern world.' (Sunday Times)
'Another winner ... witty and engrossing.' (The Irish Independent)
'Bryson offers delicious detail and breathtaking suspense about events whose outcomes are already known. A glorious look at one summer in America.' (Booklist)
'Few writers of nonfiction, and, let’s be honest, few enough writers of novels, can crack the narrative whip like Bryson. One Summer fairly whirls along ... full of exhilarating, fact-filled fun ... surely the most sublime distraction published this year.' (The Observer)
'...a gripping slice of history with all sorts of reverberant echoes of today ... Bryson, the travel writer turned non-fiction impresario, has now invented what may be an entirely new genre of non-fiction: the brief history of an era told through the biography of a summer. It is a book from which you can read many lessons or just revel in the writing.' (The Times) --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
A lot happened or came to fruition over that four months. Bill Bryson would seem to touch on all of them in some way - amongst others the beginnings of television, talking films, manipulation of the US finanical system, Ponzi schemes, Al Capone, boxing, devastating floods in the Mississippi, Henry Ford's new Model T car. But of total dominance, overshadowing everything that occurred during that period are the trans Atlantic flight of Charles Lindbergh and the magnetic power of Babe Ruth - baseball and planes. You will learn a lot about both, much of which you never really needed or wanted to know, but because it is written about in such an engaging and conversational manner, somehow the facts, and there are many of them, do stay with you.
However this compendium of often quite bizarre, fancy that, overall useless but intensely fascinating informaton is not so much about April to September 1927, but about the years that lead up to the various events that reach their zenith over that particular year. The book more becomes a history, mostly social and economic of America during the 12-13 years since the end of WWI .Read more ›
Bryson has stumbled upon a magical and pivotal summer in US history, and in his infectious, folksy style he takes us on a romp from May to September introducing a riotous cast of characters that you simply couldn't invent. Take the writer Zane Grey, for example, who earned a third of a million dollars from his books in 1927. Bryson reveals that Grey's hobbies included compiling detailed journals of his sexual exploits, and being photographed in the act. 'Edgar Rice Burroughs,' Bryson tells us, 'had a tamer life than Grey - but then, after all, who didn't?' It is this deliciously conversational style, a compote of statistics and gossip, that makes this book so compulsively readable. The summer is bookended by two events that gripped the consciousness of America - Lindbergh's crossing of the Atlantic, and Babe Ruth's record breaking season with a baseball bat.Read more ›
And so it is with "One Summer: America 1927".
The book itself has striking cover art and weighs in at an impressive 560 pages; the prologue and epilogue are separated by five main sections:
1. May: The Kid
2. June: The Babe
3. July: The President
4. August: The Anarchists
5. September: Summer's End
These in turn are then divided into a large number of chapters.
There are also nearly fifty glossy photographs split across two sections; these are great and really helped bring the text to life.
The book is written very much in the style we have come to expect from Bill Bryson, warm and funny whilst providing a constant stream of fascinating information, some of it well known but much of it new to me.
The concept itself of taking just a few months at a pivotal time in America's history is very clever and it really is fascinating to learn just how much was happening at that time; America was gripped with the pioneer spirit and it was quickly realising that it had the wealth and resources to do pretty much anything it wanted, and it did!
At the end of the book there is a section titled "Notes on Sources and Further Reading"; this is a brilliant addition and provides a wealth of recommended reading material to further the experience.
As with Bill Bryson's superb ...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fascinating to zoom in on a short period of fairly recent history and see the depth and fragility of human life, experience, triumph and weakness played out. Read morePublished 10 days ago by David Owen
Not as gripping as his other books. You probably need to be American to really enjoy it as so much of it is about American personalities i.e. baseball players not familiar to me.Published 15 days ago by Kindle Customer
Bryson never ceases to amaze... a wonderfully satisfying stroll through a 20s summer in the US .. fleshes out our basic knowledge of places and names we are all familiar with,... Read morePublished 16 days ago by Amazon Customer
Another really good book by Bill Bryson. May be some factual errors (I have read that elsewhere), but nonetheless a well- researched and very well written look at an amazing year... Read morePublished 25 days ago by Dr Janet
Fascinating but fact heavy. I always start Bryson with a sense of excitement & I know that I'm going to be sharing nerdy facts with all & sundry but it's sometimes difficult to... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Wonder
Wow, but Bill Bryson's research for this one must have been extensive - so many obscure figures and so many fascinatingly obscure facts. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Marguerite
Bill Bryson is my favourite author but this book concentrated too much on baseball.Published 2 months ago by Michael O'Connor
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