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One Summer: America, 1927 by Bill Bryson
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One Summer: America, 1927 (2013)

by Bill Bryson

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1,9101245,398 (4.06)111
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Showing 1-5 of 124 (next | show all)
If this hadn’t been an audiobook I never would have finished it. Even then, it was a struggle even though it covers a variety of topics I’m at least nominally interested in: Babe Ruth and baseball, Charles Lindbergh, the dawn of the American Century. I can’t recommend it. ( )
  jscape2000 | May 29, 2019 |
This is a very good book focusing on one summer in American history. I liked learning about Lindbergh's transatlantic trip to France and other pilots in this era, Babe Ruth and his setting a new home run record, and other events and people of the time. ( )
  krin5292 | May 6, 2019 |
Bill Bryson, author of memoirs, humorous books, collections of articles, and books on topics that range from the English language to science, now turns his attention to one chronological period: namely, May - September 1927 and the events that occurred in the United States in that time frame.

Beginning with Charles Lindbergh's solo flight across the Atlantic, and following events through late September and the Yankees winning the pennant, Bryson certainly makes his case that 1927 was "one hell of a summer." The range of people and topics involved is staggering. Flight, automobiles, organized crime and Al Capone, motion pictures, Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth's crazy home run derby, and boxing are just a smattering of what's included. Bryson has a tendency to include in all his books fascinating but tangential stories that relate somewhat to his topic. I almost had the sense that this was the driving factor behind this book in particular. Though loosely organized chronologically, he has to go back and forth in time giving background information on each of his subjects, so that thread of time is easily lost. Bryson's clearly fascinated with his subject(s), however, and gives readers such fun bits of trivia along the way that those who enjoy that quirky style may not mind in the least. The downside is each of these topics could be, singly, a book of its own (and indeed, are listed in the extensive bibliography and notes for each chapter), so at once it seems over-long to pack in, say, a 25 page epilogue, and also never really goes in depth. Still, it's a fun if occasionally dizzying overview and I found it interesting how many of the topics intersected in surprising ways. ( )
  bell7 | Dec 22, 2018 |
We read this book for our family book club and talked about it for two hours. Some of our discussions were about what disturbed us the most (eugenics), why baseball was so much more popular then (because the skill gap between amateurs and professionals was smaller, for one) and how life back then was much more a shoestring operation. We also debated whether people were all that different and how events garnered massive amounts of attention in a way similar events today don't. This is a book dense with facts and back stories that I would describe as Ken Burns in print (a good thing in my view).
  skavlanj | Nov 22, 2018 |
What a summer 1927 was! I love how Mr. Bryson combines "unrelated" topics and winds them all together. Fantastic listen! ( )
  cubsfan3410 | Sep 1, 2018 |
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Bill Brysonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Diderich, PeterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Annie, Billy, and Gracie, and in memory of Julia Richardson
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On a warm spring evening just before Easter 1927, people who lived in tall buildings in New York were given pause when the wooden scaffolding around the tower of the brand new Sherry-Netherland Apartment Hotel caught fire and it became evident that the city's firemen lacked any means to get water to such a height.
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Bryson examines closely the events and personalities of the summer of 1927 when America's story was one of brawling adventure, reckless optimism and delirious energy.

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