With great detail into the
reasons why 1927 was such a pivotal (and perhaps the most important) year in
American history, Bill Bryson’s One
Summer is one of my favorite books of the year. Exploring the fascinating
lives of the Babe, Al Capone, Jack Dempsey, Henry Ford and Lucky Lindy (not to
mention prohibition, presidents and movie stars), Bryson’s account is both
witty and, at times, revealingly harsh. Learn all about how the U.S. became a
world leader in economics, foreign policy, the arts, sports and technology;
but, subsequently, how it all led our country directly into the Great
Depression. After you re ad One Summer, you’ll want to give a copy to everyone
you know. Fantastic!
From the Hardcover edition.
"Bryson writes in a style as effervescent as the time itself... A wonderful romp."
—The New York Times
"...A skillful lesson on the dynamics and personalities that shaped today's America and on how far the country has evolved from a gaudy era fondly but imperfectly recalled."
—Wall Street Journal
"There are two kinds of readers: those who love Bill Bryson and those who haven't met him yet... Colorful, rollicking and sweet, this is Bryson being Bryson. Which is to say: marvelous."
"A glorious look at one summer in America...Bryson offers delicious detail and breathtaking suspense about events whose outcomes are already known."
—Booklist, Starred Review
"This splendid book, written in the breezy and humorous style that has come to be Bryson's trademark, is sure to delight readers steeped in the history of the period as well as those looking to acquaint themselves with it for the first time."
—The Associated Press
“Bryson will set you right in this canter through one summer of one year that—once you’ve turned the final page—will seem more critical to American history than you might have reckoned before… [He] is a master of the sidelong, a man who can turn obscurity into hilarity with seemingly effortless charm—and One Summer is an entertaining addition to a body of work that is at its best when it celebrates the unexpected and the obscure… This is a jolly jalopy ride of a book; Bryson runs down the byways of American history and finds diversion in every roadside stop.”
"...Bryson himself is captivated by the events of summer, 1927. And why not? They included Charles Lindbergh's solo flight over the Atlantic, Sacco and Vanzetti's execution, Gutzon Borglum's start on the sculpting of Mt. Rushmore, the Dempsey-Carpentier fight, and Babe Ruth's 60 home runs—all of which Bryson covers in characteristically sparkling prose."
"As a historian, Bryson is the antithesis of stuffy. He's a storyteller, pure and simple, and One Summer is a collection of a great many tales about people and events, centered on (but not limited to) a single season in a single year... Bryson could have written a book just as interesting about the summer of 1949 or 1913. That's because his subject isn't really a year. It's human nature in all its odd and amazing array."
"The book's strength is in showing the overlap of significant events and the interaction of personalities."
"What comes across clearest in Bryson’s lucid, lighthearted narrative is the pure energy and crazed optimism of the era. Sure, the rollicking party would end, but it was fun while it lasted—as is Bryson’s One Summer.”
"...One Summer wins you over by the sheer weigh tof its encyclopedic enthusiasms."
"Bryson is a marvelous historian, not only exhaustively accurate, but highly entertaining. If you avoid textbook histories because they seem too dry, pick up One Summer, or any other of Mr. Bryson's books. They are intelligent delights."
—Liz Smith, The Huffington Post
"Highly recommend One Summer: America, 1927 by Bill Bryson—interesting, entertaining visit to an incredible year."