One Summer: America, 1927 by Bill Bryson (a Review)

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One Summer: America, 1927 One Summer: America, 1927 by Bill Bryson is a fascinating narrative about a short few months in history, which all ended up making a huge impact on the world. The book features notable people during this time: Charles Lindbergh, Babe Ruth, Al Capone, Herbert Hoover, Al Jolson, and Calvin Coolidge to name a few, but it also puts context to the events surrounding these people, like the back story to the first Trans-Atlantic Flight.

Along with a behind-the-scenes look at the famous historical and cultural achievements of the time – Babe Ruth’s 60-Home-Run Season or The Jazz Singer premier – the book talks about the culture of scandal and shock-value predominant in 1920s America. The author emphasizes the huge crowds of people who would all flock at the hopes of seeing something fascinating: airplanes, jazz, talking pictures, baseball games, prisoners, adultery rumors, parades, executions, etc.

The 1920s saw a rise in newspapers, books, and magazines, but it also saw the creation of America’s first tabloids – magazines built to feed the hunger for more shocking, grotesque, macabre, and provocative scandal. 

The book looks at the biggest achievements and its setbacks in these few short months, like the meeting of minds that eventually caused the Great Depression a few years later.

Any person would find something to like about this book. My in-laws came to visit while I was still in the middle of reading it, and I lost the book to my father-in-law for a couple of days (No worries. I always have back-up books). This would be a great library read, but I wish I had read it just a few weeks earlier, in time to add it to my Gift Guide for Adult Readers List. It would make a fantastic Christmas gift.

About Kelly Wiggains

Kelly Wiggains, a high school English teacher turned homeschool mom, likes to surround herself with good literature, beautiful things, and big ideas, and she wants her home to reflect those things, too. She blogs, where she talks about everything From Literature to Living.


  1. […] One Summer: America 1927 by Bill Bryson: This book focuses on pivotal moments in culture during the summer of 1927 through stories about several historical characters: Charles Lindbergh, Babe Ruth, Al Jolson, Al Capone, Herbert Hoover, Calvin Coolidge, and others. (I wrote a review of it here.) […]

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