One Summer: America 1927 by Bill Bryson

One Summer cover
One of Britain's favourite narrative non-fiction writers is back with a fast-paced, often hilarious look at the events and people that shaped one eventful summer during the Roaring 20's.

With his usual wry humour, Bryson details an enormously eventful five month period in the late 1920s when America reached the zenith of Jazz Age exuberance and fully took its place on the world stage. Lindbergh flew the Spirit of St Louis to France and became an instant celebrity (much to his chagrin), Prohibition created legendary mobsters and lawmakers, television and talking pictures started to hold audiences enthralled, Babe Ruth made an extraordinary and unexpected comeback and a tiny group of powerful men inadvertently set in motion the events that would lead to the stock market crash in just two short years.

Host Paul Gallagher is joined by comedienne Ashley Storrie and Scottish Book Trust's web editor Brianne Moore to discuss the sprawling narrative populated by characters so bizarre it's almost difficult to believe they actually existed. Is Bryson successful at drawing you in and bringing history to life in a way your school textbooks never could? Or does his oftentimes lighthearted approach leave something to be desired? Have a listen and find out what our panel thought, and share your own feelings about America: One Summer, 1927 in the comments below or by tweeting us @scottishbktrust or leaving a message on our Facebook page.

Need more non-ficiton reading suggestions? Check out these nine page-turning history book recommendations.

BookTalk is produced by Colin Fraser of Culture Laser Productions.

 

Filed In: Book Talk, Reading Tags: history, non-fiction