Cover image for The roaring twenties : an eyewitness history
The roaring twenties : an eyewitness history
Streissguth, Thomas, 1958-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Facts on File, [2001]

Physical Description:
xii, 436 pages : illustrations, maps ; 29 cm.
General Note:
Both series titles from jacket.
Subject Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library E784 .S76 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize
Clarence Library E784 .S76 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Clearfield Library E784 .S76 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Grand Island Library E784 .S76 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Kenmore Library E784 .S76 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Anna M. Reinstein Library E784 .S76 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Julia Boyer Reinstein Library E784 .S76 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Audubon Library E784 .S76 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



The 1920s constituted a decade of change and contrast

Author Notes

Thomas Streissguth is an author who grew up in the Midwest. He worked in New York in magazines for four years and as a juvenile book editor in Minneapolis for six. He has published about 40 books of non-fiction: biographies, history, geography books, and the like. His title's include: Dracula, Cleopatra, Hoaxers and Hustlers, Jack London, and Vladmir Putin.

(Bowker Author Biography)



The 1920s constituted a decade of change and contrast, when modern America began to emerge from the shadow of World War I. The Roaring Twenties recounts this era by examining many of its aspects: Prohibition, political scandal, expatriates, women's suffrage, technological advances, prosperity, trials on evolution and espionage, and finally the stock market crash. The author captures the complexities of the 1920s and brings to life the various events that occurred during this tumultuous yet exhilarating decade. The Roaring Twenties provides hundreds of firsthand accounts of the period--from diary entries, letters, speeches, and newspaper accounts--that illustrate how historical events appeared to those who lived through them. Among the eyewitness testimonies included are those of Woodrow Wilson, Louis Armstrong, Henry Cabot Lodge, Warren Harding, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Will Rogers, W. E. B. DuBois, Ernest Hemingway, and Henry Ford. In addition to the firsthand accounts, each chapter provides an introductory essay and a chronology of events. The book also includes such critical documents as Wilson's Fourteen Points, the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, the National Prohibition Act, the Immigration Act of 1924, and the American Civil Liberties Union creed, as well as capsule biographies of more than 90 key figures, a bibliography, an index, seven maps and graphs, and more than 70 black-and-white photographs. Eyewitness History Testimony on the Twenties: Look around your cabin. Look at the dirt floor and the windows without glass! Then ask your folks already up north about the bathrooms with hot and cold water, the steam heat and the glistening hardwood floor...What chance has the average black to get these things down home? --from The World's Work, a comment about the Great Migration People were not invited--they went there. They got into automobiles which bore them out to Long Island and somehow they ended up at Gatsby's door. Once there they were introduced by somebody who knew Gatsby and after that they conducted themselves according to the rules of behavior associated with amusement parks. Sometimes they came and went without having met Gatsby at all, came for the party with a simplicity of heart that was its own ticket of admission. --F. Scott Fitzgerald, from The Great Gatsby ...For things of beauty and of good in this life, mother nature gave to us all, for the conquest and the joy of liberty. The men of this dying old society, they brutally have pulled me away from the embrace of your brother and your poor mother. But, in spite of it all, the free spirit of your father's faith still survives, and I have lived for it and for the dream that some day I would have come back to life, to the embrace of your dear mother, among our friends and comrades again, but woe is me! --Nicola Sacco from Charlestown State Prison to his daughter Ines, June 19, 1927 The Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States is the most benevolent, the most beneficent, the most far-reaching reform ever inaugurated by any people anywhere in the history of the world and any man who sneers at it is an enemy of God. --Rev. Arthur James Barton, chairman of the executive committee of the Anti-Saloon League of America, 1928 For the Motor Age was itself the product of forces working tirelessly for new fashions and for constant change. Modern industrialism had increased the income of millions of Americans and given them more leeway to experiment with luxuries and fads. It had shortened the average workday and given more people leisure time. --Charles Merz, from And Then Came Henry Ford In the days of our phantom prosperity, we were sleek and self-satisfied. We were well-fed and wanted nothing so much as to be left alone. We were impatient of those queer persons who were forever raising critical questions about our political, social, and economic policies. As if anything could be wrong with a civilization that was paying such dividends! --Glenn Frank, from Crisis Points in National Policy Excerpted from The Roaring Twenties by Thomas Streissguth All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. xi
1. Postwar Treaties and Turmoil: November 1918-December 1919p. 1
2. Newfound Freedoms, Old-Fashioned Temperance: 1920p. 25
3. Depression: 1921p. 53
4. A Scandalous Administration: January 1922-August 1923p. 73
5. New Homes and a New Sound: September 1923-February 1924p. 97
6. Reading, Writing, and Radio: March 1924-December 1924p. 123
7. A Trial of Science: 1925p. 153
8. Troubles in the Hemisphere: January 1926-May 1926p. 181
9. Worldly Explorations: June 1926-May 1927p. 201
10. National Pastimes: Movies, Sports, Cars: June 1927-January 1928p. 225
11. Prosperity: 1928p. 249
12. The End of the Roaring Twenties: 1929p. 267
Appendix A Documentsp. 283
Appendix B Biographies of Major Personalitiesp. 362
Appendix C Maps, Graphs, and Tablesp. 387
Bibliographyp. 403
Indexp. 421

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