And You Thought 2016 Was Wild?
Bill Bryson's book One Summer: America, 1927 uses a few months to paint a portrait of an America rolling precipitously into strange, new places, even faster than the America of today: Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig invented the home run derby, Sacco and Vanzetti were executed, Al Capone reigned, eugenics and involuntary sterilization were all the rage, Hollywood pumped out 800 feature length movies a year . . . and filmed it's first big "talkie," the Jazz Singer, Dempsey fought Tunney, The Federal Reserve cut interest rates which precipitated the stock market crash, Italians were regarded as a dangerous ethnic group, Gutzon Borglum began Mount Rushmore, Calvin Coolidge did nothing, the Mississippi flooded monumentally, Herbert Hoover supervised flood management, a lunatic blew up a school in Michigan and killed forty-four children, Henry Ford stopped production on the Model T Ford and began planning Fordlandia, a doomed model city and rubber plantation in Brazil, Shipwreck Kelly sat on a flagpole in Newark for 12 days, and Charles Lindbergh was adored by zillions, a consequence of his daring solo flight across the Atlantic (this is before his child was kidnapped, before he associated himself with the Nazis, and before it was discovered that he had several secret families).