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Book Review
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Book Critique of Only yesterday: Informal History of 1920 (Book Review Sample)


It describes the social, political, and international, and economic issues of the decade. There had been a lot of changes in the United States during this time. What was it like to live in the US during the 1920's? Students need to address the social, political, international, and economic aspects of the 1920's. Students must use citations from the book with proper documentation. The title of the book must be italicized or underlined wherever found in the paper. The paper should be typed in black ink, Times New Roman, 12 font, and be double spaced.

Book Critique of Only Yesterday: An Informal History of the 1920’s
Written in 1931, Only Yesterday: An Informal History of 1920’s is a book written by Fredrick Lewis Allen. Having been written at the beginning of the thirties, it is one of the books with probably the closest history of what happened in the 1920’s. The author recounts the events of the preceding decade with a keen interest in social, political, international and economic point of view. The author employs the use of flashback to take us to the events of the First World War and prohibitions hence creating a perfect connection between the decade in a discussion as well as the preceding one. With this, he succeeds in giving a complete account of 1920’s at least according to him. Consequently, it is imperative to critique the book so that it does not merely look like something that the author remembered about his life in the 1920’s rather a history of American in that post-war decade.
On the social aspect of the book, a section has been devoted to changes that took place in the lifestyles of people. This was in particular focus on the younger generation. The red scare and the battle of patriotism against the freedom of speech was an item of great interest in the society then. James Harvey and John Dewey were labeled the most perilous to young people. A quote from the book states that “America is no longer a free country, in the old sense; and liberty is, increasingly, a mere rhetorical figure.” This quote aims at shouting and watering down all Anti-American ideas especially communism. To the contrary, it is being witnessed today as those who were being maligned and silenced, then are coming out in the open and doing the same thing that was being done to them, shouting down all those opposed to them.
The author dedicated so little to prohibition and the jazz contrary to expectations. The reason for this may be because the reverberations that this had in the coming decades could not be seen by the author at the time of writing hence the little focus on them. What is acceptable on the other hand is the social analysis of the enormous change in behavior as well as feelings with regard to women and the youth. It is interesting to see today that the American society talks about acceptance and tolerance for everyone, whereas they will be the first to bully anyone who does not agree with their way of life, ideas or speech once their group ascends to power. A clear perception of the 1920’s as brought out by Fredrick Allen.
The 1920’s was a period after the end of the First World War. Politics was a thing of great interest to the people of the United States as well as the allied nations. The republicans ruled the US over this decade with the election of Warren, Calvin, and Herbert-Hoover. The nation was grieved by the death of Warren in August 1923 and was subsequently succeeded by Calvin Coolidge, who was the vice president before Warren’s death. The author uses flashback to connect the period before 1920’s to the decade of focus. Before this flashback, one could wrong think that the author was a diehard fan of President Wilson. It is, however, after reading the section that one can get a clear picture of his presidency through the eyes of Fredrick. It is also interesting to learn how Coolidge and Hoover tried to put their strength, policies, and personalities to overcome the challenges of that time.
The author tries to cover the political life of America as well as its international relations in details, although some facts and circumstances do not come out as they should. The events appear in the book at the mercy of the author, someone who was there, hence lacks a scholarly examination. For instance, much would have been said about the war loans that ...
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