Britain's favourite writer of narrative non-fiction Bill Bryson travels back in time to a forgotten summer when America came of age, took centre stage, and, in five eventful months, changed the world for ever.
In the summer of 1927, America had a booming stock market, a president who worked just four hours a day (and slept much of the rest of the time), a semi-crazed sculptor with a mad plan to carve four giant heads into an inaccessible mountain called Rushmore, a devastating flood of the Mississippi, a sensational murder trial, and a youthful aviator named Charles Lindbergh who started the summer wholly unknown and finished it as the most famous man on earth. (So famous that Minnesota considered renaming itself after him.)
It was the summer that saw the birth of talking pictures, the invention of television, the peak of Al Capone's reign of terror, the horrifying bombing of a school in Michigan by a madman, the ill-conceived decision that led to the Great Depression, the thrillingly improbable return to greatness of a wheezing, over-the-hill baseball player named Babe Ruth, and an almost impossible amount more.
In this hugely entertaining book, Bill Bryson spins a story of brawling adventure, reckless optimism and delirious energy, with an unforgettable cast of vivid and eccentric personalities.
About the Author
Bill Bryson's bestselling travel books include The Lost Continent, A Walk in the Woods and Notes From A Small Island, which in a national poll was voted the book that best represents Britain. His acclaimed book on the history of science, A Short History Of Nearly Everything, won the Royal Society's Aventis Prize as well as the Descartes Prize, the European Union's highest literary award. He has written books on language, on Shakespeare, and on his own childhood in the hilarious memoir The Life And Times Of The Thunderbolt Kid. His last critically lauded bestseller was At Home: A short history of private life. He was born in the American Mid-West, and lives in the UK.
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Too much baseball ephemera
Well written and interesting, but not funny in the way that one expects from Bryson at his best. Fascinating historic trivia uncovered.
Anyone travelling to Australia will enjoy this very entertaining read.
"Bill Bryson is a true master of popular narrative. Over the course of his career, he has bestowed a beautiful clarity on even the most recondite of subjects...With this book, he proves once again that he is able to juggle any number of different balls...while never letting a single one drop...Has history ever been so enjoyable?" -- Craig Brown Mail on Sunday "A fascinating snapshot of a season during which America, for better or worse, ushered in the modern world." Sunday Times "A gifted raconteur...The book is filled with eccentric, flamboyant characters and memorable stories...highly amusing." Guardian "A great new form of literature: biography of a few months in one country." -- Matt Ridley The Times (Books of the Year) "Bryson is a master of the sidelong, a man who can turn obscurity into hilarity with seemingly effortless charm - and One Summer: America 1927 is an entertaining addition to a body of work that is at its best when it celebrates the unexpected and the obscure...a jolly jalopy ride of a book; Bryson runs down the byways of American history and finds diversion in every roadside stop." -- Erica Wagner Financial Times
Number Of Pages: 560
Published: 1st October 2013
Dimensions (cm): 23.6 x 15.8 x 4.8
Weight (kg): 0.892