Chronicling what he sees as the most significant decade of the past century, the author vividly portrays the 1920s, focusing on the men and women who shaped this extraordinary time, including three of America's most conservative presidents. New World Coming is an incisive, thoroughly readable account of an age that defined America.
©2002 Nathan Miller; (P)2003 Blackstone Audiobooks
"Miller quite eloquently illuminates the United States as it existed under presidents Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover....This volume comprises an excellent chronicle of that turbulent, troubled, and tempestuous decade called 'the roaring '20s'." (Publishers Weekly)
"Considering this work's density of data and personalities from Klansmen to jazzmen to evangelists, Miller's structuring is notably skillful. A suave, entertaining survey." (Booklist)
"Miller's asides are gemlike....[a] spellbinding account of growing pains in an often-gullible society." (Kirkus Reviews)
I'm only half-way through this book, but I already wish I had to drive much more than I do. This book is a really engrossing study of the '20s, and Mr Lloyd is one of the best readers I have heard yet.
The author presents all the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of the 1920s, and there was plenty of each. There is much more to the '20s than Prohibition and Flappers - there were the almost unknown (today)administrations of Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge. Neither president was a 'great', but neither was as bad as usually presented in HS history classes either. There was Henery Ford's dream of an automobile that 'everyone' could afford, and the way his dream totally changed America.
Much more is in this book than I could list here. I gave this book a '5' rating because of the clarity of writing and the excellent reading talent. Highly recommended to any 'student' of American History.
Bostonian at heart
This book is written by a journalist, and as you hear it, that fact becomes more evident. And as a former journalist, I believe that's both good and bad.
Miller does a very nice job of telling the story of the 1920s. His research is extensive. He effectively sets the scene by describing the mid- to late-1910s, and his epilogue about the 1932 election is a nice way to end the book. I also loved the short biographical sketches that he wrote about all the key figures, from the politicians and writers to the crime bosses and sports stars. It is a very informative, easy-to-read account of this most fascinating decade.
The book is very thematic in that Miller spends most of the early part of the book on politics, from Harding to Coolidge. He then hits on one key aspect of the era's social history after another, including prohibition, immigration, religion, sports, art, etc. He later ties it together with the 1928 election and the Stock Market crash. It's impossible to read this book and not learn plenty about the period, unless you were already an expert.
The downside of Miller's journalist background is that, in writing the book like a massive feature/news story, he failed to include a central argument or theme. He opines a few times that the stereotypes of the 1920s are largely myths, and the title indicates that a case will be made for the decade as the time when the modern world really began to take shape. But I didn't find there to be a main theme. I just found it to be an enjoyable story of an interesting decade. And to be honest, that's OK with me.
I loved this book. I started it with only mild curiosity, because I'm on an F. Scott Fitzgerald obsession currently... but wow - this book amazed me by unfolding so many aspects of American history in the 1920's without boring my socks off. The narrator did a very good job. This book makes me want to read more about America between the wars and the vibrant personalities I met in this book. I know I will listen to it again - one time was not enough.
I am researching the 1920s US time period for a project of my own and bought this book with great anticipation. The writer's style, for the most part was to take a particular subject and give exhaustive analysis before moving on to the next subject.
Unfortunately he opened with the government machinations starting deep inside the Wilson administration.
Sure, background information is necessary, but I think he went far beyond necessity- almost like he had a bunch of material to make the volume fatter.
The result of the style meant that the automobile didn't get any attention until pretty late in the book.
Also, a major - perhaps unavoidable- problem is the obvious political bias of the author which appeared constantly with snarky throw-away lines and quotes.
Along these lines, a "truism" would be stated, only to be contradicted a few pages later. This happened constantly like the author assembled the book over a long period of time, and then didn't read it for flow and pacing.
The most egregious example of all these problems conspicuously appeared at the very end when the author spouts the conventional Hoover wisdom juxtaposed with FDR practically wearing wings and a halo.
All-in-all not a satisfactory read, with only hagiography for the left and excoriation of the right and no real "feel" of what it was really like.
One of the best pieces of historical writing I've read. The reader was excellent, too. This is a great companion to F. Scott Fitzgerald's novels and a great way to experience the roaring 20s if you were not there.
At the start, this book sounds promising. Unfortunately, it doesn't deliver. If you're interested in a fully realized history of the 1920's, probably the most intriguing decade of the 20th century, this is not that book. The introduction makes one wonder if perhaps the author originally intended to write one book, yet quickly drifted away from the original idea; because the book focuses almost entirely, and in excruciatingly boring detail, on all of the US presidencies and the national politics of the decade. The book is dull. The reader is robotic.
“I don't want to repeat my innocence. I want the pleasure of losing it again.” ― F. Scott Fitzgerald
I found the book informative and interesting- I would definitely read more books by author and narrator.
I never made it past the first hour…very distracting the way the narrator relies so heavily on the pause switch. It reminds me of a school kid reading aloud in class while not really understanding what is being read.
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