One Summer : America 1927, Paperback

One Summer : America 1927 Paperback

3.5 out of 5 (3 ratings)


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), a devastating flood of the Mississippi, a sensational murder trial, and an unknown aviator named Charles Lindbergh who became the most famous man on earth.

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, the thrillingly improbable return to greatness of an 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 the trademark brio, wit and authority that has made him Britain's favourite writer of narrative non-fiction, he brings to life a forgotten summer when America came of age, took centre stage, and changed the world for ever.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: History of the Americas
  • ISBN: 9780552772563



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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

I had put off reading this book for a long time because even though I love Bill Bryson's work I wasn't sure how interesting I would find a book about a few months in America in 1927. Well, I would now have to say that I found it very interesting! Bill's writing is very accessible and I learned so much - about Lindbergh and the Spirit of St Louis, about Babe Ruth and baseball, about prohibition, Mt Rushmore, various presidents etc etc. A great book, marked by Bill's wry humour and detailed research. #BillBryson #OneSummer

Review by

Need to be american really to appreciate this

Review by

I'm not entirely sure what Bryson is intending to do with this book. It concentrates on the summer of 1927, and seems to imply that the events of this summer changed America for ever. It's the summer that Lindburg flew the Atlantic, then spent the next few months travelling around America in state. The only trouble being that it doesn;t progress in a logical order, either entirely chronologically, or thematically. Your return several times to the matter of baseball - a subject on which I know little and care less - on more than one occasion, and it wasn't always clear how we ended up on the topic. It covers the weather, crime, politics, entertainment, writing and any number of other topics. What it didn't do was clearly define how this year changed America. I suspect you could make that kind of statement about any number of seasons, and put together 17 hours of tape to support the thesis. It was an entertaining enough listen, although with Bryson reading I found a number of quirks somewhat annoying. The faux surprise, s indicated by tone and rising pitch, was amusing the first few times, but got wearing after hearing it several times per chapter.Frequently the end of a chapter would leave a fact dangling, wanting to carry on, and yet you'd disappear into another subject entirely, only to return and collect the dangler later. I suspect this reads better to an American than to a Brit - I found it a bit smug and self satisfied.

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