Everything you missed if you came after the unnerving Thirties. Starting from the vantage point of a sixth former, progressing to Oxford and precarious journalism--and then, regrettably, disappearing--Jenkins sifts out the decade in Britain and the US. One after another, he takes up the Depression and the New Deal, fashion and fad, the state of Britain (George V to his knob-kneed guest: ""Remember, Mr. Gandhi, I won't have any attacks on my Empire!""), films international, academia, music (pop to opera), poetry, aviation and motoring, the theater, radio and infant TV, sports, monarchs, scandals, crime, good books and best-sellers, journalism, Jewish refugees, the visual arts (painting to typography), new thought. . . . He'll charm you with the history of the Glyndebourne Festival, for instance, and tip you off (as who else will?) to the top-flight illustration in the BBC Radio Times; but he also slips in ""the first lucky recipient"" of a singing birthday greeting (a Pekingese) and the subject of the first published horoscope (the newborn Princess Margaret). You name it, he has it (and he probably has it right), but the outcome is hardly more than a collection of animated index entries.