THE CULTURE OF THE 1920'S by Loren--Ed Baritz


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A roaring collection of Twenties tidbits, with a dizzyingly rich introduction by the University of Rochester's Loren Baritz that attempts to cover the whole scene and releases a wild cacophony of themes. The ""ideas and tonalities"" of the Twenties--disillusionment, alienation, rootlessness, celebration of the private self--were indebted to the past: ""None of this came new-born and fully developed from the forehead of Fitzgerald or anyone else."" And with the return of peace and affluence after the harsh but concrete realities of the Depression and World War II, concludes Baritz, they reasserted themselves as a legacy to the present. The selections, arranged roughly by topic and introduced by the editor, are classic period pieces, and most of the big names are on the roll: Dos Passos, Hemingway, E. E. Cummings, Thorstein Veblen, Walter Lippman, H. L. Mencken, Sinclair Lewis, John Dewey, Joseph Wood Krutch, Waldo Frank, Eugene O'Neill, Lewis Mumford, and of course, F. Scott himself. There's Vanzetti pleading his innocence (""The Jury Were Hating Us""), Bryan and Darrow debating the Bible, and Herbert Hoover defending the constructive instinct; and don't miss ""A Flapper's Mentality"" from Flaming Youth and ""Paris Is Devine"" from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. The cat's meow.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1969
Publisher: Bobbs-Merrill