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Only Yesterday:

An Informal History of the 1920s

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Prohibition. Al Capone. The President Harding scandals. The revolution of manners and morals. Black Tuesday. These are only an inkling of the events and figures characterizing the wild, tumultuous era that was the Roaring Twenties. Originally published in 1931, Only Yesterday traces the rise of post–World War I prosperity up to the Wall Street crash of 1929 against a colorful backdrop of jazz, flappers, speakeasies, the first radio, and the scandalous rise of skirt hemlines. In this span between armistice and depression, Americans were kicking up their heels, but they were also bringing about major changes in the social and political structure of their country.

Hailed as an instant classic, this is Frederick Lewis Allen’s vivid and definitive account of one of the twentieth century’s most fascinating decades, chronicling a time of both joy and terror—when dizzying highs were quickly succeeded by heartbreaking lows. It is a fond, witty, penetrating biography of this restless decade—a delightful reminiscence for those who can remember and a fascinating firsthand look for those who have only heard.

Editorial Reviews

“A perfectly grand piece of historical record and synthetic journalism.”

Chicago Daily Tribune

“A style that is verve itself…Besides telling the story of the bull market in fine perspective, Mr. Allen presents the first coherent account that we have seen of the oil scandals that will eventually make the Harding regime match that of President Grant’s and the Crédit Mobilier story in the history books of the future.”

New York Times

“Allen had…the skill to synthesize an immense amount of discrete material, to interpret it with intelligence and without sentimentality, and to write about it with grace, fluidity and wit.”

Washington Post

“Grover Gardner’s reading, with its slightly ironic tone, is effective as he describes the post World War I decade…The quality of the sound is excellent, and the reading is well paced and clear.”

Library Journal

Author Biography

Frederick Lewis Allen (1890–1954) was born in Boston and graduated from Harvard in 1912. He served on the editorial staffs of the Atlantic Monthly and Century magazines and was editor-in-chief of Harper’s magazine from 1941 until his death.

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Reader Biography

Grover Gardner (a.k.a. Tom Parker) is an award-winning narrator with over eight hundred titles to his credit. Named one of the “Best Voices of the Century” and a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine, he has won three prestigious Audie Awards, was chosen Narrator of the Year for 2005 by Publishers Weekly, and has earned more than thirty Earphones Awards.

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