Babe Ruth, Lucky Lindy, and Then Some: The Great Bill Bryson Offers "One Summer: America, 1927"

Nov 4, 2014

On this edition of ST, we're pleased to welcome the widely popular and bestselling nonfiction author Bill Bryson. Appreciated for his likable tone, his sly humor, his love of travel, and his gifts as both a storyteller and a history buff, Bryson is the author of "A Walk in the Woods," "Notes from a Small Island," "A Short History of Nearly Everything," "Made in America," and so forth. His latest book, which has been chosen as a Tulsa Reads volume, is "One Summer: America, 1927." As was noted by a critic with the Associated Press: "This splendid book, written in the breezy and humorous style that has come to be Bryson's trademark, is sure to delight readers steeped in the history of the period as well as those looking to acquaint themselves with it for the first time." And further, per a starred review in Booklist: "On May 21, 1927, when Charles Lindbergh set off to be the first man to cross the Atlantic alone in an airplane, he profoundly changed the culture and commerce of America and its image abroad. Add to that Babe Ruth's efforts to break the home-run record he set, Henry Ford's retooling of the Model T into the Model A, the execution of accused anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti, and Al Jolson appearing in the first talkie, and 1927 became the pivot point when the U.S. began to dominate the world in virtually everything -- military, culture, commerce, and technology. Bryson's inimitable wit and exuberance are on full display in this wide-ranging look at the major events in an exciting summer in America. Bryson makes fascinating interconnections: a quirky Chicago judge and Prohibition defender leaves the bench to become baseball commissioner following the White Sox scandal, likely leaving Chicago open for gangster Al Capone; the thrill-hungry tabloids and a growing cult of celebrity watchers dog Lindbergh's every move and chronicle Ruth's every peccadillo. Among the other events in a frenzied summer: record flooding of the Mississippi River and the ominous beginnings of the Great Depression. Bryson offers delicious detail and breathtaking suspense about events whose outcomes are already known. [This is] a glorious look at one summer in America." Bryson will appear at a pair of events here in Tulsa next week, on the 13th and 14th, and you can learn more about both of those events here.