• 1920

  • The Year That Made the Decade Roar
  • By: Eric Burns
  • Narrated by: Christopher Lane
  • Length: 12 hrs and 40 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (282 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

One of the most dynamic eras in American history, the 1920s began with a watershed year that would set the tone for the century to follow.

The Roaring Twenties is the only decade in American history with a widely applied nickname, and our collective fascination with this era continues. But how did this surge of innovation and cultural milestones emerge out of the ashes of World War I?

Acclaimed author Eric Burns investigates the year 1920, which was not only a crucial 12-month period of its own but one that foretold the future. The year 1920 foreshadowed the rest of the 20th century and the early years of the 21st, whether it was Sacco and Vanzetti or the stock market crash that brought this era to a close.

Burns sets the record straight about this most misunderstood and iconic of periods. Despite being the first full year of armistice, 1920 was not a peaceful period - it contained the greatest act of terrorism in American history to that time. And while 1920 is thought of as the beginning of a prosperous era, for most people life had never been more unaffordable. Meanwhile, African Americans were putting their stamp on culture. And though people today imagine the frivolous image of the flapper dancing the night away, the truth was that a new kind of power had been bestowed on women, and it had nothing to do with the dance floor.

From prohibition to immigration, the birth of jazz, the rise of expatriate literature, and the original Ponzi scheme, 1920 was truly a year like no other.

©2015 Eric Burns (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about 1920

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Cultural critique

“And so the greatest nation on Earth was transformed into a third world nation in its tastes and values, and so it remains...” No thanks. I’m no hyper nationalist, but I stopped there. I downloaded this thinking that it was a history, but it appears to be a cultural critique.

10 people found this helpful

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Fascinating year!

So many events and people real and fictional crossed paths in 1920. Understanding the stories of the people, politics, events and challenges of 1920 brings surprising insight into the beginnings and endings of so many American beliefs, values, and attitudes. This is when the progress of the nation was redefined in so many way. Literature, art, social mores, even war changed in fundamental ways. Eric Burns weaves the many stories together in a magnificent way. It becomes impossible to stop listening. Excellent depth - very relateable perspective. Christopher Lee gives the tales their voice in a pleasant way. I'm looking forward to a sequel. I want the journey to continue! I believe we both graduated from Westminster College. Proud to have Eric Burns as a fellow alum.

6 people found this helpful

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Fascinating!!!

I’m a historian by profession, and, while I knew 80% of the content of the book, I’ve never read anything about the era as engaging and well-presented as this. Terrific job, Eric Burns and Christopher Lane. Now I need to search for more presentation read by Lane - and other writing by Burns.

4 people found this helpful

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Fantastic book about 1920 + more

I mistakenly thought this book was about the 1920s — as in the decade. While it did mention the years before and a few after to round out the story, it was mostly centered on all the events that happened in 1920. The narrator was fantastic. I usually listen in 30-40 minute spurts during my more walk. I learned so much!

4 people found this helpful

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Can’t Go Wrong Here

I found this an excellent listen and was wishing it wouldn’t end. Informative with sweeping scope it maintained my interest all the way. I enjoyed the writers style, particularly his occasional gently sarcastic wit. The narrator was perfect for this work.

3 people found this helpful

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Dull and Trite

Author tries to be amusing by “teasing” reader with Paul Harvey style stories but never reveals anything before plunging into another tease.

3 people found this helpful

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bad listen

the chapters are shuffled, the book keeps repeating itself. i really did not like it.

2 people found this helpful

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good listen

interesting information i didn't know about and never had heard about before this good listen

2 people found this helpful

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Diverse set of topics

I enjoyed the various topics withing this book- from New York 's Harlem to anarchists, to the suffrage movement. It paints a large picture of the entire American experience.

4 people found this helpful

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You want to know this story.

I like history. I thought I knew it. Listening to this book opened my mind up to things about 1920 I never knew. President Harding was quite an interesting man…

1 person found this helpful