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Only Yesterday: Informal Treatment of the 1920s (Wiley Investment Classics (Hardcover)) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 25. August 1997

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Taschenbuch, 25. August 1997
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Written in 1931, this new installment in the Wiley Investment Classics series offers a well-written historical and anecdotal account of the volatile stock market of the 1920s. It traces the rise of post World War I prosperity up to the crash of 1929 before a colorful backdrop that includes Al Capone, Prohibition, the first radio, and the rise and fall of the skirt length.


Only Yesterday Hailed as a classic even when it was first published in 1931, Only Yesterday remains one of the most vivid and precise accounts of the volatile stock market and the heady boom years of the 1920's. A vibrant social history that is unparalleled in scope and accuracy, it artfully depicts the rise of post--World War I prosperity, the catalytic incidents that led to the Crash of 1929, and the devastating economic decline that ensued--all set before a colorful backdrop of flappers, Al Capone, the first radio, and the "scandalous" rise of skirt hemlines. Now, this mesmerizing chronicle is reintroduced to offer readers of today an unforgettable look at one of the most dynamic periods of America's past. With a novelist's eye for detail and a historian's attention to the facts, Frederick Lewis Allen tells a story that will ignite your imagination as its rich pageant of characters and events comes alive. Peppering his narrative with actual stock quotes and financial news, Allen tracks the major economic trends of the decade and explores the underlying causes of the Crash. Here are fresh accounts of Harding's oil scandals and the growth of the automobile industry, as well as the decline of the family farm, the Coolidge prosperity, and the long bull market of the late twenties. Allen's virtual hour-by-hour account of the Crash itself, told from multiple perspectives with mounting suspense, is as gripping as anything you are likely to read in fiction. In addition to his power as a storyteller, Allen was a living witness to the events he describes; there is a thrilling you-are-there feeling about the unfolding history. After a brief "return to normalcy" following the War, the pace of life in America quickly escalated to a full gallop. New forces were being unleashed: prosperity with serious inflation, larger-than-life figures such as J. Pierpont Morgan and Henry Ford, and the Big Red Scare of the early twenties. Allen documents the new inventions, fads, and scandals as they affected the daily life of the country, including the impact of Freud and Einstein, Prohibition and Al Capone, Babe Ruth and Jack Dempsey, the trial of Sacco and Vanzetti, and the shocking changes in manners and morals. In Only Yesterday we hear America talking to itself from coast to coast, furiously debating its own rapidly evolving destiny. An engaging narrative that describes the harried, often tumultuous events of Wall street in the twenties, as well as the infectious spirit of the times, Only Yesterday is not only a compelling account of years gone by, but a true classic that will be appreciated for years to come.

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Format: Taschenbuch
I recently finished this work as a prerequisite for Advanced Placement United States History, and although the significantly extensive talk about economics challenged me, it captivated my intellectual curiosity. An excellently written book, it depicts more than oil scandals and an obsession-worthy transatlantic flight, but the psychology of a nation in a period of profound, rapid, and radical change. One finds plenty to laugh about as well, as it is very witty and insightful. The two aspects I found dull or misguiding were the following: 1) The Nicaraguan "situation," as the book calls it, is not well-depicted at all. This is because the book was written barely out of the Twenties; I suppose Allen did not find the subject important enough to discuss in any length above 4 sentences total. Consider Peter Davis's <i> Where is Nicaragua? </i> for a more accurate portrayal of what the U.S. was involved in until 1931 in that country. 2)I am a high school student severely lacking expertise in economics, thus I found the last chapters rather difficult. Other than those two dull areas, this is a great book for those who want to uncover the mindset of the U.S. almost eighty years ago--and have much fun along the way.
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Format: Taschenbuch
The shame is that many modern history textbooks barely cover some material while diving into other periods of history. As an Advanced Placement United States History student during my junior year in high school (last year), I was given the opportunity to read Allen's work on the 1920s. Allen's journalistic style and thorough coverage of the events during the "Roaring Twenties" made this a fascinating read. The book is so well done that I had to occasionally stop and remind myself that this was written right after the decade addressed--it could have been written in the 1990s! The only major difficulty with this book (a minor one it is) is the explanation of how the stock market crashed (there are many numbers and examples cited), but it IS more thorough than most high school textbooks. What's also nice is that it covered the whole spectrum: politics, social atmosphere, the economy, etc. Many books focus only on one or two. This is a great resource for those who wish to understand what may be one of the most interesting decades of the twentieth century. It's a shame that "Still Yesterday" covering the 1930s is out of print-- it'd hate to miss more of Allen's wonderful work.
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Format: Taschenbuch
Very good account of the historical events of America in the 1920's. The vivid description of the period enables the readers to "live" through that time again. The change of collective mentality is another focus of the book. For example, it reflects the general public attitude towards the war that is outside of their continent.
Therefore this book have given me a lot of insight of how USA comes to be what it is now. And moreover, it can be read as a FORWARD-LOOKING book: the Globe is closer to the blink of Great Depression than ever. We can spot a lot of parallel between US then and US now: speculation of real estate, stock; the style of the media (aren't they all interested in soapie-like story?). As well, we can spot all the syndromes in our current econ situation that were present in US in 20's. If the world leaders cannot learn from History and steer the course correctly, we will soon dive into the merciless age of depression again, and soon someone else will follow the author and wrote us a book of World in 90's, "Yesterday Once More"(?!)
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Anyone of the dwindling band of stock market contrarians will find fresh ammunition here. A bull market ushered in by a President beset with sex scandals and allegation of peculation, the rise of the stock market as the greatest ballyhoo of them all, the simultaneous collapse in commodities and the Fed's foredoomed efforts to stabilize the international system all have their counterparts today. A compelling social history intertwined with the ineluctable progress towards the disaster on Wall Street has all the elements of the finest tragedy. A book to rival 'The Titanic' in its sweep, it leaves Galbraith for dead as a narrative of this most fascinating of decades. Also consider Allen's follow-up account of the 30's aftermath in 'Since Yesterday' for an eyewitness account of the Depression and a surprising perspective on Roosevelt and the New Deal.
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