Acclaimed author Eric Burns investigates the year of 1920, which was not only a crucial twelve-month period of its own, but one that foretold the future, foreshadowing 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, in fact, a peaceful time—it contained the greatest act of terrorism in American history to date. And while 1920 is thought of as starting 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.
More than a century has passed since Theodore Roosevelt was in the White House, but he still continues to fascinate. Never has a more exuberant man been our nation's leader. He became a war hero, reformed the NYPD, busted the largest railroad and oil trusts, passed the Pure Food and Drug Act, created national parks and forests, won the Nobel Peace Prize, and built the Panama Canal—to name just a few.
Yet it was the cause he championed the hardest—America's entry in to WWI—that would ultimately divide and destroy him. His youngest son, Quentin, his favorite, would die in an air fight. How does looking at Theodore's relationship with his son, and understanding him as a father, tell us something new about this larger-than-life-man? Does it reveal a more human side? A more hypocritical side? Or simply, if tragically, a nature so surprisingly sensitive, despite the bluster, that he would die of a broken heart?
Roosevelt's own history of boyhood illnesses made him so aware of was like to be a child in pain, that he could not bear the thought of his own children suffering. The Roosevelts were a family of pillow-fights, pranks, and "scary bear." And it was the baby, Quentin—the frailest—who worried his father the most. Yet in the end, it was he who would display, in his brief life, the most intellect and courage of all.
Invasion of the Mind Snatchers chronicles the influence of television that was watched daily by the baby boomer generation. As kids became spellbound by Howdy Doody and The Ed Sullivan Show, Burns reveals, they often acted out their favorite programs. Likewise, they purchased the merchandise being promoted by performers, and became fascinated by the personalities they saw on screen, often emulating their behavior. It was the first generation raised by TV and Burns looks at both the promise of broadcasting as espoused by the inventors, and how that promise was both redefined and lost by the corporations who helped to spread the technology.
Yet Burns also contextualizes the social, cultural, and political events that helped shape the Fifties—from Sputnik and the Rosenberg trial to Senator Joseph McCarthy’s Red Scare. In doing so, he charts the effect of television on politics, religion, race, and sex, and how the medium provided a persuasive message to the young, impressionable viewers.
Now a sophomore in college, Brittany is getting ready for a celebratory spring break vacation when a mysterious phone call from an old neighbor halts her plans. It sounds as though someone in her hometown has information about her mothers murder, and Brittany cant help but go back to her hometown to see if she can discover the truth.
Word spreads fast that Brittany is back in town, and the killer soon hears of her return. He knows she is trying to solve her mothers murder, and he will stop at nothing to keep his identity secreteven if it means killing again.