• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Only Yesterday by Frederick Lewis Allen - review

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

What is to say about a decade in which men and women abandoned their morals and created a newer, more daring code of conduct to live by? How would someone react by reading about the sudden fascination with sex and individuality by Americans in the post-war decade if he were to read it decades after it went on? How would one explain the dramatic change in wealth and prosperity experienced by nearly every businessman that took part in the action? Then, how would one begin to tell the story of how all this faded away in just a few weeks? This is the story of the 1920s. Only Yesterday by Frederick Lewis Allen is a book detailing a span of slightly over ten years in which the people of the United States experienced a time of lawlessness and lack of control like never before. The retelling of the post-war decade is much like writing a dramatic novel with a catastrophic finish, but except, this is no novel. It is entirely real. These were the wild and wacky 1920s. Before the book begins, we are given an introduction by Roger Butterfield (an author himself), written in 1956-only two years after the death of Frederick Allen. ...read more.

Middle

I was very surprised to read all of this, only wondering when any remote sense of values was going to reemerge back into the minds of Americans. The sense eventually did come back, and in very ugly fashion. It seemed as if Americans were almost ashamed at what they had done; I certainly cannot blame them. They could not go through life without a set of values and everything seeming meaningless and unimportant. It was only until the end of the decade when the nation had officially calmed down. Sadly, it took utter ruin to do so. Soon, there came a bump in the road: The Harding Scandals. When Warren G. Harding took the presidency in 1921, all was running smoothly on the outside. Harding was calm, stern, and generally laid-back man. After only two years of his term went by, however, Harding died of an alleged apoplexy. This was a huge shock to the American people, as it obviously should have been. It is difficult, for me at least, to imagine a president dying mid-way through his term. It would be even more difficult had the people known the corruption that existed within his Administration. Everything from bribery, illegal looting of government money, profiting from the sale of alcohol, and fraud were rampant throughout Harding's inner circle. ...read more.

Conclusion

"Only one thing could one be sure of. [What was to come in the nineteen-thirties] would not be repetition. The stream of time often doubles on its course, but always it makes for itself a new channel" (357). Only Yesterday has stood the test of time for over 70 years, and I believe it will continue to enlighten readers for decades to come. Frederick Allen's writing tells the story like it is and paints a clear image to accompany the information he writes about. I believe the most important thing to learn from this book is to always keep yourself in check, especially in times of prosperity and joy. When times seem perfect and nothing seems to stand in your way, it is always good to assure yourself that you are secure in what you are doing. For example, if one were to play in the casinos very often and won a lot of money one day, it would not be smart to try to gain even more money by risking all that you have earned. In 1929, times seemed to be running smoothly, but beneath the surface, it was like a person blowing a balloon. The more air that was blown in, the more prosperity the nation experienced. However, that last blow popped the balloon, and America was never the same. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. Japan: Post-Occupation Era 1952-80

    and thus refused to return them to Japan. Hence, so far the Soviet Union and Japan have not yet signed a peace treaty. Actually, Japan depended on the "U.S. nuclear umbrella????" against the Soviet military threat. e. In 1960 when the U.S.-Japan Mutual Security Pact was to be renewed, the political left of Japan opposed strongly.

  2. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass After escaping from slavery, Frederick Bailey ...

    It was then illegal to teach a slave literacy, but Douglass' mistress in Baltimore, Sophia Auld, responded to his pleas to teach him to read and write in the hope that the boy could get to know the Bible. When his master found out, he stopped the lessons, arguing that "Learning ...

  1. A Review of "Clash of Civilizations?"

    Over the centuries, these countries have developed their own habits and practices, which the West should respect rather than attempt to change. Anything else would be considered forceful cultural imperialism. He feels the best that the U.S. can do is to team up with its western European allies to form a kind of union that can resist these problem civilizations.

  2. American History.

    Congregationalists (Puritans) - The Puritans simply believed that the? Anglican Church was too Catholic and needed to be purified. The Puritans were also essentially Calvinists. - Eventually the area filled out with many other people, who were not necessarily Pilgrims or Puritans and simply came for economic reasons, and so on.

  1. Michael Moore's "Bowling for Columbine" - review.

    Ultimately, its main purpose is to make Charlton Heston look foolish, by demonising him into an evil figure and traditional 'baddy'. Moore achieves this aim by cutting the words of Heston with horrific scenes of children dying. After such scenes, the viewer is taken to a conference where his first words are "From my cold, dead hands".

  2. The Prelude to the 1975 War and the Cairo Agreement.

    New alternatives had to be explored. One such alternative was to strengthen Fateh's presence in Lebanon and create 'new realities on the ground' especially since the situation seemed favourable both inside the camps and in the growing popular support for the PLO within the ranks of the Lebanese left wing parties.

  1. Hispanic-Americans - A cultural review.

    In addition to their language, Hispanic Americans have preserved many other traditions of their homelands. Traditionally, the Hispanic family is a close-knit group and the most important social unit. The term 'familia' usually goes beyond the nuclear family. The Hispanic family unit includes not only parents and children but also the extended family.

  2. Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice is a tale of love and marriage in ...

    The blame for the failure of the operation falls directly in the lap of the Central Intelligence Agency and a young president and his advisors. The fall out from the invasion caused a rise in tension between the two great superpowers and ironically 34 years after the event, the person

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work