The Twenties in America Review

“The opening line of the Charles Dickens classic, A Tale of Two Cities, could aptly apply to America in the 1920s: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." Likewise, the decade of the 1920s was one of contradictions: optimism and despair, prosperity and poverty, rapid change and oppressive conformity. Maybe that is the reason so many readers continue to be intrigued by the period and publishers willing to produce yet another three-volume study. As one of Salem Press's Decades in America series, this particular reference follows a standard format. It contains some 670 alphabetically arranged essays dealing with North America, mainly the United States. Ranging from one to six pages in length, the entries offer some assessment of the event's or person's impact and conclude with a few suggested readings. Over 200 photographs, which are conveniently indexed at the back of volume 3, enhance the overall appeal. While this is a work for high school and college undergraduates, even scholars looking for factual tidbits about the decade would find the 10 appendixes at the back of volume 3 indispensable. They are a treasure trove of everything from major Broadway plays, films, radio programs and personalities, and key Supreme Court decisions and congressional legislation to bestselling books (fiction and nonfiction), popular musicians, top-selling records, and major sports events. The essays are equally comprehensive, including features on such matters as cancer, hobbies and recreation, Jews in Canada, the KKK, prohibition, race riots, the Scopes trial, and yo-yos. Overall, this is an excellent reference for its intended audience. The writing is clear, and the information is readily accessible by virtue of a complete list of entries at the front of each volume and separate indexes for persons and events at the back of volume 3… this would be a useful addition to the reference collections of high school and college libraries…”
-ARBA, 2013

“A great choice for most high-school and college collections, especially where the other Decades series titles are popular.”
-Booklist, 2012