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Only Yesterday: An Informal History of the 1920's by Frederick Lewis Allen

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The 1920s brought about may technological advances. As the prelude indicates, the motor industry in 1919 consisted of open cars of the old models. Moreover, the number of automobiles at that time was less than seven million, with poor roads and multiple speed limitations (7). In the decade that followed, the automobile industry advanced with new car models emerging, and about 23 million cars registered. Moreover, technology would bring about the radio, introducing a new media form in the society. Notably, print media also advanced with the number of distributed copies increasing immensely in the years that followed. Moreover, the society’s moral values would change immensely in the years between 1919 and 1930.

At the conclusion of the world war, many Americans were conservative as highlighted by the example of the Smith family. Dress and groom for women was highly conservative in 1919. However, the 1920s brought about change as shorter skirts emerged with women using accessories and make-up becoming a part of the modern women (70). Other rigorous changes in the moral system altered the attitudes and perspectives demonstrated by people in the 1920s.

The gender roles in the society also changed. Evidently, the political system of the American system is also brought out in the book. After the war, the nation needed a president with the capacity of rebuilding the American nation, and making decisions that would terminate the extended effects of the war with countries such as Germany. The author portrays the people’s attitude to the president Harding, who earned popularity after his win in 1921. Although he was determined to help Americans in rebuilding their lives, his reign was not without scandal (97).

The book highlights the multiple scandals that defined his leadership. It is worth highlighting that most of the Americans exhibited an ardent need for change, as some political leaders had not fulfilled their promises. On the other hand, many Americans were aware of the probable prohibition of alcohol in the years that would follow 1919. In the 1920s, the prohibition took its place, but with minimal success. Evidently, the author reveals that the prohibition would only serve to divide the people. In addition, the book describes the changes that transpired in the business world.

After the world war, business would start booming with many people engaging in diversified forms of business. The stock market is one of the aspects of business that transformed the economic scenario of the United States.

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preview essay on Only Yesterday: An Informal History of the 1920's by Frederick Lewis Allen
  • Pages: 4 (1000 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: History
  • Level: Masters
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