Bill Bryson, I think, is as reliable an author as they come. One Summer, in the tradition of Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything and At Home, loads us up with fun facts to know and tell, this time about 1927, a pivotal year in American history. He says that this was the year America really became the pre-eminent world culture-maker, and examines Charles Lindbergh, Babe Ruth, Calvin Coolidge, Als Jolson and Capone, and many others to make the point. Bryson's wonderful at exposing the hypocrisy, absurd eccentricities, and shortcomings of our heroes, and is just as fascinating when he lets us in on the essential contributions of the many lesser-known associates of the big names. I'd say there's an average of one stunning bit of information per page--and with a book that's well over 500 pages long, that's a treat!
Recounts the story of a pivotal cultural year in the United States when mainstream pursuits and historical events were marked by contributions by such figures as Charles Lindbergh, Babe Ruth, and Al Capone.