The main idea behind this book is that the events of this one year were the roots for major events further down the road.
Reading that in the introduction I thought there’s no way that much happened in 1919. I was wrong.
In this epic year you have: The Great Molasses Flood (Boston), The Red Scare, Race Riots (D.C., Charleston, Chicago, and Elaine), Labor Strikes (Seattle and Boston), the first trans-Atlantic flight, and Prohibition. I have heard of most of these events but I had no idea they all happened in the same year. Crazy!
What was fascinating to me was the way the author organized the book. Each one of the events I’ve listed above was given its own chapter. At the end of the chapter the author includes a section that outlines how that event shaped consequential events over the next 100 years. Then give a timeline of similar events. This was what I was really impressed with. 1919 seems so far away and removed from 2020 but when you look at all the events that link now with then it doesn’t seem so long ago. And it makes me question how far we’ve come. Note: this review is written in 2020 in the middle of the covid-19 pandemic so it seems like this might shape up to be another epic year.
This is a great book for a personal read or a supplement to a history textbook. I know that I would be interested in making this available in parts or in whole to my students.