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  • Fascinating story of one eventful year in history

    This was a fascinating – and very readable – book. You would think that a book restricting itself to only one year of history would either be very short – or be so padded out with trivia – that you would soon lose interest. But 1922 was a quite remarkable year in which so, so very much happened throughout the world: politically, culturally, sociologically and in science. It was a year that saw civil wars in Ireland and China. The Otterman empire ceased to exist, Egypt gained its independence, and the USSR was formed. There were numerous political assassinations, a new Pope, Mussolini came to power and Hitler was briefly jailed. USA had its first female senator, arguably its most corrupt president (Harding), frequent lynching of black men, racial tension and a resurgence of the Klu Klux Klan. In literature 1922 saw the publication of Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’, TS Elliot’s ‘The Wasteland’ and Enid Blyton’s first book. Earnest Hemmingway and F Scott Fitzgerald were coming into prominence, as Marcel Proust died. In the theatre, Bertolt Brecht had the staging of his first play, and Jean Cocteau produced ‘Antigone’ with set designs by Picasso and costumes by Coco Channel. It was the Jazz age, with Flappers, and Louis Armstrong moving to New York and fame. A great year for film in Germany (‘Nosferatu’ et al), Scandinavia and France – not to mention USA and Britain, with Walt Disney’s first animations and Hitchcock’s first film released. The BBC was established and the Lincoln memorial dedicated. There were great leaps forward in aviation – as well as disasters. In physics, both Einstein and Niels Bohr received Nobel prizes. There were scandals, superb sporting achievements, major discoveries such as Tutankhamun’s tomb – and so much more. Each month of the year 1922 has its own chapter – and its own significant happenings – many of which still resonate today. It was a year of great change, and new beginnings. While the book does mainly focus on USA and Europe, there are occurrences further afield of note that receive attention (China, Japan, Turkey). I found the book extremely interesting. While many of the incidents were known to me (at least in outline), not all were – and I had not known that all happened in such a short time of one calendar year. I highly recommend this book to anyone with even the slightest interest in history. I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and not influenced by either the author or publisher.

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