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Frederick Lewis Allen

Frederick Lewis Allen


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Frederick Lewis Allen was born in born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1890. After studying at Harvard University he joined the editorial staff of theAtlantic Monthly. This was followed by periods working for Century Magazine and Harper's Magazine. His best-selling book, Only Yesterday: An Informal History of the 1920s in America, was published in 1931. Lewis died in 1954.

If the American people turned a deaf ear to Woodrow Wilson's plea for the League of Nations during the early years of the Post-war decade, it was not simply because they were too weary of foreign entanglements and noble efforts to heed him. They were listening to something else. They were listening to ugly rumours of a huge radical conspiracy against the government and institutions of the United States. They had their ears cocked for the detonation of bombs and the tramp of Bolshevist armies. They seriously thought - or at least millions of them did, millions of otherwise reasonable citizens - that a Red revolution might begin in the United States the next month or next week, and they were less concerned with making the world safe for democracy than with making America safe for themselves.

Those were the days when column after column of the front pages of the newspapers shouted the news of strikes and anti-Bolshevist riots; when radicals shot down Armistice Day paraders in the streets of Centralia, Washington, and in revenge the patriotic citizenry took out of jail a member of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) - a white American, be it noted - and lynched him by tying a rope around his neck and throwing him off a bridge; when properly elected members of the Assembly of New York State were expelled (and their constituents thereby disfranchised) simply because they had been elected as members of the venerable Socialist Party.

At the height of the Big Red Scare - in April, 1920 - there had taken place at South Braintree, Massachusetts, a rime so unimportant that it was not even mentioned in the New York Times of the following day - or, for that matter, of the whole following year. It was the sort of crime which was taking place constantly all over the country. A paymaster and his guard, carrying two boxes containing the pay-roll of a shoe factory, were killed by two men with pistols, who thereupon leaped into an automobile which drew up at the kerb, and drove away across the railroad tracks. Two weeks later a couple of Italian radicals were arrested as the murders, and a year later the Italians were tried before Judge Webster Thayer and a jury and found guilty.


Only Yesterday : An Informal History of the 1920s

Beginning November 11, 1918, when President Woodrow Wilson declared the end of World War I in a letter to the American public, and continuing through his defeat, Prohibition, the Big Red Scare, the rise of women’s hemlines, and the stock market crash of 1929, Only Yesterday, published just two years after the crash, chronicles a decade like no other. Allen, who witnessed firsthand the events he describes, immerses you in the era of flappers, speakeasies, and early radio, making you feel like part of history as it unfolds.

This bestselling, enduring account brings to life towering historical figures including J. Pierpont Morgan, Henry Ford, Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein, Al Capone, Babe Ruth, and Jack Dempsey. Allen provides insightful, in-depth analyses of President Warren G. Harding’s oil scandal, the growth of the auto industry, the decline of the family farm, and the long bull market of the late twenties. Peppering his narrative with actual stock quotes and breaking financial news, Allen tracks the major economic trends of the decade and explores the underlying causes of the crash. From the trial of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti to the inventions, crazes, and revolutions of the day, this timeless work will continue to be savored for generations to come.


Frederick Lewis Allen's Only Yesterday and the Idea of the Decade

1 Barol , Bill , “The Eighties Are Over,” Newsweek, 4 01 1988 , 40 – 48 Google Scholar . Subsequent 1980s retrospectives included special issues of Life, People, and TV Guide in the fall and winter of 1989, and features in Esquire, Glamour, Essence, U.S. News and World Report, Christianity Today, Business Week, Discover, Seventeen, Ladies' Home journal, and Sport. Life's first decade-in-review issue appeared in 1940. A survey of the Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature suggests that the “1960s” produced the most retrospectives to date. It has become increasingly common in these journalistic histories to hint at problems in writing about decades and then to ignore such caveats completely.

2 “In Brief Review,” The Bookman, 10 1926 , 236 Google Scholar . Interestingly, the Reader's Guide did not list any articles about decades until 1940.

3 Kennedy , David M. , “ Revisiting Frederick Lewis Allen's Only Yesterday ,” Reviews in American History , 14 ( 1986 ), 309 .CrossRefGoogle Scholar

4 Life, for example, noted in 1940 that “More than a calendar decade, the 1930s were an era – with precise chronological limits. The era began on Oct. 29, 1929, with the stock-market crash and ended on Sept. 3, 1939, with Great Britain's declaration of war on Adolf Hitler.” The article then cited Allen's , sequel to Only Yesterday – Since Yesterday: The Nineteen-Thirties in America, September 3, 1929 – September 3, 1939Google Scholar – and noted its “even neater historical bracketing.” See “The Thirties: An Album,” Life, 26 02 1940 , 67 Google Scholar . Barol's use of the 1987 stock market crash to end the 1980s in the Newsweek retrospective suggests an attempt to tap into the popular conception of the 1920s.

5 Allen , Frederick Lewis , Only Yesterday: An Informal History of the Nineteen-Twenties ( New York : Harper & Brothers , 1931 ), xiv .Google Scholar

8 Kennedy , , 314 –16Google Scholar Allen , , 112 .Google Scholar

9 The application of labels for decades, regardless of the positive or negative connotations of these labels, enhances the sense of social cohesion: for example, the “Roaring Twenties,” the “Turbulent Sixties,” or the “Me Decade.” As the editors of Life wrote in 1969, “It is tempting for historians – and perhaps even more so for journalists – to paste a specific label on a decade. Life has labeled this special double issue on the 1960s ‘The Decade of Tumult and Change.’ It certainly was that.” See “A Divided Decade: The '60s,” Life, 26 12 1969 , 8 Google Scholar . Even this label of a “divided decade” implied shared experiences, common responses, and unified movement from “a brisk feeling of hope” to “a growing swell of demands for extreme and immediate change” or, more succinctly, “turbulence.”

10 Allen , , 186 , 189Google Scholar Kennedy , , 312 . The emphasis is Allen's.Google Scholar

11 Allen , Frederick Lewis , transcript of radio broadcast, Armstrong Quakers' program, WJZ and NBC network, 8 12 1931 Google Scholar , Frederick Lewis Allen Papers, Library of Congress Allen , , Only Yesterday, 121 .Google Scholar

12 Allen , , Only Yesterday, 356 –57 Allen, WJZ radio broadcast, Allen Papers.Google Scholar

13 Marling , Karal Ann , Wall-to-Wall America: A Cultural History of Post Office Murals in the Great Depression ( Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press , 1982 ), 9 Google Scholar Allen , , Only Yesterday, 206 Google Scholar Kennedy , , 313 Google Scholar See also Susman , Warren I. , “Culture and Commitment” and “The Culture of the Thirties,” in Culture as History: The Transformation of American Society in the Twentieth Century ( New York : Pantheon , 1984 ), 150 –83, 184– 210 .Google Scholar

14 Book-of-the-Month Club News, 11 1931 Google Scholar , Allen Papers. For a compelling interpretation of BOMC and its panel of judges, see Rubin , Joan Shelley , “ Self, Culture, and Self-Culture in Modern America: The Early History of the Book-of-the-Month Club ,” Journal of American History , 71 ( 1985 ), 782 – 806 .CrossRefGoogle Scholar

15 Cardinal's Literature Committee, The Catholic Book Survey, 06 1932 , 5 , Allen Papers.Google Scholar

16 Life offered similar reassurances of progress in its '60s issue: “This issue contains its full share of turbulence and angry faces, but it would be the height of pessimism to read these as portents of disaster. In the record of history the times of greatest change and progress are never tranquil. The passage of America through the '60s seems in close retrospect too frantic and troubled, but out of such travail other times have yielded better worlds. That hope should sustain and guide us as we move forward into the '70s.” See “A Divided Decade,” 9. In 1940, Collier's reasoned that since the bright hopes for the 1930s had crumbled, the “glum” outlook for the 1940s might well prove mistaken: “[E]verything seemed to be jogging along pretty promisingly when 1930 came in, and practically everything went sour soon after the thirties got under way. Isn't it possible that the sour promises of 1940 may go sweet before too long?” See “Dangerous Decade,” Collier's, 6 01 1940 , 50 Google Scholar And Time combined the messages of optimism and social cohesion in its epitaph for the 1970s: “There is an impression now of national unity, a feeling that the U.S. is emerging from the privatism and divisions of the Me Decade.” See Morrow , Lance , “ Epitaph for a Decade: A Lost War, A Discovery of Limits – and Good Cause for Optimism ,” Time , 7 01 1980 , 39 .Google Scholar

17 Rubin , , 789 –96Google Scholar See also Lears , T. J. Jackson , “From Salvation to Self-Realization: Advertising and the Therapeutic Roots of the Consumer Culture, 1880–1930,” in Fox , Richard Wightman and Lears , T. J. Jackson (eds.), The Culture of Consumption: Critical Essays in American History, 1880–1980 ( New York : Pantheon , 1983 ), 1 – 38 Google Scholar , and Marchand , Roland , Advertising the American Dream: Making Way for Modernity, 1920–1940 ( Berkeley : University of California Press , 1985 ).Google Scholar


Only yesterday : an informal history of the 1920's

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Community Reviews

I have a bias against older nonfiction books as I don&apost think they age well. The evidence gets old, the arguments get settled or the style becomes out-dated and the read just isn&apost the same. Well, Frederick Allen Lewis sure showed me up. He wrote Only Yesterday in 1931 and it read like it was written last year.

Lewis was an editor at the Atlantic and I wonder if his style has influenced later writers there. He is crisp, funny and has a strong point of view throughout. I loved his description of I have a bias against older nonfiction books as I don't think they age well. The evidence gets old, the arguments get settled or the style becomes out-dated and the read just isn't the same. Well, Frederick Allen Lewis sure showed me up. He wrote Only Yesterday in 1931 and it read like it was written last year.

Lewis was an editor at the Atlantic and I wonder if his style has influenced later writers there. He is crisp, funny and has a strong point of view throughout. I loved his description of the motivations of Klan members:

". but it white robe and hood, its flaming cross, its secrecy, and the preposterous vocabulary of it ritual could be made the vehicle for all that infantile love of hocus-pocus and mummery, that lust for secret adventure, which survives in the adult whose lot is cast in drab places. Here was a chance to dress up the village bigot and let him be a Knight of the Invisible Empire."

It doesn't hurt that the subjects feel particularly relevant today. Lewis covers racism, populism, and the infatuation with celebrity, sports, and trifling events, at the expense of vital issues. He describes the madness of the stock bubble and the shouting down of anyone who call into question the riches to be made. He also looks at the cult of business (the business of America is business, and all that) and at the how religion and business began to use each other's language. He describes a very popular book called the Man Nobody Knows which argued that Jesus was the founder of modern business thanks to his executive experience and his skills at advertising.

Reading this book, I was both happy and sad to see that we as a society have many of the same problems. On the downside, there are many problems that we have failed to conquer for so long. On the plus side, our time is not a uniquely debased one. . more

A very thorough review of the very turbulent decade of the 1920s. As James Howard Kunstler said in a recent podcast (probably quoting somebody else), "History doesn&apost repeat itself, but it rhymes." We find a lot of "rhyming&apos with recent years in the story of the 1920s: starting the decade with a blind faith in the power of capital, and attacking those who question the irrational exuberance of the dedication to material gain the rise of sports and entertainment as dominant forces in American cul A very thorough review of the very turbulent decade of the 1920s. As James Howard Kunstler said in a recent podcast (probably quoting somebody else), "History doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes." We find a lot of "rhyming' with recent years in the story of the 1920s: starting the decade with a blind faith in the power of capital, and attacking those who question the irrational exuberance of the dedication to material gain the rise of sports and entertainment as dominant forces in American culture the failure of Prohibition, and the rise of organized crime as a result and the naivete of those who expected "prosperity" to continue forever. (Republicans never change, do they?) Many more comparisons can be found in the text.

Overall a very interesting observation of the USA of the time, from politics to culture, and everyday life. I'll be reading (or listening to) the sequel ("Since Yesterday") sometime soon.

Only Yesterday by Frederick Lewis Allen

A near-contemporaneous and well written narrative of the 1920’s that still feels fresh today. Allen has a gift for story telling. Within the fourteen distinct chapters here there are a lot of interesting details that I learned. Most of the book is geared towards American attitudes in the big cities as there isn’t much coverage on rural areas. I guess we have to look to Sinclair Lewis and others for that main street perspective.

This is not an excessively li Only Yesterday by Frederick Lewis Allen

A near-contemporaneous and well written narrative of the 1920’s that still feels fresh today. Allen has a gift for story telling. Within the fourteen distinct chapters here there are a lot of interesting details that I learned. Most of the book is geared towards American attitudes in the big cities as there isn’t much coverage on rural areas. I guess we have to look to Sinclair Lewis and others for that main street perspective.

This is not an excessively liberal interpretation of history like Howard Zinn’s ‘A People’s History of the United States’. But there are some parallels and common sympathies for the average Joe. This book is focused on a smaller number of years and at 300 pages is not a lengthy read which made it more of an enjoyable read for me than Zinn’s bible.

Here are some notes on interesting facts and some of the chapters that I enjoyed most.

The Big Red Scare

Aggressive and extra-judicial actions were taken by local officials in fear of Communist bogeymen. This paranoia was fueled by U.S. Attorney General Palmer who began targeting Reds in 1919. One such outcome was

In Hartford, while the suspects were in jail the authorities took the further precaution of arresting and incarcerating all visitors who came to see them, a friendly call being regarded as prima facie evidence of affiliation with the Communist party.

Repression of free speech came from many of the same hate groups who targeted socialists and communists. These groups perverted their cause further by going after minorities, Jews and Catholics. In Chicago there was the case of a black boy who drowned after being stoned by a mob for swimming into an area near a ‘whites only’ beach. Dozens of riots followed in Chicago and hundreds lost their lives. In Tulsa the Wall Street Massacre of black Americans occurred largely because others were viewed as a threat to the white establishment. Elsewhere Jews were targeted by none other than Henry Ford - the most visible (or perhaps the wealthiest) anti-Semite in America. Not surprisingly KKK enrollment soared during this period.

The Revolution in Manners and Morals

In this interesting chapter we unsurprisingly learn that the dress code and mores of young people were rapidly changing following the Great War …

In July, 1920, a fashion-writer reported in the New York Times that “the American woman has lifted her skirts far beyond any modest limitation,” which was another way of saying that the hem line was now all of nine inches above the ground. It was freely predicted that skirts would come down again in the winter but instead they climbed a few scandalous inches further.

and by 1927 skirt lines were above the knee

Supposedly nice girls were smoking cigarettes … It was not until F. Scott Fitzgerald, who had hardly graduated from Princeton and ought to know what his generation was doing, brought out This Side of Paradise in April 1920 that fathers and mothers realized what was afoot and how long it had been going on.

But why had this revolution come about?

First of all was the state of mind brought about by the war and its conclusion. A whole generation has been infected by the eat-drink-and-be-merry-for-tomorrow-we-die spirit which accompanied the departure of the soldiers to the training camps and the fighting front. There had been an epidemic not only of abrupt war marriages, but of less conventional liaisons.

One American nurse who came back from the front in Europe said in 1920 to an Atlantic Monthly reporter

“The older generation pretty much ruined this world before passing it on to us. They give us this thing, knocked to pieces, leaky, red-hot, threatening to blow up and then they are surprised that we don’t accept it with the same attitude of pretty, decorous enthusiasm with which they received it, way back in the eighties [1880s]”

Women had recently gained the right to vote and there more economic opportunities opening to them. Freud and European views on sex were becoming more popular. Practical hairdos like bobs were popular and cosmetic sales exploded. Men and women now drank together. Contraceptives were now popular. Surveys indicated that half of high school kids were engaging in sex of one degree or another. These factors led to liberation.

Harding and the Scandals

In this chapter Allen seems to have a clear eyed view of Harding. Over the years after Harding’s death we see the drip-by-drip release of scandalous news. Early on there was a lot of historical whitewashing of Harding’s image.

Warren Harding had two great assets, and these were already apparent. First he looked as a President of the United States should. He was superbly handsome …. And he was the friendliest man who ever entered the White House. He seemed to like everybody, he wanted to do favors for everybody, he wanted to make everybody happy …. His liabilities were not at first so apparent, yet they were disastrously real. Beyond the limited scope of his political experience he was almost unbelievably ill informed … If he had been discriminating in the choice of his friends and advisors, all might have been well … Nor did Harding appear to be able to distinguish between honesty and rascality … And why did he choose such company? The truth was that under his imposing exterior he was just a common small-town man.

Allen touches on the Teapot Dome scandal, the corruption of the Veteran’s bureau,one administration official committed suicide rather than testifying before Congress, the affair and the love child. But most American’s didn’t care at the time during this era of prosperity. In fact most condemnation was directed towards those Senators who were uncovering the scandals. Over time the senators and other Harding detractors would be vindicated but it took until the 1930’s for Harding’s image to be entirely ruined.

In the next chapters Allen covers the radio era, the expansion of the auto industry and Ford in particular. During this post war period America becomes the financier to the world. This led, in part, to the Stock Market Crash and subsequent Depression. On the Coolidge chapter we learn that Coolidge never made any effort to “persuade the American people that they were not happily isolated from the outside world.” Coolidge was the right president for America of the late 1800’s but not the 1920’s. He was principled and frugal but he never seriously contemplated the complexities of a global economy.

Allen discusses horse racing, boxing, the mah-jong craze, the Lindbergh flight and the Scopes Monkey Trial in a chapter entitled the Ballyhoo Years. There was a detailed assessment of H.L. Mencken. Mencken was an American critic who wrote of the insane excesses of the period and the harbinger of the Great Depression.

Alcohol and Al Capone

In this chapter, Allen focuses on Chicago.

Nothing in recent American history is more extraordinary, as one looks back from the nineteen-thirties, than the ease with which - after generations of uphill fighting by the drys - prohibition was finally written upon the statute-books. The country accepted it not only willingly, but almost absent-mindedly.

After the Volstead Act was passed and Prohibition was enacted, it was clear that enforcement was hopeless in such a large country with porous borders and so many legal variants of near liquor that could be modified into outlaw liquor. Allen suggests that within months of the new law that Capone’s boss Johnny Torio decided to corner all the booze in Chicago and pegged Capone as his enforcer. Capone subsequently invented new methods of murder never seen before. These included shooting Thompson sub-machine guns into the car sitting at the stop light and driving away without any real consequences. Capone’s terror began in 1920 many years before the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre of 1929 when perfecting their depravity Capone’s men dressed as policeman in order to mow down the opposition as they stood lined up against the wall waiting to be frisked.

Allen points out that although prohibition is blamed for the rise of organized crime most of the actual increase in barbarity came about from the rise of automobiles. Largely because of the ease at which assassins could get from point A to B, commit a murder, flee the scene and even to dispose of bodies. I guess it would be significantly harder to bring out the horse and wagon every time you needed to dispose of a body. Interestingly enough the violence wasn’t all done with guns either - there were more than a hundred bombings in Chicago in 1929 alone.

Home Sweet Florida

This was an interesting but odd chapter. This era brought about the raising of Miami and south Florida from the Everglades estuaries and swamps. Allen writes that in 1925 alone there were 25,000 real estate agents selling land and homes in and around Miami and south Florida! The area went from a population of 30,000 in 1920 to 150,000 by 1930. But there were two developments beginning in 1926 that created a large number of communities in South Florida to go bankrupt prior to the crash. They were both caused by deadly hurricanes. And more deadly hurricanes continued into the ‘30s.

No malevolent Providence bent upon the teaching of humility could have struck with a more precise aim than the second and worst of these Florida hurricanes. It concentrated upon the exact region where the boom had been the noisiest and most hysterical - the region about Miami. Hitting the Gold Coast early in the morning of September 18, 1926, it piled the waters of Biscayne Bay into the lovely Venetian developments, deposited a five-masted steel schooner high in the street at Coral Gables, tossed big steam yachts on the avenues of Miami, picked up trees, lumber, pipes, tile, debris, and even small automobiles and sent them crashing into the houses, ripped the roofs off jerry-built cottages and villas, almost wiped out the town of Moore Haven on Lake Okeechobee, and left behind it some four hundred dead, sixty-three hundred injured, and fifty thousand homeless.

Imagine a place were nearly half the population was homeless. As one could expect the real estate in South Florida plunged and it would be more than a decade before it fully recovered. For the real estate speculators the focus would move to Wall Street in 1927.

The last two chapters cover the Bull Market and the Crash. It was notable that Hoover ran on Republican prosperity and rode the wave of stock market exuberance. In 1928 - at least on the surface - the economic drivers were positive. In fact he was so positive of the progress that he said America could wipe out poverty. Allen points out many times that such words would come back to bite Hoover when he would abandon the needs of the poverty stricken and stubbornly refuse to help.

In the final pages there are some nice summaries but not so much new information. Allen relates the mood and sense of failure that gripped the country in 1930 following the crash a few months earlier and we begin to see American culture move away from intellectualism and the fine arts. Not so much a move from elitism altogether - that wouldn’t happen until the Barry Goldwater campaign in 1964.

If you are a history buff and like popular culture then this book will resonate. My favorite era of history is the period from 1910 to 1930 so I especially enjoyed this book. There is also some truly exceptional literature from this period that helps bring these years into focus but this was as good a summary of the 20s that I have read.

What makes this history of the 1920&aposs so fascinating is that it was published in 1931. This is no cold and bloodless text, no sentimental blue fog draped over the past. It feels immediate. It&aposs very well written. And, yes, there are parallels. If I didn&apost know any better, I&aposd swear the author was intentionally alluding to current events. At times, it reads almost like a joke: ". [the] song that gave the Post-war Decade one of its most persistent and wearisome phrases, &aposI&aposll Say She Does.&apos"

Or a What makes this history of the 1920's so fascinating is that it was published in 1931. This is no cold and bloodless text, no sentimental blue fog draped over the past. It feels immediate. It's very well written. And, yes, there are parallels. If I didn't know any better, I'd swear the author was intentionally alluding to current events. At times, it reads almost like a joke: ". [the] song that gave the Post-war Decade one of its most persistent and wearisome phrases, 'I'll Say She Does.'"

Or a warning: "It was an era of lawless and disorderly defense of law and order, of unconstitutional defense of the Constitution, of suspicion and civil conflict. "

I had wanted to escape into the past and discovered that we never learn anything.

Everyone should read this. . more

Much modern popular history is mendacious, written with an ideological agenda that deliberately distorts, or omits, or simply lies about, the truth. Sometimes, therefore, reading history written in the past can offer better information. Earlier historians were often more objective, ideology being less prevalent. Their biases, if they have any, are usually obvious. Thus I thought that "Only Yesterday," a semi-famous history of the 1920s, published in 1931 by a mass-market journalist/intellectual Much modern popular history is mendacious, written with an ideological agenda that deliberately distorts, or omits, or simply lies about, the truth. Sometimes, therefore, reading history written in the past can offer better information. Earlier historians were often more objective, ideology being less prevalent. Their biases, if they have any, are usually obvious. Thus I thought that "Only Yesterday," a semi-famous history of the 1920s, published in 1931 by a mass-market journalist/intellectual of the time, Frederick Lewis Allen, might teach me something new about that decade. But I found, to my sorrow, that I learned little new, and I was instead again reminded of how early the rot in America’s ruling classes set in.

In today’s common imagination, the 1920s are the “Roaring Twenties”—an economic boom combined with a new focus on the freedom to do as one pleased (even if Prohibition was the law of the land). The HBO series "Boardwalk Empire" gives a flavor of the times—or at least reflects the common imagination. Only Yesterday contains nothing that is not precisely in-line with today’s common imagination about the decade, which suggests one of two things. Either today’s common imagination correctly reflects the reality of the 1920s—or today’s common imagination was shaped by men like Allen, with their own agenda, and does not fully reflect reality.

After reading this book, I conclude the latter seems more likely. It would appear that since all his readers lived through the period he covers, Allen could not distort history. Up to a point, that’s true, since he couldn’t simply lie like many modern historians do. But Allen still distorts, because he is preaching to the choir—he is writing to people like him, members of the 1920s professional-managerial elite, sympathetic to the Progressives and Woodrow Wilson, violently opposed to Calvin Coolidge, and eager to find and support a candidate like Franklin Roosevelt, although he is nowhere mentioned in this book. Allen’s main air is one of supercilious superiority he knows what is good for the country, and he is pleased to be able to report that the benighted masses are generally getting with the program advocated by their betters. He reports the 1920s through this lens, not objectively. And that his book has been used for decades in schools and colleges reinforces my conclusion that our image of the 1920s, in particular that it was a decade of moral progress, rather than moral decay, arises from this book and the ideology its author pushes.

Allen begins with a great deal of detail about Wilson’s attempts to force America to join the League of Nations. Using a combination of over-the-top language about the utopia the League would bring and what he knew to be falsehoods about the League’s origin and purpose, Wilson, the first ideological President, desperately tried to get America to take the medicine he was sure would be good for it. “He warned his audiences that if the Treaty were not ratified, disorder would shake the foundations of the world, and he envisioned ‘those heights upon which there rests nothing but the pure light of the justice of God.’ ” But America, we know, was not interested, something Allen attributes mostly to a lack of “idealism” and a desire to return to “normalcy,” along with a variety of special interests, not to simply a clear-eyed rejection of what Wilson had to offer. Wilson failed, as we also know.

In the next section, Allen’s prejudices really begin to show. He sneers at length at “The Big Red Scare.” I don’t know how significant the Communist threat in America was in 1919 and 1920. Certainly, there were many militants demanding Communism and anarchism, and the war atmosphere, combined with the Bolshevik victory in Russia and numerous bombings of public places in America killing hundreds of people (with an impact on society like September 11th on us), certainly led many to rationally believe that Communism was a real present threat to America. That it didn’t turn out to be a problem in the end does not prove that it was not a problem at the time. Communists certainly were a huge problem later, in the 1940s and 1950s, when circumstances were more favorable to Communist traitors and to Communist power gains. Not to mention that the crackdown on Communists in 1919 may have prevented it being a bigger problem in 1921.

Allen’s claim, though, is that the public was stupid, the “Red Scare” was a chimera put out by the Attorney General, Mitchell Palmer, for no good reason while Wilson was incapacitated and unable to stop him, and there was zero basis for concern. Allen, who has nothing to say about the massive suspensions of civil liberties by Wilson and the federal government during World War I, nor about the hundreds of African Americans killed in race pogroms at the exact same time as the so-called Red Scare in places like Tulsa, claims that this period was “in a very literal sense, a reign of terror,” even though no Communist was harmed or killed (except a few executed for proven crimes) and within a few months they could stop even looking over their shoulders. The reader concludes that suppression of the Left is Allen’s only concern, and that suggests that he’s simply protecting his own kind and enlarging their freedom for future operation.

That said, it’s certainly possible Allen is objectively describing the ideological oppression that he says briefly swept over the country for a few months. Students and businessmen, he says, were only able to state their real opinions in whispers schoolteachers were made to sign ideological commitments college professors were dismissed for wrongthink the media spread historical propaganda and much more along the same lines. All of it is very familiar, because it is precisely the treatment conservatives suffer under in America today, under constant vicious attack by the woke Left that controls all the levers of power. In 1919, though, things quickly returned to normal, whereas our current Scare isn’t a scare at all, but a deliberate attempt to exercise total ideological dominance and total power. That’s why today’s atmosphere of Left terror has lasted for years, not months, is accelerating, not slowing, and is very unlikely to stop unless it is stopped by force.

This is also the chapter in which we are introduced to Calvin Coolidge, not by name, but as the Governor of Massachusetts, “an inconspicuous, sour-faced man with a reputation for saying as little as possible and never jeopardizing his political position by being betrayed into a false move.” Allen’s treatment of Coolidge, the substance of whose Presidency he barely mentions, further betrays his bias in favor of the Left. Coolidge’s "Autobiography" is “smug” in all his writings and speeches “the most original thing you will find in them is his uncompromising unoriginality.” For no given reason at all, Allen claims “his presidential record was surprisingly negative.” He was “uninspired and unheroic”—Allen wants, obviously, the so-called inspiration and heroism that the Progressives and other men of the Left foisted on America.

As to the common people, Allen complains that in the 1920s “public spirit,” that is, eagerness for Left nostrums, “was at low ebb.” Instead, Americans filled up their time with becoming excited about boxing matches and local crimes given national attention, sniffs Allen, along with crosswords and mah-jongg. Allen is glad that at least religiosity declined, accelerated by the appearance of the prosperity gospel and by propaganda pushing science as exalting itself over religion. But what makes up for it in Allen’s eyes is “The Revolution in Manner and Morals” and its effect on the common people, both of which he celebrates, not analyzes. (And revolution was no doubt what it was, although nothing compared to what the Baby Boomers managed to bequeath to us since the late 1960s.) Allen attributes the new moral laxity to many factors: the war, the “growing independence of the American woman,” arising from labor-saving housekeeping devices and an increased ability to be employed outside the home Freudianism automobiles Prohibition and mass media, especially movies and the new risqué magazines. Slickly, he deliberately confuses new hairstyles and clothing with substantive changes in morals, a motte-and-bailey technique allowing him to respond to any criticism of the corrosive social effect of lax sexual morality with a snippy comment about rubes who think that hairstyles have a moral component.

What is very evident is that in every area, the ruling classes set new low standards permitting and encouraging hugely increased moral laxity, which quickly filtered down to the lower orders. Among the “prosperous classes,” “It was better to be modern, —everybody wanted to be modern, —and sophisticated, and smart, to smash the conventions and to be devastatingly frank.” Allen loves all of the resulting moral laxity spreading through the country. Obscene material is, righteously, “upheld by a liberal judge and endorsed by intelligent public opinion.” Those trying to maintain the rules on obscenity found “the intellectuals of the whole country were laughing at them. . . . [T]he taste of the country demanded a new sort of reading matter.” That is, for Allen, the “taste of the country” is really the “taste of the left-wing intellectuals.” He even has a whole chapter celebrating left-wing intellectuals, whom he calls “highbrows,” such as Sinclair Lewis (and also H. L. Mencken, not strictly speaking left-wing but just as corrosive), and magazines like the "American Mercury" (where the odious Albert Jay Nock got his start). This is contrasted with the “hinterlands [where] there was still plenty of old-fashioned sentimental thinking about sex,” leading to “frantic efforts to stay the tide of moral change” by people unable to “all at once forget the admonitions of their childhood.” Sure, Allen says, this laxity led to some temporary bad manners, but was all to the good with a few years of practice in the new laxity.

The masses experienced, despite Prohibition, a great deal of new freedom, the release from old moral codes and expectations, and for Allen, this is all to the good, as long as they keep the right people in charge. Not necessarily in charge of the government—the federal government did not have the powers it does now, and its only real relevancy was in foreign affairs and, as the Progressive agenda of hugely expanding federal power began its first major project, Prohibition. Rather, in charge of society at every level.

Allen covers Prohibition and the resulting big-city crime, especially Al Capone. He admits Prohibition sharply reduced alcohol consumption, and resultant pathologies, among the common people, but “among the prosperous classes which set the standards of national social behavior, alcohol flowed more freely than ever.” In other words, the rotten ruling classes of the 1920s were responsible for the ills of Prohibition, too. When Allen wrote this book, Prohibition was still in effect, so there is no resolution, just lots of text about the social ills resulting. Other chapters cover land speculation boom and bust in Florida, and, for the last third of the book, the run-up in the stock market and the subsequent crash, in more detail than is really interesting.

At the end, the modern reader has learned nothing new about the 1920s, and as I have shown, has good reason to suspect he has been led by the nose down the ideological garden path. Like so much else used in the educational system today, this book is still force-fed to present-day students because it is useful as propaganda to advance the indoctrination of the Left. I suspect that there exist now-obscure works that portray an entirely different picture of the 1920s. Find those books, and give them to your children, not this toxic mush. . more


The Lords of Creation: The History of America's 1 Percent (Forbidden Bookshelf)

To understand why the Great Recession happened, start here.

Today, many Americans puzzle over why the Great Recession happened. Amazon lists more than 1,000 books on the subject. But readers today might benefit from taking a longer view. Because, as Frederick Lewis Allen told the tale in The Lords of Creation nearly ninety years ago, the conditions that arose in the Gilded Age and the Roaring Twenties and lay at the root of the Depression bear an uncanny resemblance to those of the current era be To understand why the Great Recession happened, start here.

Today, many Americans puzzle over why the Great Recession happened. Amazon lists more than 1,000 books on the subject. But readers today might benefit from taking a longer view. Because, as Frederick Lewis Allen told the tale in The Lords of Creation nearly ninety years ago, the conditions that arose in the Gilded Age and the Roaring Twenties and lay at the root of the Depression bear an uncanny resemblance to those of the current era beginning late in the 1970s.

When Allen’s book appeared in 1935, the United States (and the world) was in the throes of the Great Depression. The previous year the nation’s economy had begun its long, slow climb out of the depths reached in 1933. Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal was beginning to pay off. But policymakers and the public alike yearned to understand how things had gotten so bad. And economists were almost without exception among those who celebrated the 1920s boom up until the day it went bust. So, historians like Harper’s Magazine editor Frederick Lewis Allen took up the challenge to explain what lay behind the greatest economic catastrophe in American history. He found the roots of the crisis in the emergence of the trusts, the holding companies, and stock watering late in the nineteenth century. The Lords of Creation makes the case in lively, readable prose.

Common themes in America’s economic history

“Run out and buy Europe for me.”

During the decades following the Civil War (1961-65), American business grew big. What began as small, family-owned enterprises gobbled up competitors right and left and grew into massive corporations called “trusts“—first Standard Oil, then many others in railroads, banking, utilities, and other industries. Allen notes that “by 1900 the census showed that there were no less than 185 industrial combinations in existence.” Their success boosted the economy and set off wild speculation in the securities markets. “The center of gravity of American industrial control was moving, and the direction of its movement was immensely significant. It was moving toward Wall Street.” Allen adds: “That aptest commentator of the day, Finley Peter Dunne’s ‘Mr. Dooley,’ described Morgan as now being able to say to one of his office boys, ‘Take some change out iv th’ damper an’ r-run out an’ buy Europe for me.'”

The Progressives and the muckrakers

Beginning shortly before the turn of the twentieth century, “muckrakers” such as Ida M. Tarbell and Lincoln Steffens exposed the abuses through investigative journalism. Self-identified Progressives moved to curb Wall Street’s many abuses through laws limiting the financiers’ freedom of action. And the federal government under Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Woodrow Wilson began to enforce antitrust law that, one by one, broke up some of the very biggest of the ventures. (Roosevelt thundered about “malefactors of great wealth,” although his efforts to do anything about them seemed half-hearted.) But the Progressive movement was spent by the 1920s. The titans of Wall Street and Big Business simply invented clever new devices to work around the laws, such as they were. And successive Republican administrations during the Roaring Twenties declined to rein in the wild speculation that led to the stock market Crash of 1929. The US government in the years leading up to 2007 was equally ineffectual, so it should be no surprise why the Great Recession happened.

Contrasting Big Business in 1929 with today’s

“In 1929,” Allen reports, “there were over three hundred thousand non-financial corporations in the country.” Today, there are 32.5 million. Then, “the biggest two hundred of these giants controlled nearly half of all the corporate wealth and did over two-fifths of the business in the non-financial field.” Now, according to Fortune magazine, “Fortune 500 companies represent two-thirds of the U.S. GDP with $13.7 trillion in revenues, $1.1 trillion in profits, $22.6 trillion in market value, and employ 28.7 million people worldwide.” In other words, despite everything done over the course of the twentieth century to regulate business, the private sector was more concentrated and the biggest companies more powerful than they’d been in 1929 after a decade of runaway speculation. Is it really hard to understand why the Great Recession happened?

Forerunners of the tech giants

Does any of that sound alien today in the age of Google, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft? In a world where the managers of the top hedge funds take home pay of a billion dollars or more every year? Does the “pro-business” orientation of the Reagan, Clinton, Bush, and Trump administrations sound notably different from those of the men at the helm of the nation in the 1920s? And do the reforms introduced in the 1960s and under Barack Obama seem to have made enough of a difference to prevent another major economic reversal? Economists say they haven’t.
The men who defined capitalism as we know it today

Much of Allen’s argument rests on his study of the men he identifies as central to the story. Their stories are revealing as we seek to understand why the Great Recession happened. In chronicling events during the first phase of the tale, from roughly 1890 to 1920, he cites ten individuals. Fifty make the list for the period 1920 to 1935. Most of the names on the larger list have vanished into the mists of history, no doubt because with few exceptions they were all losers in the Wall Street casino of the 1920s. Not so with those Allen points to in the earlier period, whom I’ve grouped into three categories. Consider how many of these ten names are still familiar today. And take note that, with one exception, they all died at least ninety-nine years ago. Yet they all have Wikipedia entries in 2021.

J. Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913), the grand old man of Wall Street. Allen calls him “Old Jupiter.” Architect of United States Steel, International Harvester, General Electric, and other market-dominating corporations. As Wikipedia notes, he “dominated corporate finance on Wall Street throughout the Gilded Age.” He was widely quoted to insist to an inquisitive reporter who asked him whether he owed the public an explanation about the stock market panic he had helped cause that “‘I owe the public nothing.'” His bank morphed into today’s JPMorgan Chase & Co. through many, many mergers over the years. Today, it’s by far the biggest bank in the US.

George F. Baker (1840-1931), Morgan’s right-hand-man. President of the First National Bank whom Allen describes as “solid, tenacious, and silent.” According to Wikipedia, “at his death he was estimated to be the third richest man in the United States, after Henry Ford and John D. Rockefeller.” As TIME magazine said of him in its 1924 cover story, “True, he is twice as rich as the original J. P. Morgan, having a fortune estimated at 200 millions. True, at the age of 84 when he has retired from many directorates, he dominates half a dozen railroads, several banks, scores of industrial concerns.”

James Stillman (1850-1915), “the brilliant and cold-blooded president of the National City Bank,” forerunner of today’s Citibank. Under his leadership, the bank may have become the biggest in the Western Hemisphere and was certainly the biggest in the US. As an investigation by the House of Representatives revealed, “the indirect influence of Morgan, Baker, Stillman, and their aides was prodigious.”

Jacob H. Schiff (1847-1920), German-born Jewish American banker, businessman, and philanthropist. In Allen’s words, “the shrewd and kindly head of the banking house of Kuhn, Loeb & Co.” Foremost Jewish leader in the United States for the last four decades of his life. At first, a rival to J. P. Morgan, later a close collaborator.

John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937), founder of Standard Oil, which trustbusters spun off into companies that today have the names ExxonMobil, Marathon Petroleum, Amoco, and Chevron, among others. The world’s richest man in his day. Some scholars estimate he would be worth $400 billion today, although I’ve seen other estimates putting the total at around $175 billion, which is slightly less than the net worth reported for Jeff Bezos of Amazon and Elon Musk of Tesla and SpaceX.

Edward H. Harriman (1848-1909), who built a nationwide railroad empire on the backs of the Union Pacific Railroad through mergers and stock market operations. J. P. Morgan called him “that little fellow Harriman.” The old man’s contempt notwithstanding, Allen points out, “Harriman may thus be regarded as two men in one—a sharp financier on the make, and an extraordinary railroad builder.” He was the father of Averell Harriman, one of the “Wise Men” who dominated US foreign policy in the 1950s and 60s.

The investors and speculators

William K. Vanderbilt (1849-1920), a grandson of Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt. He was “the indolent chief representative of a family still powerful in the railroad and investment world.” Vanderbilt managed his family’s railroad investments and was active in horse-racing. His daughter Consuelo marrried Charles Spencer-Churchill, 9th Duke of Marlborough, a close friend of his first cousin Winston Churchill.

William Rockefeller (1841-1922), John D.’s younger brother, a cofounder of Standard Oil who turned to speculating in securities. Wikipedia: “He helped to build up the National City Bank of New York, which became Citigroup. He was also part owner of Anaconda Copper Company, which was the fourth-largest company in the world in the late 1920s.”

Henry Huttleston Rogers (1840-1909), a leader at Standard Oil and active in the gas industry, copper, and railroads. According to his biographer: “pitiless in business deals, in his personal affairs he was warm and generous.” Wikipedia: “After 1890, he became a prominent philanthropist, as well as a friend and supporter of Mark Twain and Booker T. Washington.” But in business he was contemptuous of any effort to look into his affairs. In one court case, he “refused to admit knowing where the offices of the Standard Oil Company of Indiana were” and added “‘It is quite immaterial to me what the Supreme Court of Missouri desires me to say to them, other than what I have testified.'”

James R. Keene (1838-1913), “a stock exchange operator of commanding skill and prestige.” He was a Wall Street stockbroker and, like William Vanderbilt, a major thoroughbred race horse owner and breeder.

Still famous, a century later

You’ll note that every one of these ten men was born between 1837 and 1850. And with the single exception of John D. Rockefeller Sr. (who was retired by then) they had all passed from the scene by the beginning of the 1920s. Yet even after the passage of nearly two centuries what these men did in their lifetimes set the scene for the Great Depression. And their impact has continued to the present day, when the American economy still reflects attitudes they held and legislation they influenced so very long ago. Yes, during the Progressive Era, the New Deal, and again in the 1960s and beyond, the Federal government moved to regulate the conduct of Wall Street and Big Business. But in almost every meaningful respect, the system the Robber Barons began to build in the late nineteenth century endures to this day. It’s called capitalism, and we in the United States experience a particularly freewheeling variety of the system.

For more than three decades, Frederick Lewis Allen (1890-1954) edited Harper’s Magazine. Under his aegis, Harper’s held sway as one of America’s preeminent intellectual journals. He was the author of six books of history and biography, of which The Lords of Creation was the second to be published. Allen held a Master’s degree from Harvard, where he taught for a time before his first job as an editor at age twenty-four at the Atlantic Monthly. . more


ALLEN, FREDERICK LEWIS

Frederick Lewis Allen (July 5, 1890–February 13, 1954) was a writer, magazine editor, and popular historian. The son of an Episcopalian minister, Allen was descended from a line of estimable New Englanders that went back to the Mayflower. He received a superb education at Groton School and then at Harvard University, where he helped edit the literary magazine, and earned a B.A. in English in 1912 and an M.A. in modern languages in 1913. In 1914, he was hired by the prestigious Atlantic Monthly. After working for the Council on National Defense from 1917 to 1918 and a stint as Harvard's publicity manager from 1919 to 1923, Allen was hired as an editor for Harper's Magazine and spent the rest of his career there, becoming Harper's editor-in-chief in 1941. A skillful and sensitive editor, Allen attracted distinguished contributors to Harper's and solidified the magazine's reputation for intelligence and literary brilliance. He stole evenings and weekends from his editorial duties, however, to write the books that were to make him famous.

In 1931, Allen published his best-known work, Only Yesterday: An Informal History of the Nineteen-Twenties. It was a remarkable survey of American popular culture from 1919 to 1929, written in a lively and engaging style, and filled with dramatic anecdotes and colorful personalities. Notable both for its acute perceptions of recent times and for its appeal to the general reading public, Only Yesterday sold more than a million copies and ran through twenty-two printings. Although Allen's book, along with numerous other influences, may have helped to fasten to the 1920s its exuberant, carefree, jazz-age image, it should not be dismissed as mere popularization: The historian William Leuchtenburg remarked that Only Yesterday was "written in such a lively style that academicians often underrate its soundness."

Allen tried to duplicate his success with a look at the 1930s, Since Yesterday: The Nineteen-Thirties in America, published in 1940. It was inevitably a more somber and serious portrait, emphasizing economic hardship, Franklin Roosevelt, and the darkening international scene. Since Yesterday retained the absorbing literary style of the earlier work and also became a best-seller, although it never reached the success of Only Yesterday. In addition to these two works, Allen wrote three important books in his trademarked manner: The Lords of Creation (1935) was a study of Wall Street high finance, centering on the figure of J. P. Morgan, a subject to which Allen returned in The Great Pierpont Morgan (1949). Finally, Allen attempted a survey of the first half of the twentieth century in The Big Change: America Transforms Itself, 1900–1950 (1952).

Allen was respected and admired by his colleagues, not only for his literary talents, but also for his generosity, modesty, fairness, and compassion. He died in New York City at the age of sixty-three.


Frederick Lewis Allen - History

In 1931, a journalist named Frederick Lewis Allen published a volume of informal history that did more to shape the popular image of the 1920s than any book ever written by a professional historian. The book, Only Yesterday , depicted the 1920s as a cynical, hedonistic interlude between the Great War and the Great Depression--a decade of dissipation, jazz bands, raccoon coats, and bathtub gin. Allen argued that World War I shattered Americans' faith in reform and moral crusades, leading the younger generation to rebel against traditional taboos while their elders engaged in an orgy of consumption and speculation.

The popular image of the 1920s, as a decade of prosperity and riotous living and of bootleggers and gangsters, flappers and hot jazz, flagpole sitters, and marathon dancers, is indelibly etched in the American psyche. But this image is also profoundly misleading. The 1920s was a decade of deep cultural conflict. The pre-Civil War decades had fundamental conflicts in American society that involved geographic regions. During the Gilded Age, conflicts centered on ethnicity and social class. Conversely, the conflicts of the 1920s were primarily cultural, pitting a more cosmopolitan, modernist, urban culture against a more provincial, traditionalist, rural culture.

The decade witnessed a titanic struggle between an old and a new America. Immigration, race, alcohol, evolution, gender politics, and sexual morality all became major cultural battlefields during the 1920s. Wets battled drys, religious modernists battled religious fundamentalists, and urban ethnics battled the Ku Klux Klan.

The 1920s was a decade of profound social changes. The most obvious signs of change were the rise of a consumer-oriented economy and of mass entertainment, which helped to bring about a "revolution in morals and manners." Sexual mores, gender roles, hair styles, and dress all changed profoundly during the 1920s. Many Americans regarded these changes as liberation from the country's Victorian past. But for others, morals seemed to be decaying, and the United States seemed to be changing in undesirable ways. The result was a thinly veiled "cultural civil war."


Biography

Frederick Lewis Allen (July 5, 1890 Boston, Massachusetts - February 13, 1954 New York City) was the editor of Harper's Magazine and also notable as an American historian of the first half of the twentieth century. His specialty was writing about what was at the time recent and popular history. He studied at Groton and graduated from Harvard University in 1912 and received his Master's in 1913. He taught at Harvard briefly thereafter before becoming assistant editor of the Atlantic Monthly in 1914, and then managing editor of The Century in 1916. He began working for Harper's in 1923, becoming editor-in-chief in 1941, a position he held until shortly before his death. His wife, Dorothy Penrose Allen, died just prior to the publication of Only Yesterday.

Allen's popularity coincided with increased interest in history among the book-buying public of the 1920s and 1930s. This interest was met, not by the university-employed historian, but by an amateur historian writing in his free time. Aside from Allen, these historians included Carl Sandburg, Bernard DeVoto, Douglas Southall Freeman, Henry F. Pringle, and Allan Nevins (before his Columbia appointment).

His best-known books were Only Yesterday (1931), a book chronicling American life in the 1920s, and Since Yesterday (1940), which covered the Depression of the 1930s. His last and most ambitious book, The Big Change, was a social history of the United States from 1900 to 1950. Allen also wrote two biographies, the first of which was about Paul Revere Reynolds, a literary agent of the era. This work is notable because it contains a chapter about Stephen Crane, but is difficult to find because it was privately published.

The Frederick Lewis Allen Memorial Room in the New York Public Library was established by the Ford Foundation in 1958. It is Room 228e on the second floor of the library, and is fully accessible to wheelchair users. However, admission is limited to writers currently under book contract to a publishing company.


Frederick Lewis Allen

Frederick Lewis Allen (July 5, 1890 – February 13, 1954) was the editor of Harper's Magazine and also notable as an American historian of the first half of the twentieth century. His specialty was writing about what was at the time recent and popular history.

Allen was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He studied at Groton, graduated from Harvard University in 1912 and received his Master's in 1913. He taught at Harvard briefly thereafter before becoming assistant editor of the Atlantic Monthly in 1914, and then managing editor of The Century in 1916. He began working for Harper's in 1923, becoming editor-in-chief in 1941, a position he held until shortly before his death, aged 63, in New York City. His wife, Dorothy Penrose Allen, died just prior to the 1931 publication of his best-known book, Only Yesterday.

Allen's popularity coincided with increased interest in history among the book-buying public of the 1920s and 1930s. This interest was met, not by the university-employed historian, but by an amateur historian writing in his free time. Aside from Allen, these historians included Carl Sandburg, Bernard DeVoto, Douglas Southall Freeman, Henry F. Pringle, and Allan Nevins (before his Columbia appointment). [1]

His most famous book was the enormously popular Only Yesterday (1931), which chronicled American life in the 1920s. Since Yesterday (1940), a sort of sequel that covered the Depression of the 1930s, was also a bestseller. The 1933 Hollywood film "Only Yesterday" was ostensibly based on his book, but actually used only its timeline, with a fictional plot adapted from a Stefan Zweig novel.

He wrote the Introduction to Dr Mabel S Ulrich's collection of essays by notable woman writers of the day, including Mary Borden, Margaret Culkin Banning, Sylvia Townsend Warner, Susan Ertz, E. M. Delafield, Rebecca West, Isabel Paterson and Storm Jameson, The More I See Of Men (Harper & Brothers, 1932).

His last and most ambitious book, The Big Change, was a social history of the United States from 1900 to 1950. (He had originally written a Harper's article about how America had changed between 1850 and 1950, but decided to limit the chronological scope of his book.) Allen also wrote two biographies, the first of which was about Paul Revere Reynolds, a literary agent of the era. This work is notable because it contains a chapter about Stephen Crane, but is difficult to find because it was privately published.

In 1950, Allen was one of five narrators for the RKO Radio Pictures documentary film, The Golden Twenties, produced by Time, Inc.. [1]

The Frederick Lewis Allen Memorial Room in the New York Public Library was established by the Ford Foundation in 1958. [2] It is Room 228e on the second floor of the library, and is fully accessible to wheelchair users. [2] However, admission is limited to writers currently under book contract to a publishing company [ why? ] . [2]


Watch the video: G GERSHWIN RHAPSODY IN BLUE Arr. LEONID EGOROV (May 2022).