June 4, 2015 | AmyJo
The summer of 1927 began with one of the signature events of the twentieth century: on May 21, 1927, Charles Lindbergh became the first man to cross the Atlantic by plane nonstop. Meanwhile, Babe Ruth was beginning his assault on the home run record, and Alvin "Shipwreck" Kelly sat atop a flagpole in Newark, New Jersey, for twelve days. At the same time, the gangster Al Capone tightened his grip on the illegal booze business and the first true "talking picture," Al Jolson's "The Jazz Singer," was filmed and forever changed the motion picture industry. All this and much, much more transpired in that epochal summer of 1927, and Bill Bryson captures its outsized personalities, exciting events, and occasional just plain weirdness with his trademark vividness.