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Only Yesterday: An Informal History of the Nineteen-Twenties

by Frederick Lewis Allen
New York: Harper Perennial, 2000. 352 pages.

Written by the editor of Harper's magazine in 1931, the still-in-print Only Yesterday recounts the events of the Roaring Twenties with verve and enthusiasm. "No one," according to the historian Roderick Nash, "has done more to shape the conception of the American 1920s than Frederick Lewis Allen." The Scopes trial, as the major news story of the summer of 1925, receives plenty of attention, although Edward J Larson complains that Allen "presented the trial in cartoonlike simplicity" and "perpetuated various misconceptions about events at Dayton."