Extended Audio Sample

Download One Summer: America, 1927 Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample One Summer: America, 1927 Audiobook, by Bill Bryson Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (1 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Bill Bryson Narrator: Bill Bryson Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2013 ISBN: 9780739315309
Regular Price: $25.00 Add to Cart
— or —
BEST PRICE!
FlexPass™ Price: $20.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

A Chicago Tribune Noteworthy Book
A GoodReads Reader's Choice

In One Summer Bill Bryson, one of our greatest and most beloved nonfiction writers, transports readers on a journey back to one amazing season in American life.


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, and when he landed in Le Bourget airfield near Paris, he ignited an explosion of worldwide rapture and instantly became the most famous person on the planet. Meanwhile, the titanically talented Babe Ruth was beginning his assault on the home run record, which would culminate on September 30 with his sixtieth blast, one of the most resonant and durable records in sports history. In between those dates a Queens housewife named Ruth Snyder and her corset-salesman lover garroted her husband, leading to a murder trial that became a huge tabloid sensation. Alvin “Shipwreck” Kelly sat atop a flagpole in Newark, New Jersey, for twelve days—a new record. The American South was clobbered by unprecedented rain and by flooding of the Mississippi basin, a great human disaster, the relief efforts for which were guided by the uncannily able and insufferably pompous Herbert Hoover. Calvin Coolidge interrupted an already leisurely presidency for an even more relaxing three-month vacation in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The gangster Al Capone tightened his grip on the illegal booze business through a gaudy and murderous reign of terror and municipal corruption. The first true “talking picture,” Al Jolson’s The Jazz Singer, was filmed and forever changed the motion picture industry. The four most powerful central bankers on earth met in secret session on a Long Island estate and made a fateful decision that virtually guaranteed a future crash and depression.
     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, eye for telling detail, and delicious humor. In that year America stepped out onto the world stage as the main event, and One Summer transforms it all into narrative nonfiction of the highest order.


From the Hardcover edition. Download and start listening now!

196766

Quotes & Awards

  • Bryson writes in a style as effervescent as the time itself... A wonderful romp. The New York Times
  • ...A skillful lesson on the dynamics and personalities that shaped today's America and on how far the country has evolved from a gaudy era fondly but imperfectly recalled. Wall Street Journal
  • There are two kinds of readers: those who love Bill Bryson and those who haven't met him yet... Colorful, rollicking and sweet, this is Bryson being Bryson. Which is to say: marvelous. People
  • A glorious look at one summer in America...Bryson offers delicious detail and breathtaking suspense about events whose outcomes are already known. Booklist, Starred Review
  • "This splendid book, written in the breezy and humorous style that has come to be Bryson's trademark, is sure to delight readers steeped in the history of the period as well as those looking to acquaint themselves with it for the first time. The Associated Press
  • Bryson will set you right in this canter through one summer of one year that—once you’ve turned the final page—will seem more critical to American history than you might have reckoned before… [He] is a master of the sidelong, a man who can turn obscurity into hilarity with seemingly effortless charm—and One Summer is an entertaining addition to a body of work that is at its best when it celebrates the unexpected and the obscure… This is a jolly jalopy ride of a book; Bryson runs down the byways of American history and finds diversion in every roadside stop. Financial Times
  • "...Bryson himself is captivated by the events of summer, 1927. And why not? They included Charles Lindbergh's solo flight over the Atlantic, Sacco and Vanzetti's execution, Gutzon Borglum's start on the sculpting of Mt. Rushmore, the Dempsey-Carpentier fight, and Babe Ruth's 60 home runs—all of which Bryson covers in characteristically sparkling prose. Publishers Weekly

    "As a historian, Bryson is the antithesis of stuffy. He's a storyteller, pure and simple, and One Summer is a collection of a great many tales about people and events, centered on (but not limited to) a single season in a single year... Bryson could have written a book just as interesting about the summer of 1949 or 1913. That's because his subject isn't really a year. It's human nature in all its odd and amazing array.
  • The book's strength is in showing the overlap of significant events and the interaction of personalities. Library Journal
  • What comes across clearest in Bryson’s lucid, lighthearted narrative is the pure energy and crazed optimism of the era. Sure, the rollicking party would end, but it was fun while it lasted—as is Bryson’s One Summer. Minneapolis Star-Tribune
  • ...One Summer wins you over by the sheer weigh tof its encyclopedic enthusiasms. The Telegraph
  • Bryson is a marvelous historian, not only exhaustively accurate, but highly entertaining. If you avoid textbook histories because they seem too dry, pick up One Summer, or any other of Mr. Bryson's books. They are intelligent delights. Liz Smith, The Huffington Post
  • Highly recommend One Summer: America, 1927 by Bill Bryson—interesting, entertaining visit to an incredible year. John McCain
  • “Colorful, rollicking, and sweet, this is Bryson being Bryson. Which is to say: marvelous.”

    People

  • “Bryson writes in a style as effervescent as the time itself…a wonderful romp…Bryson is best at deflating our nostalgia for the era, even as he upholds its importance.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “A skillful lesson on the dynamics and personalities that shaped today’s America and on how far the country has evolved from a gaudy era fondly but imperfectly recalled.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “As a historian, Bryson is the antithesis of stuffy. He’s a storyteller, pure and simple, and One Summer is a collection of a great many tales about people and events, centered on (but not limited to) a single season in a single year... Bryson could have written a book just as interesting about the summer of 1949 or 1913. That’s because his subject isn’t really a year. It’s human nature in all its odd and amazing array."

    Chicago Tribune

  • “What comes across clearest in Bryson’s lucid, lighthearted narrative is the pure energy and crazed optimism of the era. Sure, the rollicking party would end, but it was fun while it lasted—as is Bryson’s One Summer.”

    Minneapolis Star-Tribune

  • “Bryson will set you right in this canter through one summer of one year that…will seem more critical to American history than you might have reckoned before…[He] is a master of the sidelong, a man who can turn obscurity into hilarity with seemingly effortless charm—and One Summer is an entertaining addition to a body of work that is at its best when it celebrates the unexpected and the obscure…This is a jolly jalopy ride of a book; Bryson runs down the byways of American history and finds diversion in every roadside stop.”

    Financial Times

  • “Bryson is a marvelous historian, not only exhaustively accurate, but highly entertaining. If you avoid textbook histories because they seem too dry, pick up One Summer, or any other of Mr. Bryson’s books. They are intelligent delights.”

    Huffington Post

  • “A glorious look at one summer in America…Bryson offers delicious detail and breathtaking suspense about events whose outcomes are already known.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Bill Bryson is a true master of popular narrative. Over the course of his career, he has bestowed a beautiful clarity on even the most recondite of subjects…With this book, he proves once again that he is able to juggle any number of different balls…while never letting a single one drop…Has history ever been so enjoyable?”

    Mail on Sunday (London)

  • “Few writers of nonfiction, and, let’s be honest, few enough writers of novels, can crack the narrative whip like Bryson. One Summer fairly whirls along…Full of exhilarating, fact-filled fun…Surely the most sublime distraction published this year.”

    Observer (London)

  • “A gripping slice of history with all sorts of reverberant echoes of today…Bryson, the travel writer turned nonfiction impresario, has now invented what may be an entirely new genre of nonfiction: the brief history of an era told through the biography of a summer. It is a book from which you can read many lessons or just revel in the writing.”

    Times (London)

  • “A fascinating snapshot of a season during which America, for better or worse, ushered in the modern world.”

    Sunday Times (London)

  • “A gifted raconteur…The book is filled with eccentric, flamboyant characters and memorable stories…Highly amusing.”

    Guardian (London)

  • “Bryson himself is captivated by the events of summer, 1927. And why not? They included Charles Lindbergh’s solo flight over the Atlantic, Sacco and Vanzetti’s execution, Gutzon Borglum’s start on the sculpting of Mt. Rushmore, the Dempsey-Carpentier fight, and Babe Ruth’s 60 home runs—all of which Bryson covers in characteristically sparkling prose.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • A New York Times bestseller
  • An AudioFile Editors’ Pick, October 2013
  • A Publishers Weekly bestseller
  • A USA Today bestseller
  • A Washington Post bestseller
  • An Amazon Top 100 Book of 2013
  • A Chicago Tribune Noteworthy Book of 2013
  • A GoodReads Readers’ Choice of 2013
  • A Washington Post Best Audiobook of 2013
  • A Los Angeles Times bestseller
  • A 2013 Booklist Editors’ Choice for Adult Books
  • An NPR bestseller
  • A 2014 Audie Award Finalist for Best History Narration
Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author
Author Bill Bryson

Bill Bryson is the New York Times bestselling author of At HomeA Walk in the WoodsThe Lost ContinentMade in AmericaThe Mother Tongue, A Short History of Nearly Everything—winner of the Aventis Prize—and various other works. Born in Des Moines, Iowa, he now lives in England, where he has worked for both the Times and Independent and written for most other major British and American publications.