One Summer Book Summary - One Summer Book explained in key points
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One Summer summary

Bill Bryson

America, 1927

4.1 (21 ratings)
12 mins

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One Summer by Bill Bryson is a historical non-fiction that provides a fascinating account of America's incredible summer of 1927. The book chronicles the events that made this summer unforgettable and its impact on the world.

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    One Summer
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    The United States was behind the rest of the world in aviation until Charles Lindbergh’s flight across the Atlantic.

    It’s hard to imagine the United States without planes. The United States Air Force is a global powerhouse, red-eye flights take people from coast to coast every night and one of the largest airplane producers in the world is American. But this wasn’t always the case.

    Airplanes were rare in the US military before 1914, but the outbreak of World War I showed military leaders how useful they really were. Airplane production and use increased exponentially during the war; planes were used for monitoring enemy troops, directing artillery fire and dropping aerial bombs.

    Civilian aviation increased after the war, but only in Europe. Flights became widespread in post-war Europe, with Germany safely transporting 151,000 passengers by 1927, France operating nine airlines and British airlines racking up nearly a million miles per year.

    Following the war, Americans didn’t develop their aviation at the same rate; passenger air services didn’t exist at all until the spring of 1927.

    But Charles Lindbergh’s flight across the Atlantic completely changed things, especially as it prompted greater interest in aviation among everyday Americans.

    Lindbergh set out from New York in his plane, The Spirit of St. Louis, on May 20th, 1927 and landed in Paris the next day. He became the first person in history to be in the two cities on back-to-back days, which earned him the highly coveted Orteig Prize in aviation.

    Lindbergh’s extraordinary accomplishment captivated the world’s attention and imagination. His fame helped promote commercial air services, but also aviation in general. In fact, it spurred around $100 million in aviation investments in the United States.

    Within a year of Lindbergh’s flight, the airplane manufacturer Boeing grew from being a small company in Seattle to employing a thousand people.

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    What is One Summer about?

    One Summer (2013) tells the story of the summer of 1927, a particularly pivotal three months in American history. The summer of 1927 marked the emergence of the United States as a major power on the international scene and set the stage for the Great Depression of the ‘30s. One Summer takes a closer look at a number of 1927’s important events, such as Charles Lindbergh’s famous flight across the Atlantic Ocean, Babe Ruth’s recording-breaking 60 home runs in a season and the execution of Italian anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti.   

    One Summer Review

    One Summer by Bill Bryson (2013) is a captivating account of America's unforgettable summer of 1927 and why it should be on your reading list. Here's why this book is worth your attention:

    • Packed with intriguing historical details, it brings to life the extraordinary events and personalities that shaped America during that summer.
    • Featuring a diverse range of topics such as politics, sports, culture, and science, it offers a comprehensive look at the country at a fascinating time.
    • With its rich storytelling and Bryson's engaging narrative style, the book transforms history into an entertaining and informative journey.

    Best quote from One Summer

    Americans take more care over the breeding of cattle and horses than of their own children. - American Eugenics Society

    —Bill Bryson
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    Who should read One Summer?

    • Anyone interested in baseball, anarchism or the Great Depression
    • Anyone curious about the roots of American hegemony
    • Anyone interested in the dark reality behind the glitz of the roaring ‘20s

    About the Author

    Bill Bryson is the best-selling author of over a dozen books, including The Mother Tongue, Notes From a Small Island and A Short History of Nearly Everything, which won the 2004 Aventis Prize.

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    One Summer FAQs 

    What is the main message of One Summer?

    The main message of One Summer is the transformative power of historical events and their impact on society.

    How long does it take to read One Summer?

    The reading time for One Summer varies depending on the reader's speed. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is One Summer a good book? Is it worth reading?

    One Summer is a captivating read for history enthusiasts. It offers a fascinating account of a pivotal summer in American history.

    Who is the author of One Summer?

    The author of One Summer is Bill Bryson.