1922 was a year of great turbulence and upheaval. Its events reverberated throughout the rest of the twentieth century and still affect us today, 100 years later.
Empires fell. The Ottoman Empire collapsed after more than six centuries. The British Empire had reached its greatest extent but its heyday was over. The Irish Free State was declared and demands for independence in India grew. New nations and new politics came into existence. The Soviet Union was officially created and Mussolini's Italy became the first Fascist state.
In the USA, Prohibition was at its height. The Hollywood film industry, although rocked by a series of scandals, continued to grow. A new mass medium - radio - was making its presence felt and, in Britain, the BBC was founded. In literature it was the year of peak modernism. Both T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land and James Joyce's Ulysses were first published in full.
In society, already changed by the trauma of war and pandemic, the morals of the past seemed increasingly outmoded; new ways of behaving were making their appearance. The Roaring Twenties had begun to roar and the Jazz Age had arrived.
1922 also saw the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb, the arrest of Mahatma Gandhi, the death of Marcel Proust, the election of a new pope, the release of the first major vampire movie, and the brief imprisonment in Munich of an obscure right-wing demagogue named Adolf Hitler.
In a sequence of vividly written sketches, Nick Rennison conjures up all the drama and diversity of an extraordinary year.
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With this kaleidoscopic review of 1922, the main entrance to the Roaring Twenties, the author offers us an engrossing and very multifaceted approach to a pivotal year situated four long years after the end of one of the bloodiest and destructive conflicts the World has ever known in contemporary history. Compelling & entertaining, this rollicking journey will take you through twelve eventful months in history, politics and culture with lots of fascinating details & engaging protagonists as a very bruised and shattered World starts to slowly but surely recover from its wounds and steadfastly tries to get back on tracks after the long and rather tumultuous maelstrom of the postwar years. A brilliant and unusual tapestry of a remarkable year to be enjoyed without any moderation. Let's hope now that 2022 will turn out to be a little bit more sedate. One can only hope🤞 Many thanks to Netgalley and Oldcastle for this terrific ARC
This sprightly tour of the year 1922 touches on a range of events, themes and characters and includes passion, murder, comedy, public life, politics, art, science and adventure, subjects which are often in interplay in these short narratives. It moves smoothly between the deep South of America and the corridors of power in London, between those in high office and entertainers. I thoroughly enjoyed the journey. There are some very odd people and some very strange events tucked away in the year 1922. Nick Rennison brings these people and events to life in a series of telling, often moving, vignettes. Lynch mobs and crimes of passion sit alongside aviation feats, Shackleton,s last voyage and the arrival of Louis Armstrong into Chicago. This is a cornucopia of riches which has left me ready to look more deeply into much of the material presented in summary form here.
Although not obviously especially resonant, 1922 was a reasonably eventful year in global history. In Italy, a rally organised by Benito Mussolini got out of hand, resulting in a 'March on Rome' and, almost accidentally, the establishment of the world's first fascist state. In Britain, the BBC began broadcasting for the first time. TS Eliot's The Wasteland was published. Music hall legend, Marie Lloyd died. Harold R. Harris became the first man ever to successfully bail himself out of a plane by using a parachute. An eventful year indeed: all of these events occurred just in the month of October.. On a month by month basis, Nick Rennison's readable popular history book explores a number of the year's events. We learn about feats of speed and aviation, early Hollywood scandals, sporting successes, notorious trials and about Howard Carter's discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb. We learn about the rise of the flapper (20s slang for any thoroughly modern fun-loving young woman) and the fall of the Ottoman Empire. Assassins strike,, American lynch mobs converge, in newly Soviet Russia, the ailing Lenin watches as Trotsky and Stalin battle to succeed him. The world recovers from a global pandemic. A fascinating snapshot of the vanished world of a century ago.
The major, often world-changing events of the tumultuous year that is now nearly a century ago (of course, it will be a century when the book is published in 2022) are brought to life by Nick Rennison in this excellent book. After the horrors of the First World War and the Spanish flu pandemic, people just wanted to have a good time, and 1922 was the year that kicked off the “Roaring Twenties”. Hollywood was starting to grow despite frequent salacious scandals which would make our modern starlets blush. The momentous events of 1922 are listed month by month, beginning in January with the Fatty Arbuckle trials and ending in December with the creation of the USSR. In between are Hollywood murders, Walt Disney and Alfred Hitchcock cutting their teeth in films, assassinations, trials, wars, publication of classic works of literature (including James Joyce’s “Ulysses”) disasters, the discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb, violent strikes and the first FA Cup final to be decided on a (dodgy) penalty. And that is merely scratching the surface. 1922 was also the year that racial tensions exploded violently in the USA; Rennison’s depiction of racially motivated lynchings and atrocities are very graphic so be warned. Each event is vividly brought to life by the author in a series of distinct, unfussy snapshots, without artifice or unnecessary waffle. Let’s hope 2022 turns out to be much more boring. Thanks to NetGalley and Oldcastle Books for allowing me to view an advanced reading copy of this title.
With this review of 1922, the main entrance to the Roaring Twenties, the author offers us an engrossing and very multifaceted approach to a pivotal year situated four long years after the end of one of the bloodiest and destructive conflicts the World has ever known in contemporary history. Compelling & entertaining, this rollicking journey will take you through twelve eventful months in history, politics, and culture with lots of fascinating details & engaging protagonists as a very bruised and shattered World starts to slowly but surely recover from its wounds and steadfastly tries to get back on tracks after the long and rather a tumultuous maelstrom of the postwar years. A brilliant and unusual tapestry of a remarkable year to be enjoyed without any moderation.
I am not normally a fan of historical literature but the 1920s was an era that fascinates me, so i gave this a try! Wow, I loved it! It was a great read, and I am so glad i gave into that beautiful cover!
1922: Scenes from a Turbulent Year is quick-fire history, the past related in bite-size chunks, month by month through one year. In many ways, it's a great format for a popular history book: Rennison covers a lot of ground and packs in some really interesting facts. I enjoyed the contrast of headline stories - be they from sport or science, art or politics - and I got swept up in the zeitgeist of the 1920s. On the other hand, a lot of context has been sacrificed to keep this book light and concise, and certain themes and countries (US, UK and Ireland in particular) are explored more than others. I think it definitely helps if you have a reasonable general knowledge of twentieth century Western history before you pick up this book, and there were quite a few names and events I wanted to dig deeper into after I'd put it down. A welcome addition to popular history, and a fitting way to reflect on 100 years of history as we approach 2022.