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By Susan Currell

The Twenties observed the us upward thrust to its present prestige because the prime global superpower, matched by way of an rising cultural dominance that characterised the second one half the 20 th century. This booklet presents an stimulating account of the foremost cultural and highbrow tendencies of the last decade which have been pivotal to its characterization as 'the jazz age'. Currell's e-book locations universal representations of the 'roaring twenties' and the 'lost iteration' into context via chapters on literature, song and function, movie and radio, and visible paintings and layout, along the remarkable upward push of rest and intake within the Nineteen Twenties

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We cannot go on giving you health, freedom, enlargement, limitless wealth, if all our gifts to you are to be swamped by an indiscriminate torrent of progeny. 114 The new civilisation evoked by Wells and Sanger tapped into modern scientific thought: ‘Recent developments in the realm of science, – in psychology, in physiology, in chemistry and physics – all tend to emphasized the immediate necessity for human control over the great 32 American Culture in the 1920s forces of nature’, she argued.

Mencken saw more danger than humour in the success of the prosecution: ‘Let no one mistake it for comedy, farcical though it may be in all its details. 73 While the trial had few intellectual or legal consequences for either side involved (the Butler Law was not repealed until 1967), the issues that it raised remain significant within American society today, in debates about freedom of speech, freedom of science, public education and the still-raging debates over evolution, creationism and ‘intelligent design’.

Barely mentioning ‘colored’ races, The Revolt Against Civilization neatly summarises eugenic thinking of the 1920s, which blamed all social and political problems on genetic decline. 94 Stoddard complemented his theories with further books interpreting world history in racial terms: The New World of Islam and Racial Realities in Europe (1924). In Reforging America (1927) he highlighted how white America could rebuild its ‘native’ stocks and assimilate white immigrants into the fold. While Stoddard represented a trend rather than a founder of such ideas, his writings undoubtedly contributed to the widespread popularity and dissemination of racist ideology in the 1920s.

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