The Modern Temper by Lynn Dumenil
American Culture and Society in the 1920s

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When most of us take a backward glance at the 1920s, we may think of prohibition and the jazz age, of movies stars and flappers, of Harold Lloyd and Mary Pickford, of Lindbergh and Hoover--and of Black Friday, October 29, 1929, when the plunging stock market ushered in the great depression.

But the 1920s were much more. Lynn Dumenil brings a fresh interpretation to a dramatic, important, and misunderstood decade. As her lively work makes clear, changing values brought an end to the repressive Victorian era; urban liberalism emerged; the federal bureaucracy was expanded; pluralism became increasingly important to America's heterogeneous society; and different religious, ethnic, and cultural groups encountered the homogenizing force of a powerful mass-consumer culture. The Modern Temper brings these many developments into sharp focus.


About Lynn Dumenil

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Lynn Dumenil, professor of history at Occidental College, earned her Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkeley. She is the author of "Freemasonry and American Culture, 1880-1930," She lives in Venice, California
Published June 30, 1995 by Hill and Wang. 369 pages
Genres: History. Non-fiction

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Most significantly, women entered the workplace and demanded greater autonomy in determining their economic, social, political, and sexual future, although as Dumenil notes, ``the new women's liberation [was the domain of] white, relatively affluent women, and had relatively little meaning to poo...

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Publishers Weekly

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Turning to the flip side of the '20s' flapper image, Dumenil looks at the darker side of the decade forming the ``central motifs that have shaped the modern American temper.'' Between the end of WWI a

Jul 03 1995 | Read Full Review of The Modern Temper: American C...

Publishers Weekly

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Dumenil points to the mass consumer culture, corporate mentality, job structure that eroded individual autonomy, assembly lines, intense special-interest lobbying in Washington and the fusion of sexuality with consumption as among the decade's legacies to later American culture.

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