Redrawing the New York-Comics Relationship

Subjective Ramblings and Peripheral Thoughts from the Edges of a Comics Studies Project

Review: Capital of the World: A Portrait of New York City in the Roaring Twenties

Capital of the World: A Portrait of New York City in the Roaring Twenties
Capital of the World: A Portrait of New York City in the Roaring Twenties by David Wallace

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Capital of the World has an attention-grabbing subtitle – A Portrait of New York City in the Roaring Twenties. Sadly, the book does not really deliver what it promises: on balance, it isn’t really about New York nor about the 1920s. Collecting a number of capsule biographies about people who were active in New York in that decade, it all too often dedicates more attention to years before or after the supposedly central decade and about people who are only tangentially related to the city. It is also sprinkled with unrelated anecdotes and factiods that make for interesting reading but aren’t supported by historical evidence. When one adds that the writing style is dry (despite attempts at humor) and repetitive, this book turns out to be a major disappointment. Readers interested in the 1920s should turn instead to Nathan Miller’s New World Coming: The 1920s And The Making Of Modern America, or Bill Bryson’s One Summer: America, 1927 (reviewed here), both of which keep closer to their promised topic and are stylistically far superior.

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This entry was posted on October 27, 2014 by in Uncategorized.
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