Chapter Twenty-Six: The Roaring Twenties
In this lecture you will learn about that zany and formative hothouse decade of the Roaring Twenties. Specifically, you will learn the eight reasons that these years became a roar of pleasure in the modern age, and why, in the end, the party concluded with a wince of pain rather than a smile of satisfaction. You will discover in this lecture many anomalies about this first national celebration of the country's unprecedented and widespread prosperity, like why alcohol was banned at the party, why foreigners and immigrants weren't invited but gangsters were included, why Americans took a new interest in religion but at the same time joined the Ku Klux Klan in record numbers, why Americans traveled so much while staying home was never more entertaining, why the technologies of progress and prosperity bounded upward and onward on wings of faith and innovation while nobody was willing to bring any energy to fixing the weaknesses of the economic system that supported it all, and why, in foreign affairs, Americans naively supported an international proclamation to “outlaw war in the world” but then didn't answer the phone when old friends and former allies in Europe called to ask for help in doing just that. Yes, the Roaring Twenties was a decade of contradictions, and in this lecture you will discover why. You will also discover the many ways that this zany decade became a kind of “canary in the coal mine” for modern times, especially in the calamitous way that it ended. Seldom in our history has a single decade offered so transparent a window for Americans to see their future by looking at their past. This file is 2 hr. 34 min. in length and 141 MB in size. You may download it twice. Give it plenty of time to do so.