Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Signficant Sentences. Only Yesterday. Frederick Lewis Allen. Continued.

History of the 1920s (continued).

The policy of the Coolidge administration let well enough alone. p. 130.

...he [Coolidge] exhibited an unruffled and altogether convincing calm. p. 130.

Mass production was not confined to automobiles; there was mass production in news and ideas as well. p. 133.

The national mind had become as never before an instrument upon which a few men could play..... They discovered--the daily tabloids were daily teaching them--that the public tended to become excited about one thing at a time. p. 134.

The prestige of science was colossal. The man in the street and the woman in the kitchen, confronted on every hand with new machines and devices which they owed to the laboratory, were ready to believe that science could accomplish almost anything. p. 140.

...a new dictum from Albert Einstein was now front-page stuff even though practically nobody could understand it. p. 140.

The word 'science' had become a shibboleth. To preface a statement with 'science teaches us' was enough to silence argument. p. 141.

Something that people needed, if they were to live at peace with themselves and with the world, was missing from their lives. And all at once Lindbergh provided it. Romance, chivalry, self-dedication--here they were embodied in a modern Galahad for a generation that had forsworn Galahads. Lindbergh did not accept the moving-picture offers that came his way, he did not sell testimonials, he did not boast, did not get himself involved in scandal, conducted himself with unerring taste--and was handsome and brave withal.... One of the things which had endeared Lindbergh to his admirers had been his indifference both to easy money and to applause. p. 156.

(To be continued)

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