Sunday, April 22, 2007

Significant Sentences: Only Yesterday (concluded)

Significant Sentences: Only Yesterday. Frederick Lewis Allen. History of the 1920s.

"Millions of men and women turned to Hoover because they thought Smith would make the White House a branch office of the Vatican, or turned to Smith because they wished to strike at religious intolerance...." p. 213.

"Meanwhile, one heard, the future of American industry was to be assured by the application of a distinctly modern principle...increased consumption.... If we all would only spend more and more freely, the smoke would belch from every factory chimney, and dividends would mount.". p. 220.

"The Big Bull Market was dead. Billions of dollars' worth of profits--and paper profits--had disappeared. The grocer, the window-cleaner, and the seamstress had lost their capital. In every town there were families which had suddenly dropped from showy affluence into debt. Investors who had dreamed of retiring to live on their fortunes now found themselves back once more at the very beginning of the long road to riches. Day by day, the newspapers printed the grim reports of suicides." p. 241.

"Prosperity is more than an economic condition; it is a state of mind. The Big Bull Market had been more than the climax of a business cycle; it had been the climax of a cycle in American mass thinking and mass emotion. There was hardly a man or woman in the country whose attitude toward life had not been affected by it in some degree and was not now affected by the sudden and brutal shattering of hope." p. 242.

"The self-generating effect of the depression itself: Each bankruptcy, each suspension of payment...affected other concerns, until it seemed almost as if the business world were a set of features ready to knock one another over as they fell; each employee thrown out of work decreased the potential buying power of the country." p. 245.

"The great American public was just as susceptible to fads as ever. Since the panicky autumn of 1929, millions of radios had resounded every evening at seven o'clock with the voices of Freeman F. Gosden and Charles J. Correll, better known as Amos 'n' Andy: 'I's regusted' and 'Check and double check' had made their way into the common speech.... There were almost 30,000 miniature golf courses in operation, representing an investment of $125,000,k000, and many of them were earning 300 percent a month." p. 252.

"Soon the mists of distance would soften the outlines of the nineteen-twenties and men and women, looking over the pages of a book such as this, would smile at the memory--of those charming, crazy days when the radio was a thrilling novelty, and girls wore bobbed hair and knee-length skirts and a transatlantic flier became a god overnight [Lindbergh], and common stocks were about to bring us all to lavish utopia.... They would talk about the good old days." p. 255.

No comments: