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Roaring 20’s

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Eric Foner, author of Give Me Liberty; An American History offers an objective view into the 1920’s while Frederic Lewis’s Only Yesterday portrays a firsthand account of the time period. Lewis wrote his account less than two years later, which may have limited the readers’ ability to get a full account of all details of the time frame. While in many ways it works in Lewis’s advantage having written his story so shortly after it also does not allow for enough time to pass which could in turn create biased views. Foner on the other hand was able to gather information from many sources and as a result created possibly a more informative historical report. While for the most part both authors have the same general storyline there are slight differences such as Foner offers reliable accounts of this historical era while Lewis’s version may be tainted with a more opinion based account.

When reading Lewis’s perception of women in the 1920’s, he paints a vivid picture in the mind of the reader. He describes everything in such detail from the hair on their head to the length of their skirts.

Foner’s lack of description leaves much to be desired. Lewis’s accounts are descriptive and fascinating to read while in my opinion Foner drones on and basically regurgitates facts upon the reader.

Women of this time period were living during a period of great change. While women of the 1920’s were experiencing many new freedoms such as voting and job opportunities they continued to be suppressed in the home life. Women were expected to be docile creatures with long hair that never argued with their husbands and set an example for their children. While many husbands were out drinking during the times that prohibition was not in effect women were at home worrying about the future of their youth. In this ever changing society children were testing the limits of their parents. Many children were experimenting with smoking and drinking but on a more regular basis they were overstepping their boundaries in their own homes. Many children were prone to back talk in the 1920’s which was unheard of before this time.

There also were many fashion trends that women were following. Short hair was unheard of on a woman and Lewis describes an account where a woman was told that had they known she had a short hairstyle before the business deal they never would have refused her the right to rent a hall. It was a period of rebellion for women and many women refused to follow the standards of society. These women engaged in smoking and often wore skirts considered too short. Bills were presented in many states vetoing women to wear skirts that did not meet a certain standard. In Utah a bill was proposed

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