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Jonathan YardleyUnlike that other famous and mythologized American decade of the 20th century, the '60s, much of which actually took place in the '70s, the '20s really were a self-contained decade. Yes, they began with the end of World War I in 1918 and the beginning of Prohibition in 1919, but these were preludes, just as the slide into nationwide Depression in 1930-31 was an afterword. Allen had the prescience to understand this immediately, and the skill to synthesize an immense amount of discrete material, to interpret it with intelligence and without sentimentality, and to write about it with grace, fluidity and wit.
—The Washington Post