The story of the 20th Century by the Americans who lived it.
In 1998, over 63,000 Americans had reached the age of one hundred. They were witness to the dawn of the century, when most Americans still lived on farms and horses were the main mode of transportation. Their lives spanned two world wars, the experiment with Prohibition, the Depression, the rise and demise of Communism, and the emergence of the United States as a world power.
Their recollections are a treasure of the century's social history. Through interviews with centenarians across the country, Bernard Edelman draws an indelible portrait of Americans in the twentieth century. The young immigrant survivor who can still smell the smoke of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. The rookie pitcher who struck out the first batter he ever faced in the big leagues: Ty Cobb. The dashing artillery officer who won a Silver Star in the Great War. The officer in the Quartermaster Corps who witnessed the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. The motorcycle racer who barnstormed the nation, setting records that will never be broken. The feisty woman who led a walkout at the premiere of Gone With the Wind. The man who invented Pampers.
This is a dazzling tapestry of live in America that weaves together rich and poor, black and white, immigrants and native-born Americans. The recollections, reminiscences, and reflections in Centenarians give texture, humor, and poignancy to the way we lived in the twentieth century.