My paperback has a few creases, if this bothers you please do not ask it to be mailed.
This is the second book in a series about the history of the United States and it follows the lives of people who were students together early in the century. It is really a very good book, and the earlier book was also excellent. This author has a gift of bringing the reader into history on a personal level and I have really enjoyed both books and intend to read the rest of the series. This book covers World War I. Although the original date of publication is in the 1990's both of the books I have read are really in pretty good condition for their age. The only damage to this one is that the pages are slightly yellow but the cover looks great. I recommend this book and the rest of the series highly. Genny
This is the second in the American Chronicles series and takes place in the second decade of the 20th century. The story opens with the maiden voyage of the Titanic. JP Winthrop is on the voyage, as is his former lover, Lady Lucinda Chetwynd-Dunleigh and her husband and son, Jimmy. Hers is a loveless marriage and she rekindles her affair with JP on the voyage. The ship sinks and she is left widowed with her son Jimmy and another child on the way.
Bob Canfields younger brother Billy, although a student at Jefferson University, has no interest in pursuing the family business. He wants to forge a career in aviation. The onset of war in Europe brings him to France where he joins the French Foreign Legion as a fighter pilot. There he meets Rex Rocky Rockwell. When the United States joins the war, he and Rocky join the American forces.
Loomis Booker is married and a professor at Lincoln College, a Negro university until he is called to Washington DC to help with the war efforts. A book he has written on railroad transportation has made him the pre-eminent expert in the field and he works with Dwight Eisenhower (yes, Ike) to help with the American war effort.
Connie Canfield, Bobs wife has taken up the womens suffrage cause and is willing to be arrested, often, for her cause.
Karl Tannenhower manages to survive the sinking of the Titanic and comes to St Louis to attend Jefferson University (his uncle owns the local brewery.) While there he befriends Billy Canfield and becomes a football player for Jefferson Bears. But a tragic death on the field causes Karl to leave St. Louis and return to Germany. He joins the German armed forces as an aviator. Soon he is married to his commanders daughter and is a leading bombings via dirigibles over England.
In Vienna, David Gelbmans nephew, Simon, is attending the university in Munich when the war in Europe breaks out. He joins the German, rather than the Austrian army, because it will allow him to finish his studies. He ends up in a unit with several other men, one of whom is a very anti-Semitic Adolph Hitler.
Eric Twainbough is still a wanderer. He starts out in Alaska searching for gold and ends up reporting from the Russian front where he is injured. During his recovery, he falls in love with a Russian nurse who is a distant relative of Czar Nicholas and is considered a Princess. As royalty, she needs family permission to marry Eric, a commoner, and as royalty, the US will not give her a visa to immigrate to the US. The Bolshevik revolution creates a major change in both of their lives.
We also meet a new immigrant to Chicago, Maria OBraugh and her young son, Kerry OBraugh. Maria is an Italian widow (her husband was Irish and was murdered by enemies of her family.) Her son, Kerry, is soon caught up in criminal activity and jailed. He escapes from jail and joins up with a gang that is about to join forces with Al Capone.
Throughout the story, we follow the people through the war in Europe, the United States desire to stay neutral and he Spanish influenza that killed many people quickly throughout the world.
I enjoyed the book, but the rah-rah we are Americans and can do anything attitude can be a bit much to take. The introduction of Kerry OBraugh does not seem to make a lot of sense initially, but the ending does make the characters presence make some more sense.