Book Review: America, 1908

America, 1908: The Dawn of Flight, the Race to the Pole, the Invention of the Model T, and the Making of a Modern Nation
by Jim Rasenberger, 2011


A visit back to the year 1908 provides snapshots of the innovation and excitement that was present a century ago. I found the bits about the Wright brothers and the Great White Fleet most fascinating. For the Wright brothers, it tells how they worked both in the US and France to showcase their flying machine to both best their rivals and to secure funding/payment for purchases. For the Great White Fleet, it tells about how and why Teddy Roosevelt sent the US navy around the world and the reception in other countries. I also liked the description of Merkle’s Boner in the Giants’ pennant race.

I could do without the details of pop culture and interesting murder cases from 1908. I also thought the book focused too much upon New York City. And the book was overly long-winded at times, occasionally putting me to sleep when I wasn’t driving (I listened to the book on tape). Overall, a mixed review. Would be interesting if you’re into early 1900’s history.

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