Category Archives: 1920-1929

Year 33

1920: Tacoma Invites You, Summer and Fall Tours


Find it in Collins Library!

Touting the beauty and attractions of Tacoma and the Puget Sound region, Summer and Fall Tours: Tacoma Invites You provides a snapshot of a growing community and local industry. Contemporary political topics are hinted at, such as the Mount Rainier/Mount Tacoma name controversy, with the author declaring, “…but what care we: To Tacomans, in whose dooryard lies this wondrous work of nature, it will ever be Mount Tacoma.”

In the poetic introduction, C. E. Stevens sums up the message of the entire brochure: “When from out of chaos nature formed and shaped the earth she had in vision two wondrous creations: One, the Garden of Eden – Paradise Lost; The other, Puget Sound, the Garden of the Gods – Paradise regained.”

Year 34

1921: Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus

Author/Editor: Ludwig Wittgenstein

Find it in Collins Library!

English translation of Wittegenstein’s book by D. F. Pears & B. F. McGuinness.

This is Wittgenstein’s only full book published in his lifetime. After writing it during WWI, and publishing it in 1921, Wittgenstein concluded that all philosophical problems were resolved.

It was a powerful influence on the Vienna Circle, who used it to develop logical positivism (which Wittgenstein felt was based on a fundamental misreading of his thoughts).

Logical positivism, whatever, Wittgenstein thought of it, spread widely in the world of Western thought. One strand of it, that only scientific knowledge can represent factual knowledge, has been particularly influential—both in inflecting what is known to be knowable and as a position against which many current approaches

Year 35

1922: Ulysses

Author/Editor: James Joyce

Find it in Collins Library!

Ulysses is an eighteen-part novel, originally published as a series in The Little Review, following the events of a single day in Dublin. There are strong parallels and allusions to Homer’s Odyssey, with the main character Leopold Bloom acting the part of Odysseus. Full of humor and a “stream-of-consciousness” style, this work has been referred to as one of the most important works of Modernist literature.

Year 36

1923: New Hampshire

Author/Editor: Robert Frost

Find it in Collins Library!

Robert Frost’s 4th book of poetry, is dedicated to Vermont and Michigan and contains woodcuts by J.J. Lankes.  The volume contains many of Frost’s best loved poems including

Stopping by Woods on A Snowy Evening, A Star in a Stone-Boat, and Looking for a Sunset bird in winter.  Our copy is inscribed with lovely handwriting reminiscent of the period:

“This book having been given to me for Christmas 1928 and already having had another copy, I now this 8th day of August 1929 donate the same with love to Erma herself.  Laura.”

Frost won his first Pulitzer Prize for this collection of 44 poems.  J.J. Lanke’s woodcuts are included throughout this slim volume and capture the spirit of Frost’s poems. Frost was born in 1874 and lived until 1963 and is known as one of the country’s most beloved poets.

This broadside, A Mood apart,  is from the American Memory Project of the Library of Congress and is just one of hundreds of primary source documents about Robert Frost.  Visit the Memory Project to learn more!

Year 37

1924: The Diary of a Dude Wrangler

Author/Editor: Maxwell Struthers Burt

Find it in Collins Library!

To be honest, the title of this book caught our eye.  Just what is a Dude Wrangler and what would his  diary reveal?  Published in 1924 and written by Struthers Burt, this book is dedicated to all the dudes, cow-punchers, ranchers and horses the author has met.  ( by the way, a cow-puncher is another term for a cowboy!)

Struthers Burt was a noted writer  and rancher that lived in the early twentieth century. He taught writing at Princeton University.  His personal papers are located at Princeton University and the collection includes various copies of some of Burt’s own works, correspondence with family and friends from his days at Princeton University, and assorted materials about his family and genealogy.

Image courtesy of Princeton University Archives:

The Last paragraph from the book is quite poignant when read in the context of our environment in 2012:

“I have said that the old West is still there, and so it is, and I have said that in many places it will continue to exist, and that is true, also, but I am afraid for my own country unless some help is given it – some wise direction.  It is too beautiful and now too famous.  Sometimes I dream of it unhappily.  And when my blood sirs in my dreams I think that somewhere the blood of my uncle and my great-grandfather must be stirring, too.

Year 38

1925: The Great Gatsby

Author/Editor: F. Scott Fitzgerald

Find it in Collins Library!

The Great Gatsby portrays a group of wealthy New Yorkers in the 1920’s and their romantic escapades. Distinction is made between “old” money and “new” money, a result of the booming economy and growth of self-made industrialists. Relevant topics to the time period such as prohibition, decreasing morality as a result of increased materialism, and post-World War I cynicism are expressed, as Fitzgerald seems to yearn for a more wholesome American society.

Fitzgerald died before The Great Gatsby became immensely popular, but he has been credited with being the 1920’s most famous chronicler and, indeed, with dubbing the era as “The Jazz Age”.

Year 39

1926: The Sun Also Rises

Author/Editor: Ernest Hemmingway

Find it in Collins Library!

An example of Hemmingway’s early work, The Sun Also Rises (titled Fiesta in the UK) follows members of the ‘lost generation’ living in Paris during the interwar period. Topics include drinking, writing, loving, drinking, traveling, drinking, bicycle racing, drinking and bullfighting. And drinking.

Both romantic and modern , this novel isn’t an accurate history by any means, but manages to capture a spirit of the time.

Year 40

1927: To the Lighthouse

Author/Editor: Virginia Woolf

Find it in Collins Library!

To the Lighthouse, Virginal Woolf’s 1927 novel, is sometimes cited as the apogee of high modernism.

But it’s also a beautiful piece of work about about the movement and evanescence of life, a book about how a moment can be important, though vanishingly transient. Here, the character Lily Briscoe has such a moment:

With a sudden intensity, as if she saw it clear for a second, she drew a line there, in the centre. It was done; it was finished. Yes, she thought, laying down her brush in extreme fatigue, I have had my vision.

Year 41

1928: The European Scrap Book- The Years Golden Harvest of Thought and Achievement

Author/Editor: George Bernard Shaw

Find it in Collins Library!

A literary and intellectual time capsule, The European Scrapbook: The Year’s Golden Harvest of Thought and Achievement is a collection of short articles and images documenting the year 1928. Literature, philosophy, social issues, political issues, and cultural matters are all represented to create a snapshot of European life. In hindsight, some passages particularly stand out, such as an article discussing the rapid scientific progress which cautioned again the “dangers of another world war with new and more terrible weapons”. The titles of some other pieces hint at an increasingly global awareness: “Christ Depicted on the Japanese Stage”, “Why I Shot a Chinese General”, and “Debunking the Mexican Indian”. There are also numerous treatises on the American experience and culture, illustrating America’s emergence on the world stage.

What makes this collection of perspectives so fascinating is the context in which they were written. Europe was experiencing an economic boom alongside political upheaval in Italy and Germany, prompting a new examination of the status quo. Yet the world was on the eve of the Great Depression. The result is a snapshot of Europe at a crossroads and, as such, is best appreciated in retrospect.  Coincidentally, there is an entire chapter devoted to George Bernard Shaw’s new book, The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Socialism and Capitalism! ( see year 1927)

The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Socialism & Capitalism

Author/Editor: George Bernard Shaw

Find it in Collins Library!

The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Socialism and Capitalism” was published in 1927, when George Bernard Shaw was at the very pinnacle of his success as a playwright. The book was intended to be a political primer for the “intelligent woman.”  The books is dedicated to his sister in law Mary Stewart Cholmondely the intelligent woman to whose question this book is the best answer I can make.  In the forward to American readers, Shaw states: “I have been asked whether there are any intelligent women in America. There must be; for politically the men there are such futile gossips that the United States could not possibly carry on unless there were some sort of practical intelligence back of them.  But I will let you into a secret which bears on this point.  By this book I shall get at the American men through the American women.”   At the conclusion of the book there is an  Appendix, Instead of a Bibliography and Shaw writes:   “This book is so long that I can hardly think that any woman will want to reach much more about Socialism and Capitalism for some time.  Besides, a bibliography is supposed to be an acknowledgment by the author of the books from which his own book was compiled.  Now this book is not a compilation;  it is all out of my own head.  It was started by a lady asking me to write her a letter explaining Socialism.

Year 42

1929: The Stump Farm – A Chronicle of Pioneering

Author/Editor: Hilda Rose

Find it in Collins Library!

Letters, diaries and memoirs provide a snapshot of a life. Their personal voice appeals to our interest in history.  Stump Farm is one such book.   Hilda Rose was a writer and schoolteacher who lived in the wilderness in Alberta, Canada.  The books shares correspondence with friend Margaret Emerson that paints a vivid picture of the life on the farm.

Entry from December 12, 1919  I expected cold weather, though not so early.  The drops of water I spill on the floor freeze at once.  Why, my milk freezes on the table with the hot stove going…..

January 24, 1923.  .. I thought I would get some traps and try for some furs up therel live like an Indian; shoot and fish and trap.  Boy ( her son) will soon be quite a lad and able to help me.  His education won’t be neglected, for one of my greatest pleasures is teaching him.  I have a map of the world pinned up on the wall.  I have Grey’s Anatomy and he just loves it.  At the table when I have cooked a hen he gravely tells Daddy to give him the femur or the radius and ulna.