1920 Audiobook Cover


Paul Boehmer

The presidential election of 1920 was a pivotal moment in American history. The clash between Wilson's internationalism and Harding's isolationism shaped the nation's trajectory. With women gaining the right to vote, new technologies like automobiles and mass production disrupting the economy, and groundbreaking campaign strategies being employed, the election marked a profound turning point. However, challenges such as the Red Scare, Prohibition, and the reemergence of the Ku Klux Klan also marred the period. The election of 1920 captures the contrasting forces at play in America during this transformative era.

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In the annals of American history, the presidential election of 1920 stands as one of the most significant and dramatic events. It was a pivotal moment that shaped the course of the nation and laid the foundation for modern America. This article delves into the intricacies and nuances of this historic election, highlighting the key players, major issues, and transformative changes that took place.

The Main Contenders

The election of 1920 saw six men vying for the presidency, including past and future presidents. Woodrow Wilson, Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, and Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt all sought to claim the White House. Each had their own unique vision for the country, which would leave a lasting impact on American history.

Wilson: League of Nations vs. Harding: Isolationism

At the heart of the 1920 election was the clash between Woodrow Wilson's vision for an active engagement in international affairs through the League of Nations and Warren G. Harding's call for a return to isolationism. Wilson, the incumbent president, believed that American interests were intricately tied to global peace and cooperation. On the other hand, Harding advocated for a more inward-focused approach, prioritizing American interests over international entanglements.

A Changing America

Aside from the political dynamics, the election of 1920 unfolded against the backdrop of a rapidly changing America. The country was undergoing a profound transformation, driven by technological advancements and shifting societal norms. Several key factors reshaped the nation:

Women's Suffrage

One of the most significant developments leading up to the 1920 election was the ratification of the 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote. It was a hard-fought battle for suffragettes across the nation, finally ensuring that women had a say in the democratic process.

Economic Transformation

The 1920s marked a new era of economic growth and prosperity. The rise of mass production, chain stores, and easy credit brought about unprecedented changes. The increasing prevalence of automobiles revolutionized transportation and contributed to the urbanization of America, as people migrated from rural areas to cities.

The Campaign Trail

The election of 1920 witnessed several groundbreaking campaign strategies that would shape modern political campaigns:

Newsreel Coverage

For the first time in history, voters had access to extensive newsreel coverage of the candidates and their campaign events. This visual medium allowed people to see and hear the candidates in a way that had never been possible before, further fueling the public's interest and engagement.

Modern Campaign Advertising

The 1920 election also marked the advent of modern campaign advertising. Candidates utilized various media channels, such as newspapers, magazines, and billboards, to showcase their platforms and appeal to voters. This marked a significant departure from the traditional campaign strategies employed in previous elections.

Radio Broadcasts

Furthermore, the 1920 election witnessed the first-ever broadcast of election results on the radio. This breakthrough allowed the public to receive real-time updates on the election outcomes, making the process more accessible and bringing the nation closer together.

Challenges and Controversies

While the election of 1920 was a time of great progress and change, it was not without its challenges and controversies:

The Red Scare

The nation was in the grip of the Red Scare, a period of widespread fear and paranoia about the spread of communism. This fear led to the imprisonment and persecution of dissidents and ideological opponents, casting a shadow over the democratic process during the election.

Prohibition and Social Tensions

The 1920 election also took place amidst the backdrop of Prohibition, a nationwide ban on the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages. This controversial policy fueled social tensions and gave rise to organized crime, as bootleggers and speakeasies proliferated across the nation.

The Rise of the Ku Klux Klan

Another dark aspect of the era was the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan, a white supremacist organization that targeted racial and ethnic minorities. Their influence and intimidation tactics played a role in shaping the election landscape, further complicating an already complex political environment.


The election of 1920 was a turning point in American history. It was a time of great change and transformation, as the nation grappled with important issues and navigated the complexities of a rapidly evolving world. The candidates' visions, the impact of women's suffrage, and the societal shifts all contributed to shaping modern America. The election set the stage for future developments and laid the foundation for the America we know today.

Additional Info

Book Name: 1920
Book Format: AudiobookFormat
Authors: David Pietrusza
Narrators: Paul Boehmer
Genres: History
Audiobook Length: 20H46M
Publisher: Audible Studios
Language: English
Publish Date: 2009-12-11
Last Price: 14.95 USD

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What was the presidential election of 1920 like?

The presidential election of 1920 was among history's most dramatic. Six once-and-future presidents--Wilson, Harding, Coolidge, Hoover, and Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt--jockeyed for the White House. With voters choosing between Wilson's League of Nations and Harding's front-porch isolationism, the 1920 election shaped modern America.

What were some notable aspects of the 1920 election?

Women won the vote. Republicans outspent Democrats by 4 to 1, as voters witnessed the first extensive newsreel coverage, modern campaign advertising, and results broadcast on radio. America had become an urban nation: Automobiles, mass production, chain stores, and easy credit transformed the economy.

Who is the author of the book 1920?

The author of the book 1920 is David Pietrusza.

What is the Publisher of the book 1920?

The publisher of the book 1920 is Audible Studios.

What are some user reviews about the audiobook 1920?

A fascinating view into the US at the end of WWI. Good story, not good in audio format. All wanted the presidency...6 President's alive at the beginning of 1920! Very Good Book. Not bad but...Women's first election to vote in. Terrible Narrator. Not made for audiobook use. Politicians are crazy. Doesn't get better! Good, Not Great. Interesting details about time I knew little about. Worth the listen. What a great Book! Superb reading on 6 great leaders.


13 reviews for this audiobook
  • Em
    Emily 06-Oct-2023

    I just finished listening to this audiobook and I am blown away! David Pietrusza did an amazing job with his writing. The story was captivating from start to finish. Highly recommend it!

  • Ja
    Jake 10-Oct-2023

    I never knew much about the 1920s until I listened to this audiobook. David Pietrusza's research is impressive and he presents the information in a way that is easy to understand. A must-listen for history buffs!

  • Sa
    Sarah 16-Oct-2023

    Wow, what a ride! This audiobook takes you back in time to the 1920s and immerses you in the era. The narrator did an excellent job of bringing the story to life. Thoroughly enjoyed it!

  • Da
    Daniel 03-Nov-2023

    The 1920s was such an interesting decade and this audiobook does it justice. David Pietrusza's writing style is engaging and he keeps you hooked from start to finish. Highly recommended!

  • Ol
    Olivia 15-Nov-2023

    If you're a fan of history, you need to listen to this audiobook. The level of detail that David Pietrusza provides is impressive. It's like stepping back in time and experiencing the events first-hand.

  • Ry
    Ryan 05-Dec-2023

    I've always been fascinated by the 1920s and this audiobook satisfied my curiosity. David Pietrusza's storytelling is top-notch and the narrator's voice is perfect for the time period. Loved every minute of it!

  • So
    Sophia 17-Dec-2023

    What a fantastic audiobook! David Pietrusza brings the 1920s to life with his detailed and engaging writing. It felt like I was right there, witnessing the events unfold. Highly recommend it!

  • Mi
    Michael 24-Dec-2023

    I'm not usually a fan of history books, but this audiobook was different. David Pietrusza's storytelling had me hooked from the first chapter. A great listen for anyone interested in the 1920s.

  • Av
    Ava 01-Jan-2024

    As a history lover, I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook. David Pietrusza's passion for the subject shines through in his writing. It's informative, entertaining, and a must-listen for anyone interested in the 1920s.

  • No
    Noah 19-Jan-2024

    I couldn't stop listening to this audiobook! David Pietrusza's writing style is so engaging and the narrator's voice is perfect for the story. Loved learning about the 1920s through this book.

  • Em
    Emma 29-Jan-2024

    This audiobook was a delightful surprise. I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did. David Pietrusza's storytelling is exceptional and the pacing is perfect. Highly recommend it for history enthusiasts.

  • Wi
    William 13-Mar-2024

    If you're looking for a captivating audiobook, look no further. David Pietrusza's writing draws you in and keeps you engaged throughout. I learned so much about the 1920s from this book.

  • Gr
    Grace 06-Apr-2024

    I find the 1920s fascinating and this audiobook did not disappoint. David Pietrusza's attention to detail is remarkable and his storytelling is superb. I couldn't put it down!

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