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Biography of an Idea: The Founding Principles of Public Relations by Edward L. Bernays

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chapter 34

LIGHT’S GOLDEN JUBILEE

The year 1929 opened with an optimism that was shared by the public and government alike. Stocks began to climb after a frightening December slump. There was much talk of the New Era and the new heights stocks would reach. We did not know we were approaching the end of an era in American life.

America had gone berserk in this decade, despite Harding’s attempt to establish “normalcy” after World War I. The release of war tensions and our self-imposed Prohibition inspired excesses that affected our lives. The stock-market rise helped to encourage this manic state from 1921 to 1929. Everyone from bootblacks to the wealthiest in the land speculated in stocks. Florida’s boom and bust were symptomatic of the times. ...

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