Hundred Year Retroactive Book Award of 1920

In Events, News

Best book of 1920?

On November 4, 2020 the Associates of the Boston Public Library held the Hundred Year Retroactive Book Award of 1920. The event can viewed in its entirety below.

Are books that were popular one hundred years ago still relevant today? For over two decades, the Associates' rotating panelists have weighed the enduring literary merits of bestsellers published one hundred years ago. During this year's lighthearted event, three scholars held a lively debate weighing the merits of bestsellers published in 1920. This year’s books for discussion were Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence, Karel Čapek's R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots), and W.E.B. DuBois' Darkwater: Voices from Within the Veil. The presenters were Susan Wissler, Alan Lightman and Chad Williams respectively, with Christopher Lydon moderating. Voting was close. Watch below to see who won!


The above image shows Leo F. Dunphy in the Boston Public Library's Fine Arts Department in ca. 1920. The photograph is part of the BPL's Boston Pictorial Archive Collection.