The Roaring Twenties
France's victory in the Great War against Kaiser Wilhelm's Germany was tempered by a massive loss of lives, including its flowering youth, who felt the monstrous anger of the guns at Verdun. But in 1919 the capital was poised for gaiety, and Parisians discovered America. French citizens of all ages looked to the horizons of the Atlantic for symbols of popular culture that fantasized a world divorced from the past. Also in 1919, Harlem discovered Montmartre. Like musical missionaries, black American musicians and entertainers from Harlem and other jazz capitals in the Bronzevilles of America descended on la Butte, armed with drums, horns, music scores, and gadgets to make noise.
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