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1919: The Year of the Crack-Up

Dec 31, 2018 - The New York Times

Throughout 2019, The New York Times Opinion section will publish an occasional series of essays on the ways in which the events of 1919 shaped the following century.

In his essay “The Crack-Up,” F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.”

On New Year’s Day 1919, the headlines in The New York Times gave a hint of how difficult that would be...