Was there something in the water? Had sufficient time passed since the Great War for reflection? Did the muses all wake up? 1922 began with Joyce’s Ulysses and closed with The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot. It was a year in which literature, art, and culture itself changed forever. Context is everything, and by taking us through significant encounters among luminaries such as Virginia Woolf, Charlie Chaplin, Freud, Einstein, Hitchcock, Yeats, Evelyn Waugh, Anna Akhmatova, Proust, Hitler, Churchill, and Louis Armstrong (to name a few of the players in this landmark year), Kevin Jackson makes history delicious and very real in his Constellation of Genius (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $30). Mimicking the frenzied minutiae that defines the modernist era, Jackson reveals every letter, train ride, news story, and high tea so that we might pick up, examine, and reflect that maybe something was in the water, and thank our god, Dada, or radical politics that it was.