- 29,00 kr
In this absorbing history of progressive-era America, acclaimed historian David Traxel paints a vivid picture of a tumultuous time of change that was the foundation for the twentieth century.. With WWI on the horizon, the struggles to end child labor, improve public health, advance education, win votes for women, and rid cities of corrupt political machines brought forth passionate responses from millions of Americans. There was a demand for reform and a desire for a more efficient and compassionate society. From wide-eyed dreamers to hard-line politicians, seasoned reporters to diary keeping soldiers, these crusaders–Jack Reed, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Margaret Sanger, and “Mother” Jones to name a few–come alive in these pages.
In an elegant and substantive narrative history, Traxel (1898: The Birth of the American Century) recreates America during the Progressive Era, a time when politicians, church leaders and ordinary citizens were on fire to reform society. Traxel looks at labor organizers like Mary "Mother" Jones, suffragists and prohibitionists (whom he simplistically dismisses as "small-town, self-righteous bluenoses"). Woodrow Wilson, whose presidency threads through this book, oversaw business and banking regulation. Victorian sexual mores gave way, divorce became more commonplace. Traxel suggests that America's crusading impulses were partially responsible for the country's entry into WWI, and ironically, the war quenched the nation's reforming zeal. Soldiers returned disillusioned and unable to find jobs: "ike the rest of the country, they increasingly felt that they owed only themselves." And so began an optimism about business and a determination to kick back and have fun that would carry America through the next decade. Traxel's approach is not especially original, and he overlooks the experience of African-Americans. Nonetheless, the book reads seamlessly, and it will serve a scholarly and general audience as a summary of an important era in U.S. history. 19 b&w photos.