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Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of the acclaimed multi-million copy bestseller Team of Rivals, filmed by Spielberg as Lincoln, turns to the birth of America's Progressive Era - that heady, optimistic time when the 20th Century is fresh. Reform is in the air, and it is time to take on the robber barons and corrupt politicians who have brought the country to its knees.
The story is told through the close friendship between two Presidents: Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909) and his handpicked successor William Howard Taft (1909-1913). The decades-long intimacy strengthens both men as they reform America, breaking up monopolies, protecting the rights of labour, banning unsafe drugs and closing sweatshops.
Also at the heart of the story are the original 'muckrakers' - a brilliant group of investigative journalists at the celebrated magazine McClure's. They publish popular exposes of fraudulent railroads and millionaire senators, aiding Roosevelt in his quest for change and fairness.
As Roosevelt, Taft and the muckrakers confront corruption and expose exploitation, America is reborn.