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America in the Gilded Age

Third Edition

Sean Cashman

Publication Year: 1993

When the first edition of America in the Gilded Age was published in 1984, it soon acquired the status of a classic, and was widely acknowledged as the first comprehensive account of the latter half of the nineteenth century to appear in many years. Sean Dennis Cashman traces the political and social saga of America as it passed through the momentous transformation of the Industrial Revolution and the settlement of the West. Revised and extended chapters focusing on immigration, labor, the great cities, and the American Renaissance are accompanied by a wealth of augmented and enhanced illustrations, many new to this addition.

Published by: NYU Press

Title Page

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Copyright Page

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pp. vii-viii


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pp. ix-xi

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Preface to the New Edition

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pp. xiii-xv

This volume, the third edition of America in the Gilded Age, a history of the United States from the assassination of Lincoln in 1865 t o t n e accession of Theodore Roosevelt to the presidency in 1901, has been planned in conjunction...

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Preface to the First Edition

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pp. xvi-xvii

This book, intended as an introduction to the Gilded Age and Industrial America, offers a general account of the industrial and economic, social and political history of the period from 1865 to 1901. It is a work of synthesis, drawn...

Part One: The Sight and Sound of Industrial America

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pp. xix-200

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1. Industrial Spring

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pp. 1-35

The assassin who ended the life of Abraham Lincoln extinguished the light of the Republic. On April 14, 1865, after the president argued in the cabinet for generous treatment of the South, vanquished in the war between the states, he went to the theater...

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2. Titans at War: The Industrial Legacy of Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Morgan

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pp. 36-72

The Christmas of 1900 was especially merry for America's industrial titans, notably three wise men who had already made their New Year's resolution for January 1901. It was, indeed, a festive occasion that drew together the resources...

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3. Exodus to a Promised Land

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pp. 73-99

At the turn of the century the most famous magician in the world was Harry Houdini, an American immigrant who specialized in great escapes. He could free himself from handcuffs, iron collars, and straitjackets. With consummate ease he emerged...

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4. The Sorrows of Labor

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pp. 100-134

Throughout the Gilded Age the specters of poverty and oppression waited on the banquet of expansion and opportunity. Economist Henry George compared the want of the huddled masses with the wealth of the dominant plutocracy. In his pioneer...

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5. Not since Nineveh: Tall Stories and Tales of Two Cities

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pp. 135-167

Whether celebrated by artists as some sort of precious flower or cursed by social critics as a kind of cancer, the American city stood at the center of civilization in the Gilded Age. It, and not man, was the glass of fashion and the mold...

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6. Midsummer of the American Renaissance

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pp. 168-200

Every society leaves a record of its achievements in three books: the book of its deeds, the book of its words, and the book of its art. Of these the most significant—and certainly the most enduring—will be the book of its art. This was the opinion...

Part Two: Politics and Discontent

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7. Reconstruction and the New South

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pp. 203-243

No story in the Gilded Age is more harrowing than the tragedy of American Reconstruction. It proceeded inevitably from a skein of historical contradictions. The American Revolution was achieved by radicals in the name of liberty but the institution...

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8. The Last Refuge of a Scoundrel

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pp. 244-281

Contemporary historian Henry Adams said of politics in the Gilded Age, "The period was poor in purpose and barren in results." His verdict—"One might search the whole list of Congress, Judiciary, and Executive during the twenty-five years...

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9. Opening the West and Closing the Frontier

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pp. 282-312

In 1890 the Bureau of the Census announced that the frontier was closed, that is, there was no longer any discernible demarcation between frontier and settlement. Across the continent, the density of non-Indian population was two persons per...

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10. Gates of Silver and Bars of Gold

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pp. 313-337

How the West was supposed to be won was an American dream. How it was won became a myth. The tales of free and fertile soil, handsome harvests and plentiful profits on the farms that circulated in the East, obscured part of the truth...

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11. War and Empire

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pp. 338-353

The decade beginning in 1890 had a most distinct historical character. For one thing, its chronological boundaries were marked by crucial historical events. The year 1890 saw the rise of the People's Alliance, the McKinley Tariff, the Sherman...

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12. The Dawn of a Progressive Age

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pp. 354-380

Just exactly what the United States had accomplished in the Gilded Age was assessed in 1897, somewhat caustically, by Mr. Dooley...


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pp. 381-385


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pp. 387-389


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pp. 391-407


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pp. 409-425

E-ISBN-13: 9780814723616
E-ISBN-10: 0814723616
Print-ISBN-13: 9780814714959
Print-ISBN-10: 0814714951

Page Count: 445
Publication Year: 1993