Railroaded The Transcontinentals And The Making Of Modern America

Author: Richard White
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393082601
Size: 71.41 MB
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"A powerful book, crowded with telling details and shrewd observations." —Michael Kazin, New York Times Book Review This original, deeply researched history shows the transcontinentals to be pivotal actors in the making of modern America. But the triumphal myths of the golden spike, robber barons larger than life, and an innovative capitalism all die here. Instead we have a new vision of the Gilded Age, often darkly funny, that shows history to be rooted in failure as well as success.

American Capitalism

Author: Louis Hyman
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1501171305
Size: 27.67 MB
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From Cornell University Professors Louis Hyman and Edward E. Baptist, a collection of the most relevant readings on the history of capitalism in America, created to accompany their EdX course "American Capitalism: A Reader." To understand the past and especially our own times, arguably no story is as essential to get right as the history of capitalism. Nearly all of our theories about promoting progress come from how we interpret the economic changes of the last 500 years. This past decade's crises continue to remind us just how much capitalism changes, even as basic features like wage labor, financial markets, private property, and entrepreneurs endure. While capitalism has a global history, the United States plays a special role in that story. "American Capitalism: A Reader" will help you to understand how the United States became the world's leading economic power, while revealing essential lessons about what has been and what will be possible in capitalism's ongoing revolution. Combining a wealth of essential readings, introductions by Professors Baptist and Hyman, and questions to help guide readers through the materials and broader subject, this course reader will prepare students to think critically about the history of capitalism in America.

The Republic For Which It Stands

Author: Richard White
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199735816
Size: 26.19 MB
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"During Reconstruction Northerners attempted to remake the United States in their own image. They would make incarnate the new world Republicans imagined at the end of the Civil War. That new world seemed possible because the Republican Party controlled the Union in 1865 as fully as any political party would ever control the country. Reconstruction would produce a nation built around free labor with a homogenous citizenry whose rights would be guaranteed by a newly empowered federal government. Black as well as white citizens would inhabit a largely Protestant country of independent producers. They never realized that dream. The government's attempts to implement this vision confronted significant obstacles. Southern whites successfully resisted, and Indians resisted with far less success. Freedpeople both grasped the opportunities that the Republican vision offered them and attempted to articulate their own version of republican America. The United States became a nation of immigrants, Catholic and Jewish as well as Protestant. New technologies transformed the economy, as Americans significantly shifted into wage workers instead of independent producers. Capitalism produced the very rich and the very poor. The Gilded Age thrived where Reconstruction failed, the template of American modernity. The era was full of paradoxes. Notoriously corrupt, it also formed a seedbed of reform. It spawned racial, religious, and social conflicts as deep as the country had seen to date, but a newly diverse nation emerged. The newest volume in the acclaimed Oxford History of the United States series, The Republic for Which It Stands offers a magisterial account of the Gilded Age's real legacy that lies buried beneath its capitalists of legend and its corrupt politicians."--Provided by publisher.

Refrigeration Nation

Author: Jonathan Rees
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 1421411075
Size: 26.23 MB
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Only when the power goes off and food spoils do we truly appreciate how much we rely on refrigerators and freezers. In Refrigeration Nation, Jonathan Rees explores the innovative methods and gadgets that Americans have invented to keep perishable food cold—from cutting river and lake ice and shipping it to consumers for use in their iceboxes to the development of electrically powered equipment that ushered in a new age of convenience and health. As much a history of successful business practices as a history of technology, this book illustrates how refrigeration has changed the everyday lives of Americans and why it remains so important today. Beginning with the natural ice industry in 1806, Rees considers a variety of factors that drove the industry, including the point and product of consumption, issues of transportation, and technological advances. Rees also shows that how we obtain and preserve perishable food is related to our changing relationship with the natural world.

Squatter S Republic

Author: Tamara Venit Shelton
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520289099
Size: 62.53 MB
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Who should have the right to own land, and how much of it? A Squatter's Republic follows the rise and fall of the land question in the Gilded Age—and the rise and fall of a particularly nineteenth-century vision of landed independence. More specifically, the author considers the land question through the anti-monopolist reform movements it inspired in late nineteenth-century California. The Golden State was a squatter's republic—a society of white men who claimed no more land than they could use, and who promised to uphold agrarian republican ideals and resist monopoly, the nemesis of democracy. Their opposition to land monopoly became entwined with public discourse on Mexican land rights, industrial labor relations, immigration from China, and the rise of railroad and other corporate monopolies.

Wyatt Earp A Vigilante Life

Author: Andrew C. Isenberg
Publisher: Hill and Wang
ISBN: 1429945478
Size: 65.20 MB
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Finalist for the 2014 Weber-Clements Book Prize for the Best Non-fiction Book on Southwestern America In popular culture, Wyatt Earp is the hero of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona, and a beacon of rough cowboy justice in the tumultuous American West. The subject of dozens of films, he has been invoked in battles against organized crime (in the 1930s), communism (in the 1950s), and al-Qaeda (after 2001). Yet as the historian Andrew C. Isenberg reveals in Wyatt Earp: A Vigilante Life, the Hollywood Earp is largely a fiction—one created by none other than Earp himself. The lawman played on-screen by Henry Fonda and Burt Lancaster is stubbornly duty-bound; in actuality, Earp led a life of impulsive lawbreaking and shifting identities. When he wasn't wearing a badge, he was variously a thief, a brothel bouncer, a gambler, and a confidence man. As Isenberg writes, "He donned and shucked off roles readily, whipsawing between lawman and lawbreaker, and pursued his changing ambitions recklessly, with little thought to the cost to himself, and still less thought to the cost, even the deadly cost, to others." By 1900, Earp's misdeeds had caught up with him: his involvement as a referee in a fixed heavyweight prizefight brought him national notoriety as a scoundrel. Stung by the press, Earp set out to rebuild his reputation. He spent his last decades in Los Angeles, where he befriended Western silent film actors and directors. Having tried and failed over the course of his life to invent a better future for himself, in the end he invented a better past. Isenberg argues that even though Earp, who died in 1929, did not live to see it, Hollywood's embrace of him as a paragon of law and order was his greatest confidence game of all. A searching account of the man and his enduring legend, and a book about our national fascination with extrajudicial violence, Wyatt Earp: A Vigilante Life is a resounding biography of a singular American figure.

Liberty And Coercion

Author: Gary Gerstle
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400888433
Size: 34.28 MB
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American governance is burdened by a paradox. On the one hand, Americans don't want "big government" meddling in their lives; on the other hand, they have repeatedly enlisted governmental help to impose their views regarding marriage, abortion, religion, and schooling on their neighbors. These contradictory stances on the role of public power have paralyzed policymaking and generated rancorous disputes about government’s legitimate scope. How did we reach this political impasse? Historian Gary Gerstle, looking at two hundred years of U.S. history, argues that the roots of the current crisis lie in two contrasting theories of power that the Framers inscribed in the Constitution. One theory shaped the federal government, setting limits on its power in order to protect personal liberty. Another theory molded the states, authorizing them to go to extraordinary lengths, even to the point of violating individual rights, to advance the "good and welfare of the commonwealth." The Framers believed these theories could coexist comfortably, but conflict between the two has largely defined American history. Gerstle shows how national political leaders improvised brilliantly to stretch the power of the federal government beyond where it was meant to go—but at the cost of giving private interests and state governments too much sway over public policy. The states could be innovative, too. More impressive was their staying power. Only in the 1960s did the federal government, impelled by the Cold War and civil rights movement, definitively assert its primacy. But as the power of the central state expanded, its constitutional authority did not keep pace. Conservatives rebelled, making the battle over government’s proper dominion the defining issue of our time. From the Revolution to the Tea Party, and the Bill of Rights to the national security state, Liberty and Coercion is a revelatory account of the making and unmaking of government in America.

Journal Of The Civil War Era

Author: William A. Blair
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 1469615991
Size: 14.58 MB
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The Journal of the Civil War Era Volume 4, Number 3, September 2014 TABLE OF CONTENTS Editor's Note, William Blair Articles Felicity Turner Rights and the Ambiguities of Law: Infanticide in the Nineteenth-Century U.S. South Paul Quigley Civil War Conscription and the International Boundaries of Citizenship Jay Sexton William H. Seward in the World Review Essay Patick J. Kelly the European Revolutions of 1848 and the Transnational turn in Civil War History Book Reviews Books Received Notes on Contributors

The Watchdog That Didn T Bark

Author: Dean Starkman
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231536283
Size: 48.49 MB
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In this sweeping, incisive post mortem, Dean Starkman exposes the critical shortcomings that softened coverage in the business press during the mortgage era and the years leading up to the financial collapse of 2008. He locates the roots of the problem in the origin of business news as a market messaging service for investors in the early twentieth century. This access-dependent strain of journalism was soon opposed by the grand, sweeping work of the muckrakers. Propelled by the innovations of Bernard Kilgore, the great postwar editor of the Wall Street Journal, these two genres merged when mainstream American news organizations institutionalized muckraking in the 1960s, creating a powerful guardian of the public interest. Yet as the mortgage era dawned, deep cultural and structural shifts -- some unavoidable, some self-inflicted -- eroded journalism's appetite for its role as watchdog. The result was a deafening silence about systemic corruption in the financial industry. Tragically, this silence grew only more profound as the mortgage madness reached its terrible apogee from 2004 through 2006. Starkman frames his analysis in a broad argument about journalism itself, dividing the profession into two competing approaches -- access reporting and accountability reporting -- which rely on entirely different sources and produce radically different representations of reality. As Starkman explains, access journalism came to dominate business reporting in the 1990s, a process he calls "CNBCization," and rather than examining risky, even corrupt, corporate behavior, mainstream reporters focused on profiling executives and informing investors. Starkman concludes with a critique of the digital-news ideology and corporate influence, which threaten to further undermine investigative reporting, and he shows how financial coverage, and journalism as a whole, can reclaim its bite.

The Republic Of Nature

Author: Mark Fiege
Publisher: University of Washington Press
ISBN: 0295804149
Size: 47.94 MB
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In the dramatic narratives that comprise The Republic of Nature, Mark Fiege reframes the canonical account of American history based on the simple but radical premise that nothing in the nation's past can be considered apart from the natural circumstances in which it occurred. Revisiting historical icons so familiar that schoolchildren learn to take them for granted, he makes surprising connections that enable readers to see old stories in a new light. Among the historical moments revisited here, a revolutionary nation arises from its environment and struggles to reconcile the diversity of its people with the claim that nature is the source of liberty. Abraham Lincoln, an unlettered citizen from the countryside, steers the Union through a moment of extreme peril, guided by his clear-eyed vision of nature's capacity for improvement. In Topeka, Kansas, transformations of land and life prompt a lawsuit that culminates in the momentous civil rights case of Brown v. Board of Education. By focusing on materials and processes intrinsic to all things and by highlighting the nature of the United States, Fiege recovers the forgotten and overlooked ground on which so much history has unfolded. In these pages, the nation's birth and development, pain and sorrow, ideals and enduring promise come to life as never before, making a once-familiar past seem new. The Republic of Nature points to a startlingly different version of history that calls on readers to reconnect with fundamental forces that shaped the American experience. For more information, visit the author's website: http://republicofnature.com/