Age of Betrayal and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy Used
$4.98
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Solid used copy with visible wear - includes any data discs or access codes. FREE SHIPPING w/AMAZON PRIME!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Age of Betrayal: The Triumph of Money in America, 1865-1900 Hardcover – April 10, 2007


See all 6 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$11.42 $0.27

Simple Rules by Donald Sull
Simple Rules by Donald Sull
Check out the newest book by Donald Sull. Learn more | See related books

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Atlantic Monthly editor Beatty (The Rascal King) clearly invokes a comparison with the present in writing of how, he says, corporations, not the people, ruled America in the Gilded Age. He examines the role of the railroads as the engine of capitalism, the role of protectionist tariffs in raising prices for the common man and how "representative government gave way to bought government." But Beatty ignores the latest literature on that period by the likes of Charles R. Morris, Maury Klein, David Nasaw and David Cannadine. Instead, the post–Civil War industrial boom depicted by Beatty mimics that described by the now largely discredited Matthew Josephson—author in the 1930s of The Robber Barons—whose works Beatty cites. Beatty also references other now-marginalized class-warrior historians, such as Gustavus Myers, in portraying capitalism as a sort of zero-sum game where a dollar pocketed by one individual is inevitably a buck stolen from someone else, overlooking the notion of visionary entrepreneurs creating a surging tide of capital upon which all boats rise. Beatty's view of history seems guided by his liberal impulses and his disillusioned view of American democracy today—not the best way to approach history. B&w illus. (Apr. 16)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Indicting the Gilded Age, Beatty adopts an essayist's persona to flay iniquities of the period. Its mystery prompts the author to ask, "What reverse alchemy transformed mass enthusiasm [for politics] into policies disfavoring the masses?" Turning over explanations, Beatty gives extended play to the eminent historians of Reconstruction, C. Vann Woodward and Eric Foner, and delves into Civil War reforms, such as the Thirteenth through Fifteenth Amendments and the Homestead Act. However, such reforms were thwarted by atrocities against blacks and land-grant shenanigans that advantaged railroads over farmers. Also prevalent in this era was corporate buccaneering, which to Beatty is best represented by the Pennsylvania Railroad, Jay Gould, and Andrew Carnegie, and which flavors his wider account of depressions, strikes, and elections. Weaving episodes of corruption into his narrative, and culminating with the Populist Party of the 1890s, Beatty maintains an opinionated indignation throughout. The NPR pundit's lively interpretation of the era should engage those interested in social and economic history. Gilbert Taylor
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; 1 edition (April 10, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400040280
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400040285
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 1.6 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,081,910 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Important Information

Ingredients
Example Ingredients

Directions
Example Directions

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Rob Hardy HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on June 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover
"This book tells the saddest story: How, having redeemed democracy in the Civil War, America betrayed it in the Gilded Age." That is that start of _Age of Betrayal: The Triumph of Money in America, 1865 - 1900_ (Knopf) by Jack Beatty. But Beatty, an author of previous histories of that age, isn't just sad. He is angry. It may be futile for a historian to be angry over the unchangeable actions of corporations, government, and citizens so long ago, but a reader cannot help but pick up on it and share the indignation. Beatty has packed one disappointment and betrayal after another into a big book thick with human folly and greed. He cannot help making comparisons with current times, although the comparisons are not pointed or emphasized. He does such things as quote President Hayes's diary about "the rottenness of the present system", "the excessive wealth in the hands of the few", or "This is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people no longer. It is a government by the corporations, of the corporations, and for the corporations." Beatty's case for this being true of the time about which he writes is overwhelming, and that can only increase suspicion that such forces are at work in our own time.

The great innovative industry of the time was railroading. The government made it easy for railroads by giving over 150 million acres in land grants, which the companies not only used but developed and sold. The corporate bosses and politicians enriched themselves, and kept themselves in power to continue to do so. The benefits handed out by government were not all directly to the railroads.
Read more ›
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Utah Jack Squint on June 21, 2007
Format: Hardcover
_Age of Betrayal_, I have to say, was a thoroughly enjoyable and engrossing read. Mr. Beatty, who demonstrates his probity, erudition and understanding time and again on NPR's _On Point_, easily imports these virtues into writing. His is politically inflected historiography in the best sense, comparing favorably to marxian British historians of previous generations like E. P. Thompson and Gareth Stedman Jones. For the author, what is past is incontrovertibly prelude, and his treatment of the Gilded Age offers the perceptive reader as many insights into his own historical moment as of historical ones.

To his credit Mr. Beatty wears his learning and convictions lightly; the polemic is always subtle, never heavy-handed, and is seamlessly integrated into the prose; the gusto with which he tackles his subject proves infectious. Some chapters, such as those treating the rise and spectacular collapse of the Populists, and the labor unrest at the Carnegie steelworks, have a tragic sweep to them that will leave only the most jaded eye unmoist. As one who studies late-nineteenth century British literature, I really have to credit the author with deepening my understanding of events on this side of the Atlantic during the same period.

I do, however, have two quibbles with the text. First, the author's prose style, while generally graceful, does show a proclivity toward terseness, as well as Chicago-Manual economy of punctuation, which sometimes make even more formidable the dense thickets of data the author frequently drops his reader into. Second, while in the main Mr. Beatty confines himself to the period stated in the book's subtitle, 1865-1900, he does at times look forward to FDR's New Deal, and offers as a coda some words of Woodrow Wilson's in 1913.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Tony Homer on October 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
Jack Beatty's incisive work on `The Gilded Age' does not purport to be a so-called `objective history' (if such a work exists). Indeed, in the title itself, "Age of Betrayal," Beatty implies the suborning of American democracy by the plutocratic oligarchy of the robber barons who emerged in the late nineteenth century.

And rob they did. Beatty shows the vast creation of wealth in the period from the end of the Civil War: production of iron, steel, oil, and manufactured goods increased enormously. But most of the wealth was directed into the hands of the plutocrats who thrived with the development of the railroads - the arteries of developing capitalism.

This amassing of untold and unseemly wealth, as Beatty explains in detail, was aided and abetted by the collapse of political democracy, even in the limited form projected by the founding fathers. Corruption became the coin of politics: the pockets of senators and congressmen were stuffed with bribes. Beatty quotes President Cleveland who vetoed a modest $10,000 appropriation for seeds to help Texas farmers recover from drought: "I do not believe that the power and duty of the Government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering....though the people support the Government, the Government should not support the people."

Beatty shows accurately that the plunder over the Gilded Age decades was encouraged not only by the executive and legislative branches, but also by the Supreme Court. By invoking the 14th Amendment, the court gave the corporations the status of persons: the court ruled in favor of Property at all times.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews