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Industrialization and the Transformation of American Life: A Brief Introduction Paperback – September 15, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-0765622563 ISBN-10: 0765622564

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: M.E.Sharpe (September 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765622564
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765622563
  • Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #135,757 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"In his concise and insightful book, Jonathan Rees has provided teachers of survey courses a handy guide for teaching the period from the Civil War to the 1920s. Rees provides not only a useful tool for teaching the period, but also advances the view that the era is best dealt with topically, encouraging historians to consider a review of their thoughts, lectures, and lesson plans for the topic. The scope and succinctness of Rees's work are complemented by the clarity of his writing. This work was written with the student in mind: its brevity, the simplicity of expression, and organization of the material are clear and straightforward. Perhaps the most useful aspect of the text is the ordering of the topics in such a way that teachers who are less familiar with the era can increase their awareness easily and find useful anecdotes for lectures and presentations." --Teaching History

"Rees has written a thoroughly readable and persuasive account of the role of industrialization in shaping the modern United States. Teachers of the undergraduate U.S. history survey course will find Industrialization and the Transformation of American Life to be a very useful supplement to other texts, and faculty teaching other U.S. history courses will find many valuable historical case studies as well." --H-Net Reviews

"Rees covers a large swath of land and has done so in an economical and quite interesting traverse. The topical method of organization as well as the choice of topics is laudable. He has skillfully tied the discussion of those topics closely and consistently to the main thread of industrialization. ... In spite of its brevity, this is one of the clearest, cleanest, and most useful accounts of industrialization that I have read." --Stanley K. Schultz, Emeritus Professor of History, University of Wisconsin-Madison

"Ingenious and insightful, this book is a marvelous introduction to a subject that every college-educated student should know about." --Robert W. Rydell, Montana State University

"Rees's book takes industrialization, a concept we think we know so well, as his lens into the Progressive Era, and shows us how no moment, person, or event remains untouched by its power. By systematically describing what industrialization is and entails, he requires us to think twice about commonplace items, habits, and institutions we take for granted and instead, see their potential--both frightening and alluring--to transform the country into a modern nation." --Robin Henry, Wichita State University

"This accessible title could serve as supplemental reading for a survey course in US history or an upper-division course in US industrialization, the Gilded Age, or the Progressive Era. Recommended. All levels of undergraduate students." --Choice

More About the Author

I teach American history at Colorado State University - Pueblo. My writing has been published in the Atlantic, Slate and Inside Higher Education. I'm also a columnist at the Chronicle of Higher Education's Vitae Project.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In "Industrialization and the Transformation of American Life: A Brief Introduction" Jonathan Rees condenses into 128 sharply focused pages the broad historical and technological forces that spread rapidly across the country after the Civil War and ushered in the modern world. Rees identifies two key factors of industrialization -- mechanization, and the division of labor (brought to their fullest expression in Henry Ford's assembly lines) -- that combined in a variety of forms to create 20th century America. He makes stunning connections between large technological and economic developments, such as the spread of railroads that unified the country, and their ripple effects on the lives of capitalists, workers, and consumers. His explanation of the historical processes that have shaped American life as we now live it is neither polemical nor apologetic. He identifies both benefits and costs, without grinding an axe. But his account is disturbing, especially as he applies his methods of analysis and assessment to our ongoing digital revolution. We are a more efficient people. But are we happier? Is technology bringing us together, or driving us apart? Lucid, balanced, cleanly written, and logically organized, this is a must read if you want to understand the times in which we live.
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