“This treasure trove of documents is a terrific classroom resource. The Links chose carefully to achieve geographic, chronological, and thematic balance. The book's organization represents all aspects of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era and ties them together interpretatively. Professors will find themselves assigning documents from the reader week after week. This is one of the most useful teaching books I've seen.” – Glenda Gilmore, Yale University
“Three cheers for William and Susannah Link, whose documentary reader offers interpretive structure and focus alongside its thoughtfully-chosen collection of primary sources. This reader is authoritative while still compact, giving enough points of view to spark controversy without closing down conversation. It is the perfect companion to the U.S. survey or more specialized courses in modern American history.” – Jane Dailey, University of Chicago
“Wisely selected first-person accounts coupled with the author's trenchant introductions bring to life civics and society at the dawn of modern America. It is a valuable resource that will engage students.” – Andrew Haley, University of Southern Mississippi
From the Back Cover
Following the conclusion of the Civil War and Reconstruction, the Progressive Era brought a wholesale restructuring of social and political institutions. The period from the 1870s through World War I was characterized by the nationalization of American life, the establishment of the United States as a global power, the refashioning of social relationships and the reconstruction of the political system.
This volume gathers together documents that illustrate the variety of experiences and themes involved in the transformation of American political, economic, and social systems during this period, and presents the essential perspectives of race, class, gender, and culture. Situating the documents within their historical context, the book is divided into five thematic sections: the American frontier after Reconstruction; the transformations that arrived with industrialization; the social and political crisis that gripped the United States at the end of the 19th century; reform; imperialism and war.
This collection enables readers to engage actively in historical interpretation and to understand the interplay between social and political forces in the period, exploring the experiences of people during the Gilded Age and Progressive Era from a variety of diverse perspectives.