"Fearless and peerless, Richard White leads us through a transformed and fragmented nation in turmoil, haunted by the slain Abraham Lincoln, where visions of freedom and equality were rapidly vanishing. In the rural South, in the urban North, and out West, from the terribly destitute to the stupendously wealthy, White brings together stories that historians have long told separately, untangling the anger and blame that grew so deeply entrenched in the Gilded Age. How did all this happen? Richard White explains everything." - Martha Hodes, author of Mourning Lincoln
"Richard White has given us a brilliantly imagined narrative of astonishing breadth, thickly peopled with figures from familiar political lions to Lizzie Borden, Dorothy and Toto, that brings to vivid life one of the most challenging periods of American history. His is a twisting, often violent and above all ironic story of a nation finding its way from a time of both tragedy and optimism to one of prodigious wealth and colossal energy, of deepening divisions of class, blood, and ideas, of new meanings of everything from government to geographical space, and of a shaken, tempered faith in the century ahead. This is a masterful performance." -- Elliott West, author of The Last Indian War
"Richard White offers a remarkable new synthesis of the decades following the Civil War, showing the myriad ways in which a period about which most modern Americans know too little in fact laid the foundations for the nation we know today. This book will change the ways we think not just about the past, but about the present as well." -- William Cronon, author of Nature's Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West
"The Republic for Which It Stands illuminates every key aspect of the industrializing, expanding nation in the final third of the nineteenth century: racial, ecological, legal, political, economic, and cultural. In lucid, witty, and often dramatic prose, Richard White makes sense of them all in a way that powerfully echoes the inequalities and environmental degradation of our own day. Yet he also captures the mighty appeal of the developing capitalist economy that was becoming the envy of the world. This is the best book on the Gilded Age that has ever been written." -- Michael Kazin, author of War Against War: The American Fight for Peace, 1914-1918
"This is a marvelous achievement of narrative history by a great historian. Written with immense learning, wit, indignation, fearless judgments, and imagination, the book will stand up for a long time as a new vision of two eras with reputation problems. White masterfully weaves the metaphor of the 'vanished twin' through the book and persuasively makes 'home' a central theme binding all Americans of every class or race: as dream, as reality, as racial and gendered place, and as politics. This is not your grandaddy's Gilded Age, although corruption - lots of it - oozes from the story. It is powerful and readable history that exudes all the 'hallmarks of modernity' we have claimed and soberingly invokes our own grave political moment. What 'vanished' is nothing less than the meaning of Union victory and the world the first Republican party struggled to achieve. White is our Mark Twain with archival authority and footnotes." -- David W. Blight, Yale University
"The Oxford History of the United States continues to surpass expectations with this latest contribution. For many Americans, Reconstruction is still remembered as a period of racial anarchy, political failure, and the humiliation of the defeated South. This volume presents detailed knowledge of what actually happened in the South between 1865 and 1876 and the years that followed. It is sometimes an inspiring but more often deeply shocking story that reveals a nation at its best and worst, when newly freed slaves and idealists, both black and white, struggled to preserve the rights Union armies had won on the battlefield and that Republican members of Congress affirmed in the years after the Civil War." -- Frank J. Williams, President of The Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library and Association
About the Author
Richard White is Margaret Byrne Professor of American History at Stanford University. He is the author of numerous prize-winning books, including Railroaded: The Transcontinentals and the Making of Modern America, The Middle Ground: Indians, Empires, and Republics in the Great Lakes Region, 1650-1815, and "It's Your Misfortune and None of My Own": A New History of the American West. He is a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Mellon Distinguished Scholar Award, among other awards.