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The Response to Industrialism, 1885-1914 (The Chicago History of American Civilization) 2nd Edition

3.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0226321646
ISBN-10: 0226321649
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Hays here covers the period in which industrialism first stamped itself on American society. He "carefully explains the interrelationships of the multiple sectors of society and indicates clearly how the present institutions came into being" (LJ 7/57). In this second edition, Hayes updates his observations.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Samuel P. Hays is Distinguished Service Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Pittsburgh. His other books include Conservation and the Gospel of Efficiency (1959) and Beauty, Health, and Permanence (1989).
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Product Details

  • Series: The Chicago History of American Civilization
  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press; 2 edition (November 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226321649
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226321646
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,490,518 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Harry Eagar VINE VOICE on November 8, 2008
Format: Paperback
One reason, perhaps, that recent presidential and congressional campaigns have been so rancorous is the same reason condo politics are so vicious: The stakes are so small.

If self-government through responsible institutions really is a superior way to organize society, then it follows that over time many problems would be permanently solved. And so it is. We no longer argue whether to have slavery, reserve banks or child labor laws.

Two of those three issues were, however, unsettled during the period covered by Samuel Hays' extended essay "The Response to Industrialism." This is not a history but a rumination on other histories. In his summation, Hays remarks that "For many years historians, considering the events of American history between 1885 and 1914, have interpreted them in terms of a popular attack on corporate wealth."

Later, he says, historians reinterpreted the period as an attempt by elites to control the masses.

Both views are, he says, "myopic." Which does not mean either was incorrect, although now that we are four and five generations removed from those days, it may surprise younger American Democrats to learn that organized labor gave its votes to the Republican Party for many years starting in the 1890s. The parties were not stoutly ideological in those days, as they had been in the 1850s and would be again.

Younger American Republicans, on the other hand, will likely be appalled to learn that "judge-made law" was the norm in this (and earlier) periods, and that, contrary to current mythology, the legislatures were comparatively unimportant in this crucially formative period.

Hays emphasizes, of course, industrialism, which means cities, and he casts the fundamental divide in public concern between city and country.
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Format: Paperback
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From the last chapter of the book: "The unifying theme of American history between 1885 and 1914, so many historians have argued, was a popular attack against corporate wealth...This analysis accepts, uncritically, the popular ideas of the Populist-Progressive Era. It is a far too simple explanation." About the popular movements of that era: "They comprised a reaction not against the corporation alone but also against industrialism and the many ways in which it affected the lives of Americans...they attempted too cope with industrial change in all its ramifications...they centered their fire on the business leader, but he was a symbol of change which they could conveniently attack, rather than the essence of change itself."
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This order ended up coming in very late for me. I needed it for a class, so I was left without it for awhile. When I finally received it, it ended up being the 1st edition, not the 2nd edition, like it says. Needless to say, I was pretty mad about the situation. However, my professor was understanding and actually said he prefers the 1st edition to the 2nd, but it threw off a lot of discussions.
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I can't say I thought it was interesting, but that was mainly due to the fact that I bought it only for a school assignment. I would like to note that it goes in depth into industrialization and I think it was a great learning tool.
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