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Paperback An Age of Extremes, 1880-1917 Book

ISBN: 0195153340

ISBN13: 9780195153347

An Age of Extremes, 1880-1917

(Book #8 in the A History of US Series)

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Book Overview

For the captains of industry--men like Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, J. P. Morgan, and Henry Ford--the Gilded Age is a time of big money. Technology boomed with the invention of trains, telephones, electric lights, harvesters, vacuum cleaners, and more. But for millions of immigrantworkers, it is a time of big struggles, with adults and children alike working 12 to 14 hours a day under extreme, dangerous conditions. The disparity between the...

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

Readable History

Vol 8 in an 11 volume set, "The History of Us," was missing from my original purchase from Goodwill. Great prices!! I've been very impressed with the series and found it informative, and interesting. I've learned a lot, and it has peaked my curiosity about history, especially during colonial times. I've become a genealogy hobbyist and this helps put so much of what went on into a nice perspective.

just what I was looking for

Just what I was looking for. As a homeschooling mom I usually try and stay away from "text books", since they are often dry and dull. This one is interesting and fun to use. The teachers guide and student guide are also worth every penny!

Joy Hakim looks at the extremes of the Gilded Age

Joy Hakim forewarns her young readers that "An Age of Extremes 1880-1917," volume 8 in A History of US, talks a lot about Economics, but also assures them that this time around it will not be a "yawn." This particular volume looks at the United States at what we now refer to as the turn of the last century, what Mark Twain called the "Gilded Age." However, the preface sets up the idea that this period was an age of extremes that saw business tycoons with great wealth and millions of immigrants living in poverty. While the Brooklyn Bridge and Panama Canal were being built Jim Crow laws were established in the South and the Indian wars ended in the West. Underneath this all Hakim reminds her readers that the United States is a nation of practical idealists and that in contrast to the Founding Fathers like Benjamin Franklin, the businessmen of the Gilded Age, such as Cornelius Vanderbilt, were unscrupulous rather than altruistic."An Age of Extremes" basically breaks down into five sections. The first (Chapters 1-7) starts with the rags to riches story of Andrew Carnegie and other magnates, as well as a dreamer of a different type in L. Frank Baum. The second (Chapters 8-14) covers American politics at the end of the 19th century, contrasting Republican support for big business with the rise of the Populists and William Jennings Bryan. The third (Chapters 15-21) offers the flip side of the first, focusing on the plight of the working class. The fourth (Chapters 22-28) tells how the Gilded Age turned Progressive, beginning with the Muckrakers and ending with the emergence of Theodore Roosevelt on the national stage. The final section (Chapters 29-37) begins with America's imperialistic interests in the Spanish-American War and ends with Woodrow Wilson leading the nation into a World War to save democracy. In between, T.R. remains the dominant figure.As always, Hakim's book is richly illustrated with period photographs, paintings, editorial cartoons and the like, including a photograph of the Dakota apartment building seen from Central Park after its construction which will strike a chord with fans of John Lennon. The pictures reinforce Hakim's point that this period was a time of both prosperity and poverty, of idealism and corruption. The volume ends with the U.S. entering the First World War, setting up the revolutionary changes that would come afterwards in the Jazz Age. The strength of Hakim's volumes remains her ability to engage her young readers. This might be a good old-fashioned juvenile history text, but it has the energy of a CD-Rom or a great Internet website. The series is perfect for parents who are home schooling their children because Hakim "talks" to her readers as if she were teaching them in a classroom, anticipating questions and demanding that they look at history from the perspective of the people they are reading about in these pages.

An age of extremes proves to be a book of greatness.

When reading this book, one might think that it is a simple critique and outlandish excuse used to mock the non-chalant and over-distinguisable world we live in. However, these accusations (McCarthy like in terms) prove to be ungrounded after one reads it. It is then that he discovers that Hakim wrote it for favourable purposes on all diameters. I definetely recomend it, however the word usage and placement could use some re-adjustment, so could the past she describes. If one enjoys reading a book that can be bragged about to friends, let this be it.Pick it up today.
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