Fierce Discontent The Rise and Fall of the Progressive Movement in America, 1870-1920

ISBN-10: 0195183657
ISBN-13: 9780195183658
Edition: 2005
List price: $19.95 Buy it from $5.57
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Description: With America's current and ever-widening gap between the rich and the poor and the constant threat of the disappearance of the middle class, the Progressive Era stands out as a time when the middle class had enough influence on the country to start  More...

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Book details

List price: $19.95
Copyright year: 2005
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 7/7/2005
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 424
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.50" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.540
Language: English

With America's current and ever-widening gap between the rich and the poor and the constant threat of the disappearance of the middle class, the Progressive Era stands out as a time when the middle class had enough influence on the country to start its own revolution. Before the Progressive Era most Americans lived on farms, working from before sunrise to after sundown every day except Sunday with tools that had changed very little for centuries. Just three decades later, America was utterly transformed into a diverse, urban, affluent, leisure-obsessed, teeming multitude. This explosive change was accompanied by extraordinary public-spiritedness as reformers--frightened by class conflict and the breakdown of gender relations--abandoned their traditional faith in individualism and embarked on a crusade to remake other Americans in their own image. The progressives redefined the role of women, rewrote the rules of politics, banned the sale of alcohol, revolutionized marriage, and eventually whipped the nation into a frenzy for joining World War I. These colorful, ambitious battles changed the face of American culture and politics and established the modern liberal pledge to use government power in the name of broad social good. But the progressives, unable to deliver on all of their promises, soon discovered that Americans retained a powerful commitment to individual freedom. Ironically, the progressive movement helped reestablish the power of conservatism and ensured that America would never be wholly liberal or conservative for generations to come. Michael McGerr's A Fierce Discontent recreates a time of unprecedented turbulence and unending fascination, showing the first American middle-class revolution. Far bolder than the New Deal of FDR or the New Frontier of JFK, the Progressive Era was a time when everything was up for grabs and perfection beckoned.

Acknowledgments
Preface
The Progressive Opportunity
""Signs of Friction"": Portrait of America at Century's End
The Radical Center
Progressive Battles
TRansforming Americans
Ending Class Conflict
Controlling Big Business
The Shield of Segregation
Disturbance and Defeat
The Promise of Liberation
The Pursuit of Pleasure
The Price of Victory
Conclusion
Notes
Index

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