American Colossus: The Triumph of Capitalism, 1865-1900 - H. W. Brands
Written by H. W. Brands
Publication Date: October 4, 2011
In this grand-scale narrative history, two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist H. W. Brands brilliantly portrays the emergence, in a remarkably short time, of a recognizably modern America.
American Colossus captures the decades between the Civil War and the turn of the twentieth century, when a few breathtakingly wealthy businessmen transformed the United States from an agrarian economy to a world power. From the first Pennsylvania oil gushers to the rise of Chicago skyscrapers, this spellbinding narrative shows how men like Morgan, Carnegie, and Rockefeller ushered in a new era of unbridled capitalism. In the end America achieved unimaginable wealth, but not without cost to its traditional democratic values.
From Publishers Weekly
In this timely study, University of Texas historian Brands (Traitor to His Class) describes the rise of the great corporate capitalists after the Civil War. J. Pierpont Morgan, John D. Rockefeller, and Andrew Carnegie constituted an trinity of power-obsessed individuals who instinctively understood that wealth was the ultimate political weapon. They defined the cold-blooded authority of big business. Fascinating detours away from the tale of corporate empires examine the Reconstruction process in the South, the Indian Wars of the West, the opening of the Great Plains, immigration in the East, and the rise of organized labor and the agrarian reformers. Effectively, excerpts from the first-person accounts of Booker T. Washington, Black Elk, Jacob Riis, and others convey the drama of the time. Perhaps the only significant omission in this fast-paced, engrossing narrative is a tendency to dwell on political doctrines that sought to repudiate or restrain capitalism while only briefly discussing the dogma of Herbert Spencer's social Darwinism, which favored the monopolists.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
“A superb new history. . . . A big, brash narrative.”
“A first-rate overview of one of the most important periods in American history. . . . Brands is a terrific writer who commands his material, handles this sprawling, complicated story with authority and panache.”
—The New York Times
“Colorful. . . . Sweeping. . . . Brands masterfully chronicles this transformation. . . . His account serves admirably as a survey history of Gilded Age America.”
—The Plain Dealer
“An excellent book. . . . Brands is a smart, lively writer. . . . He demonstrates, as the best historians do, that past is prologue.”
—The Dallas Morning News
Paperback: 704 pages
Publisher: Anchor; Reprint edition (October 4, 2011)
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Jan 29, 2012, 01:11:28
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