“The Gilded Age” is one of the most vivid clichés applied to the country’s history. It conjures up the image of dishonest political bosses and wealthy American business men. Like many clichés, this image is not so much untrue as oversimplified. During the four decades after the Civil War, American society went from being a small-town, commercial, and agricultural country to the world's leading industrial power, with cities so huge and complex. The economy increasingly revolved around – and American life defined by – mechanized agriculture, food processing, electricity, oil, chemicals, and steel. Such industries represented a level of technical and economic power that exhilarated but also terrified people at the time. The era’s political and social conflicts uncover not only what the United States was becoming, but what different Americans felt it should become. New Spirits: Americans in the Gilded Age, 1865-1905 shows a broad look at this fascinating period . Some may think these years showed a gilded facade that hid a rotten core, Rebecca Edwards sees more too this era. She presents support that this period of time was full of contradictions. It was a time when mining brought hope of riches for prospectors, along with reality of industrial labor and uncertain profits. Nevertheless, Edwards does not only write on stories of tragedy and unfairness, but also on lessons of strength, and achievement, that is what makes this book so unique. From what was read in the history book, they only showed how corrupt the Gilded Age was; not about how much us the 21st century learned almost everything we do and also have from that time era. Rebecca's book although written in good style mainly reflects on college students reading. Many of the scholars believe this because the book was easy to understand and she had brought out some points that many did not see when studying this time era. An up to date with witty anecdotes was a refreshing...
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