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Standing at Armageddon: A Grassroots History of the Progressive Era

3.72  ·  Rating Details  ·  176 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Standing at Armageddon is a comprehensive and lively historical account of America's shift from a rural and agrarian society to an urban and industrial society. Nell Irvin Painter will be featured in the PBS multipart series The Progressive Era with Bill Moyers, which coincides with the release of the updated edition of this acclaimed work.
ebook, 448 pages
Published March 7th 2011 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published 1987)
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Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
Rating: 4.125* of five

The USA has a long history of upheaval and change. The Progressive Era, one that we 21st-century beneficiaries tend to forget existed, was the cradle of such social justice as FDR was able to jam down the gullets of the horrible, nasty conservatives that have always dominated American politics and continue to do even today, to our lasting shame.

The Jeffersonian ideal of an agrarian democracy died about 1840. Industrialization, in those early years, went on in a brutal, hide
N.W. Martin
Reading this for my America from 1877 to 1929 class. So far it is okay, though Mrs. Painter's bias prompted me to cross-read this with a Mark Summers survey. In the first two chapters, she has downplayed the role of technology (actually she is overly negative toward any project that 'exploited' the workers)and glorifies the Union and Worker strikes post-reconstruction. I have a nagging feeling that her worldview is being pushed onto her facts, and for that reason alone I've rated the book so low ...more
Dec 30, 2012 Scott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The period of American history between 1877 and 1919 is often misunderstood as a boring time when nothing really happened. This is not indirectly brought about through excessively complex and abstract economic theory about money supply, sometimes bland political theater, and the gravity of the Civil War/Reconstruction and World War One have upon our national consciousness. Plus, how much of this period weighs upon the lives of us today? This last point is often brought up by students, and my ans ...more
Sep 02, 2007 Adam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those wanting to know more about America's first bouts with modern life
A solid introductory text to American history after Reconstruction and through the First World War. A broadly neglected field of American history, this does a nice job of contextualizing that period's social turmoil by linking postwar racial tensions to the burgeoning class and gender problems that exploded into the public sphere around the same time. As importantly, Painter writes with fire and just the right dose of venom. The chapters are a breeze to read and chock-full of tidbits (perhaps to ...more
Jul 13, 2009 Mick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The more history I read, the more I'm convinced we were robbed by our own consent.
Feb 06, 2015 Ben rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Conceives of a...long-so-called-progressive-era from 1877-1919 around three fulcrum points, the mass strike waves of: 1877, 1886, 1919. Americans were attempting to determine the correct vision for society, between those emphasizing shared prosperity (and with it hierarchy) and those emphasizing democracy (and accepting the reality of conflict, based on race, class, gender, etc.)
Michael Auger
Feb 05, 2014 Michael Auger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A thorough examination of the Progressive era of The United States, and the various social movements that cropped up.
Jun 22, 2010 Jessi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great resource for learning progressive-era history. It provided me with a sense of just how powerful social and political unrest was in the post-reconstruction era. Painter points out that Americans in the 1890's dealt with the damaging effects of recessions, a widening gap between socioeconomic classes, and the challenges of establishing reform. The parallels between the period covered in the book and that of today is striking, and perhaps, somewhat ironic.
Jul 29, 2012 Jack rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: u-s-history
One of the very few history books that I call "a page-turner", this is a uniquely readable survey of the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era. Nell Irvin Painter discusses those periods with a focus on class, gender, and race, without sacrificing coverage of the "traditional" issues (party politics, U.S. foreign policy, economics, etc.). Highly recommended for general readers and students alike.
Feb 24, 2012 Ryan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great account of a tumultuous period in American history. It's amazing how so many of the same issues are alive today. Nell Irvin Painter does a commendable job keeping the pace quick while including very interesting character sketches, anecdotes, and down and dirty economic scholarship. Highly recommended for anyone looking to know more about this time period.
Feb 17, 2014 Brandy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this for a grad class.
Easily the most readable book on the time period that I've encountered. Probably the first time I've ever felt like I had a grasp on some of these issues (not least of all the silver debate). This book is a keeper.
Dec 08, 2013 Evans rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It can be a bit of a tedious read at times, but this book covers a very fascinating time in American History. It was just as good the second time since I was reading for pleasure, not for school. Painter is a very talented writer.
Charles Kingsley
Jan 12, 2013 Charles Kingsley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very interesting book that explores some different narratives of american history you won't find so well explicated in other books.
Aug 14, 2012 Corey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this in college. Actually an interesting read for I think is a very dull era in US History: The Industrial Revolution.
May 03, 2015 Alex rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
An interesting overview into the events that shaped modern America.
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Nell Irvin Painter is an American historian notable for her works on southern history of the nineteenth century. She is retired from Princeton University, and served as president of the Organization of American Historians. She also served as president of the Southern Historical Association.

She was born Nell Irvin to Dona and Frank E. Irvin, Sr. She had an older brother Frank who died young. Her fa
More about Nell Irvin Painter...

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