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1898: The Birth of the American Century

3.46 of 5 stars 3.46  ·  rating details  ·  52 ratings  ·  9 reviews
In 1898: The Birth of the American Century, David Traxel tells the story of a watershed year, a year of foreign conflict, extravagant adventure, and breakneck social change that forged a new America—a sudden empire with many far-flung possessions, a dynamic new player upon the global stage.

At the heart of this vivid, anecdotal history is a masterly account of the Spanish-A
Paperback, 384 pages
Published December 7th 1999 by Vintage (first published May 5th 1998)
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Looking to round out the 19th Century and begin transitioning to the next, I read David Traxel's 1898: The Birth of the American Century to learn more about the events leading up to and during the Spanish American War and how results of the conflict officially changed America's role in international relations.

In hindsight, the events of this year do seem to be a natural termination of the trends of the previous four decades.

Formal reconstruction and recovery from the Civil War was more or less o
Lauren Albert
A "slice of life" book that looks at one year in the life of the country--the Spanish American War being the predominant event. An Exhibition, Roosevelt as Governor of NY, gold in the Yukon--it was an eventful year. Though Traxel spends the most time on the build up to the war ("remember the Maine") and the debates over colonialism after, he also tries to give a sense of what life was like for every day people.
An American History lover's guide to the aftermath of the Civil War and the unification of a once deadly divided nation in a war with Spain that propelled the nation into the global sphere of commerce, militarism, and thought.

Traxel gives crucial insight into the America of 1898 that began with the aftermath of the War in the 1860s to ideas that would dominate the country at the turn of the century and that would become the foundation of a post WWII America.
Jill Hutchinson
For the most part, I enjoyed this book which is an overall social commentary of the year of the title. It touches on such disparate subjects as politics, regional development, the Spanish-American War and "yellow" journalism. As is common with most books that try to cover an entire year, some subjects get short shrift but overall, an entertaining read.
This is a very readable book and very informative. It addresses issues like the interaction of science an commerce, competition among entrepreneurs, rise of trusts and conglomerates, and the acquisition of the American empire in Cuba and the Philippines. There is a lot about Teddy Roosevelt, Tammy Hall, the Guilded Age and even Madam Blavatsky.
David Brown
This book starts really strong and was a compelling read. But the chronology of moving through the year day by day got a bit sloppy feeling and less helpful in the later half of the book. For the first half though, it was a fun jaunt through the world of burgeoning experiments with cars, planes and more. Fun section on Nabisco too.
Most of the book focuses on the Spanish-American war, though I was hoping for a little more information about the "homefront." A very good book about the year 1898 and the years surrounding it. The last chapter about advertising was particularly interesting.
A breezy history fo the year that this country became a world power. A pistache of Roosevelt, the splendid little war, labor strife, inventers, and immigrants. A book my father picked up at the Strand that I have read as part of my inheritance.
Tim W. Brown
Decent chronicle of a pivotal year, 1898.
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