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The Reckless Decade: America in the 1890s

3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  74 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
"Large-scale economic change, job uncertainty, the politics of extremism and paranoia, arguments over America's international role, racial conflicts. Sound familiar?"(Fritz Lanham, Houston Chronicle) Just as we do today, Americans of the 1890s faced changes in economics, politics, society, and technology that led to wrenching and sometimes violent tensions between rich and ...more
Paperback, 390 pages
Published March 15th 2002 by University Of Chicago Press (first published 1995)
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Chris
Dec 05, 2009 Chris rated it really liked it
This author has a great ability to bring cause and effect into light in a clear, down to earth manner that makes reading history not only enjoyable but also leaves you with clear understanding in a way no text book does. I haven't come across a book by this author that I didn't like. I also highly recommend his California gold rush book.
Eli
Apr 01, 2015 Eli rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, research, 2008
"Americans" in the 1980s might've been a better subtitle - as in portraits of rich, powerful, famous men of the 1890s. While this approach allowed some insight into the culture as a whole - a chapter on Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Morgan sketched the impacts of industrialization, and a comparison of Booker Washington to W.E.B. DuBois opened a window into race relations - the book, though solid and well-researched, is well-suited to those who like reading about influential men, not those looking f ...more
Jeremy Perron
Aug 18, 2012 Jeremy Perron rated it it was amazing
The Restless Decade of H.W. Brands is a book that lives up to its name. Brands takes his readers for a trip although out America in the last decade of the nineteenth century. Brands presents a nation that is on the edge, with the end of century that began with President John Adams and finished with William McKinley; saw the nation grow from the Appalachian Mountains to the Pacific Ocean; split in half and fight; and the saw the end of slavery and the beginning of Jim Crow, the American people we ...more
Craig
Nov 11, 2012 Craig rated it liked it
One of Brands' earlier books (written in 1995) and perhaps it shows as it isn't on par with some of his more recent books which are consistently fascinating and informative. This one tries to cover the important events of the 1890s which seems simple enough. Yet, as Brands shows, the 1890s brought to America widespread social, political, and economic changes, and in that regard I feel this book could have been more effective if it had concentrated on just one of those three main aspects.

Brands,
...more
Rylan McQuade
Jan 15, 2012 Rylan McQuade rated it liked it
This book really taught me a lot about the 1890s. There were some 4-star parts: I really liked the Imperialism chapter, and the stories about annexing the Philippines and the Spanish-American War were very good. Also, I liked how the author recaps and evaluates everything in the Epilogue. Some parts, like "How the Other Half Lived," were more bland.
John Albert
A very perceptive book that points out how much the 1890's and our times are the same. A growing social divide between the very rich and the poor. Growing control that large businesses have over our government, aggressive foreign policy and a depression that required a bail out of the government by Wall Street mirrors our times in many ways.
Lloyd Hughes
Aug 03, 2016 Lloyd Hughes rated it really liked it
One of Mr Brands' earliest books, well written in his story-telling fashion. Interesting presentation to draw parallels between 1890s and 1990s. Crisp analysis, minor bias but mostly even handed, captures and illuminates era. 4 stars.
David
May 16, 2009 David rated it really liked it
The 1890s and the 1990s in the USA had more in common than one might first expect, after 100 years the country in 1990 was working out many of the same issues it was in 1890.
Hind Dossary
Apr 30, 2016 Hind Dossary rated it really liked it
The book is helpful to know more about American during the 1890s in details including the economic, the financial, the political, and the social changes.
Eunice Schroeder
Sep 22, 2009 Eunice Schroeder rated it really liked it
Good intro to economic, political, social, cultural issues of the decade written in a very engaging style.
Pete Hill
Jan 29, 2015 Pete Hill rated it liked it
Good
Shawn Thrasher
Oct 25, 2013 Shawn Thrasher rated it did not like it
Snooze.
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Henry William Brands was born in Portland, Oregon, where he lived until he went to California for college. He attended Stanford University and studied history and mathematics. After graduating he became a traveling salesman, with a territory that spanned the West from the Pacific to Colorado. His wanderlust diminished after several trips across the Great Basin, and he turned to sales of a differen ...more
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