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New Spirits: Americans in the "Gilded Age," 1865-1905 provides a fascinating look at one of the most crucial chapters in U.S. history. Rejecting the stereotype of a "Gilded Age" dominated by "robber barons," author Rebecca Edwards invites us to look more closely at the period when the United States became a modern industrial nation and asserted its place as a leader on the world stage. In a concise, engaging narrative, Edwards recounts the contradictions of the era, including stories of tragedy and injustice alongside tales of humor, endurance, and triumph. She offers a balanced perspective that considers many viewpoints, including those of native-born whites, Native Americans, African Americans, and an array of Asian, Mexican, and European immigrants.
She is the Eloise Ellery Professor of History (and Chair) at Vassar College (Ph. D. at the University of Virginia); specializes in post-Civil War era, Populism, and history of women and gender. Books include: Angels in the Machinery (OUP, 1997).