The Birth of the American Century

Book - 1998
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In this remarkable evocation of the American past, David Traxel chronicles the extraordinary events of 1898--a year without rival in United States history for its extravagant adventure and far-reaching significance. Displaying a rare combination of graceful writing and authoritative scholarship, 1898 examines the lives of politicians and homemakers, outlaws and reformers, in telling the story of America's metamorphosis from a rural, isolationist society into a commanding presence on the world stage. Traxel's account centers upon his vivid portrayal of America's first foray into international military affairs, the Spanish-American War. Spurred on by the yellow journalism of Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst, the United States entered a war that garnered the nation Puerto Rico and the Philippines, and initiated the ascension of a little-known assistant secretary of the navy, Theodore Roosevelt. But while the Rough Riders were capturing the nation's attention abroad, bloody battles were occurring within the nation's own borders. Coal workers and company guards fought in Illinois, while racial conflict led to bloodshed in North Carolina, and in Minnesota the last battle between Native Americans and the U.S. Army resulted in the defeat of government troops. Radical advances in technology led to less violent but equally important changes, as the production of the first gasoline-powered car heralded a new era, and the first million-dollar advertising campaign (for Uneeda Biscuits) revealed the growing importance of marketing for a country in the midst of urbanization. Twelve months of confusion, contradiction, and crisis constituted this watershed year, and David Traxel has woven together these disparate strands into a rich tapestry of political unrest, domestic upheaval, and social change. An important contribution to the nation's cultural history, 1898 is a fascinating account of the definitive year that foretold the American Century.
Publisher: New York : A.A. Knopf, 1998.
Edition: First American edition.
ISBN: 9780679454670
Branch Call Number: 973.89 T699
Characteristics: xiii, 365 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Alternative Title: Eighteen hundred ninety-eight


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