The Gilded Age and Progressive Era
Tuesday, May 23, 2023
Citizens of the World
The peace movement, global citizenship, and global government are wrapped up in this week's episode. Dr. Megan Threlkeld joins to discuss her book Citizens of the World, which takes on these subjects and the role that nine women played in shaping the idea of global citizenship. Given the rise of internationalism in this period, Dr. Threlkeld's book is vital to how we interpret international relations in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era.Essential Reading:Megan Threlkeld, Citizens of the World: U.S. Women and Global Government (2022).Recommended Reading:Keisha N. Blain and Tiffany M. Gill (eds.), To Turn the Whole World Over: Black Women and Internationalism (2019). Daniel Gorman, International Cooperation in the Early Twentieth Century (2017).Mark Mazower, Governing the World: The History of an Idea (2012).Patricia Owens and Katharina Rietzler (eds.), Women’s International Thought: A New History (2021).
Tuesday, May 9, 2023
The Pinchot Family
Some families are synonymous with the Gilded Age and Progressive Era: the Vanderbilts, the LaFollettes, the Roosevelts, and the Astors to name a few. Dr. David Patterson joins the show to remind us of another dynasty: the Pinchots, a reform-minded, Presbyterian family that held sway in Washington and Pennsylvania from the Civil War to the Kennedy administration. Essential Reading:David Patterson, The Pinchots: A Family Saga (2023).Recommended Reading:Nina Burleigh, A Very Private Woman: The Life and Unsolved Murder of Presidential Mistress Mary Meyer (1998).Bibi Gaston: The Loveliest Woman in America: A Tragic Actress, Her Lost Diaries, and Her Granddaughter’s Search for Home (2008).Char Miller, Gifford Pinchot and the Making of Modern Environmentalism (2001).Gifford Pinchot, Breaking New Ground (1947).
Tuesday, May 2, 2023
Special Episode: Historical Fiction
Joy Callaway writes novels - novels infused with historical research. Her latest is a Gilded Age romance story set in Westchester Co., New York.
Tuesday, April 25, 2023
A Lynching at Port Jervis
Throughout the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, lynching took place across the country, even if we think of it as a phenomenon exclusive to southern states. Acclaimed historian and author of civil rights Philip Dray tells a different story, of a lynching in New York that rocked the small town of Port Jervis. The murder of Robert Lewis by a mob has great significance for how we remember the past and consider the present day. Essential Reading:Philip Dray, A Lynching at Port Jervis: Race and Reckoning in the Gilded Age (2022).Philip Dray, At the Hands of Persons Unknown: The Lynching of Black America (2003).Recommended Reading:Richard Brown, Strains of Violence: Historical Studies of Violence and Vigilantism (1975).Dan Carter, Scottsboro: A Tragedy of the American South (1979).A.J. Williams-Myers, Long Hammering: Essays on the Forging of an African-American Presence in the Hudson River Valley (1994).Jacqueline Goldsby, A Spectacular Secret: Lynching in American Life and Literature (2006).Michael J, Pfeifer, Rough Justice: Lynching and American Society 1847-1947 (2004).Amy Wood, Lynching and Spectacle: Witnessing Racial Violence in America, 1890-1940 (2009).Heather Cox Richardson, The Death of Reconstruction: Race, Labor and Politics in the Post Civil War North, 1865-1901 (2001).
Tuesday, April 11, 2023
The Star Route Scandal
The Gilded Age had its fare share of political scandals, and the Star Route scandal ranks as one of its most important. It exposed the spoils system at a time when public debate about good government filled the headlines. Why has this scandal remained so obscure when compared to others like Credit Mobilier or the Whiskey Ring. Professor Shawn Peters joins the show to discuss his latest book When Bad Men Combine, the story of the star route scandal.Essential Reading:Shawn Francis Peters, When Bad Men Combine: The Star Route Scandal and the Twilight of Gilded Age Politics (2023).Recommended Reading:Winifred Gallagher, How the Post Office Created America (2016).Lewis L. Gould, The Republicans: A History of the Grand Old Party (2014).Adelbert Bower Sageser, The First Two Decades of the Pendleton Act: A Study of Civil Service Reform (1935).Thomas C. Reeves, Gentleman Boss: the Life of Chester Alan Arthur (1975).
Tuesday, March 28, 2023
In the Archives
In this episode, Dr. Michelle Krowl joins me to talk about the archives, and specifically one the biggest archives in the world, the Library of Congress. Michelle works there as the historical specialist on the Civil War and Reconstruction. She is also a specialist for the presidential papers from James K. Polk to William Howard Taft, and thereby an expert on the Gilded Age and Progressive Era.
Wednesday, March 15, 2023
Child Labor and the Law
Child labor regulation seems emblematic of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, and yet federal legislation to protect children only became settled law many decades later. Professor John Fliter joins the show to discuss the history of child labor laws and how it has shaped the contemporary political debates. Essential Reading:John A. Fliter, Child Labor in America: The Epic Legal Struggle to Protect Children (2018).Recommended Reading:Betsy Wood, Upon the Altar of Work: Child Labor and the Rise of a New American Sectionalism (2020).Hugh D. Hindman, Child Labor: An American History (2002).Vincent DiGirolamo, Crying the News: A History of America's Newsboys (2019).Paul Chrystal, Factory Girls: The Working Lives of Women and Children (2022).James D. Schmit, Industrial Violence and the Legal Origins of Child Labor (2010).
Wednesday, March 1, 2023
Henry George: Land and Liberty
If any figure of the Gilded Age has major relevance on the lives of the working class today - especially those that cannot or struggle to buy a home - it is Henry George. The best-selling author and single tax advocate offered Americans and the world a big idea that could change the way governments tax its people.Essential Reading:Christopher William England, Land and Liberty: Henry George and the Crafting of Modern Liberalism (2023).Recommended Reading:Henry George, Progress and Poverty (1879).Edward T. O'Donnell, Henry George and the Crisis of Inequality: Progress and Poverty in the Gilded Age (2015).Phillip J. Bryson, The Economics of Henry George: History's Rehabilitation of America's Greatest Early Economist (2011).Mary M. Cleveland, "The Economics of Henry George: A Review Essay," The American Journal of Economics and Sociology 71, no. 2 (April 2012): 498-511. Ramesh Chandra, "Allyn Young on Henry George and the Single Tax," Review of Political Economy 34, no. 4 (December 2022): 766-88.
Wednesday, February 15, 2023
The Silver Women
Historians often look for excluded voices, and that task is difficult because archives keep scarcer records of ordinary people leading seemingly ordinary lives. When a scholar finds records that can tell a new story it is exciting. Professor Joan Flores Villalobos accomplishes this task in the story of The Silver Women. She joins me to talk about migrant women who transformed the Panama Canal project. Essential Reading:Joan Flores Villalobos, The Silver Women: How Black Women's Labor Made the Panama Canal (2023).Recommended Reading:Velma Newton, The Silver Men: West Indian Labour Migration to Panama, 1850-1914 (2004). Julie Greene, The Canal Builders: Making America's Empire at the Panama Canal (2009).David McCullough, The Path between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870–1914 (1977).Walter Lafeber, Panama Canal The Crisis in Historical Perspective (1978).