The Gilded Age and Progressive Era
Religion and war has a paradoxical relationship. Dr. Benjamin Wetzel joins me to discuss the history of religion and war in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, from mainline Protestant ministers calling souls to join the Union Army, to Catholic priests resisting the war against Spain in 1898. Essential Reading:Benjamin Wetzel, American Crusade: Christianity, Warfare, and National Identity (2022).Recommended Reading:Andrew Preston,Sword of the Spirit, Shield of Faith: Religion in American War and Diplomacy (2012).Matthew McCullough, The Cross of War: Christian Nationalism and U.S. Expansion in the Spanish-American War (2014).Richard Gamble, The War for Righteousness: Progressive Christianity, the Great War, and the Rise of the Messianic Nation (2003).Kristin Schwain, Signs of Grace: Religion and American Art in the Gilded Age (2008).Jonathan Ebel, Faith in the Fight: Religion and the American Soldier in the Great War (2010).George Rable, God’s Almost Chosen Peoples: A Religious History of the American Civil War (2015).
Diamonds and Deadlines: The Life of Miriam Leslie
Why have we not heard about Miriam Leslie? She was one of the richest New York women, and a media tycoon. She was also a seductress who broke the era's gender norms and charlatan that concocted her origin story. Her life is riveting and no better author to bring this biography to life than Betsy Prioleau. Essential Reading:Betsy Prioleau, Diamonds and Deadlines: The Tale of Greed, Deceit, and a Female Tycoon in the Gilded Age (2022).
The New Atlantic Order
No one can dispute the importance of the Great War, but where the conflict began, and the ideas that set it apart from other wars is the starting point of this episode. Patrick Cohrs discusses his latest tome The New Atlantic Order and explains how the long origin of World War I began in the 1860s and has reverberated to this very day. Essential Reading:Patrick O. Cohrs, The New Atlantic Order (2022).
Do Pandemics End?: A Roundtable
The Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era published a roundtable called "What Came Next?: Reflections on the Aftermath(s) of the 1918-19 Flu Pandemic in the Age of COVID." Three of the participants join me to discuss how pandemics end, if they end, what lessons they teach (if any), and how they contribute to the history of a given era. The answers might surprise you!Essential Reading:Christopher McKnight Nichols, E. Thomas Ewing, K. Healan Gaston, Maddalena Marinari, Alan Lessoff, and David Huyssen, "What Came Next?: Reflections on the Aftermath(s) of the 1918-19 Flu Pandemic in the Age of COVID," Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era 21, no. 2 (April 2022): 111-149.Roundtable with Christopher McKnight Nichols, Nancy Bristow, E. Thomas Ewing, Joseph M. Gabriel, Benjamin C. Montoya and Elizabeth Outka “Reconsidering the 1918–19 Influenza Pandemic in the Age of COVID-19”Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era19, no. 4: 642-672.
Black Indians and Freedmen
The African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) is one of the most important African American Churches in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, and Christina Dickerson-Cousin shares how the AME worked in Indian Territory. The story is one of shared issues and common interests that helps add nuance to our understanding of the period.Essential Reading:Christina Dickerson-Cousin, Black Indians & Freedmen: The African Methodist Episcopal Church and Indigenous Americans, 1816-1916 (2021).
The American Mirror
The United States and Brazil share the distinction of being the last places in the Americas to emancipate slaves. The Emancipation Proclamation (1863) and Fourteenth Amendment (1865) accomplished this in the U.S. and the Golden Law in Brazil did the same in 1888, although emancipation occurred gradually there over three decades. Roberto Saba calls the experience "the American Mirror" and argues that it can tell us a great deal about the hemisphere, the industrialization of American economies, and the growth of a new order.Essential Reading:Roberto Saba, American Mirror: The United States and Brazil in the Age of Emancipation (2021).Recommended Reading:Emilia Viotti da Costa, The Brazilian Empire: Myths and Histories (2000).Sven Beckert, The Empire of Cotton: A Global History (2015). Matthew Karp,This Vast Southern Empire: Slaveholders at the Helm of American Foreign Policy (2016).Angela Alonso,The Last Abolition: The Brazilian Antislavery Movement, 1868-1888 (2021).Greg Downs,The Second American Revolution: The Civil War-Era Struggle Over Cuba and the Rebirth of the American Republic (2019).Teresa Cribelli,Industrial Forests and Mechanical Marvels: Modernization in Nineteenth-Century Brazil (2016).
Megan Kate Nelson takes us on a journey to Yellowstone, the first national park and a site of iconic western beauty. From the scientific surveys that explored the park's geysers, to the railroad expansion through Native American territory, Dr. Nelson's book paints a vivid portrait of the place. Join us for a conversation about the American environment, economic panics, landscape photography, and how to write narrative history. Essential Reading:Megan Kate Nelson, Saving Yellowstone: Exploration and Preservation in Reconstruction America (2022).Recommended Reading:Ferdinand V. Hayden, “The Wonders of the West II. More about the Yellowstone,” Scribner’s Monthly (February 1872): 388-396.Thomas Moran, The Grand Cañon of the Yellowstone (1872).Ernie LaPointe, Sitting Bull: His Life and Legacy (2009).M. John Lubetkin, Jay Cooke’s Gamble: The Northern Pacific Railroad, The Sioux, and the Panic of 1873 (2006).Heather Cox Richardson, West from Appomattox: The Reconstruction of America after the Civil War (2007).Mark David Spence, Dispossessing the Wilderness: Indian Removal and the Making of the National Parks (2000).
The Art of Amalia Küssner
When you think of the artists of the Gilded Age, you might recall John Singer Sargent or James Abbott McNeill Whistler. But have you heard of Amalia Küssner? She painted royalty and robber barons, and became one of the era's most sought after artists. This week is an extra special treat as Kathleen Langone takes over the show. Kathleen is host of the People Hidden In History podcast, and Amalia Küssner features as one of those people she hopes to remind the world about. You can listen to an extended version of this episode on Kathleen's show.Kathleen has published several article, including with Boston Magazine and has appeared on television and radio related to her work on historic events in New England. Check out her podcast and should you wish to get in touch, her Twitter handle is: @phihpod.
The Approaching Storm
Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and Jane Addams take center state in Neil Lanctot's latest book The Approaching Storm, an intimate look at America's decision to enter World War I. Lanctot's character-driven narrative takes the reader on transatlantic peace missions and a deep introspective about American values.Essential Reading:Neil Lanctot, The Approaching Storm: Roosevelt, Wilson, Addams and Their Clash over America's Future (2021).Neil Lanctot, "Biden, like Woodrow Wilson in WWI, treads a fine line in refusing to send troops to Ukraine," Chicago Tribune, 14 March 2022.Recommended Reading:John Milton Cooper, The Warrior and the Priest (1983).Kathleen Dalton, Theodore Roosevelt: A Strenuous Life (2002).Louise W. Knight, Citizen: Jane Addams and the Struggle for Democracy (2005).