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The Gilded Age and Progressive Era

Chasing Beauty

Ep. 75

There are a few people that embody a period. Isabella Stewart Gardner knew many of the the movers and shakers of the Gilded Age and lived from 1840-1924. Her story, and her compulsion to buy the art of the age, makes her a great lens through which to understand the Gilded Age. Dr. Natalie Dykstra joins the show to discuss her latest biography of Bella.


Essential Reading:


Natalie Dykstra, Chasing Beauty: The Life of Isabella Stewart Gardner (2024).

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    The Gilded Age West was a place to disappear for some. For Ray Hamilton and Jake Sargent - men from distinguished eastern families that sought privacy after scandals turned their lives apart - the West could not shield them from ongoing intrigue. Dr. Maura Jane Farrelly joins the show to talk about her latest book Compliments of Hamilton and Sargent, which detail these men's lives and those around them in Jackson, Wyoming. Essential Reading: Maura Jane Farrelly, Compliments of Hamilton and Sargent (2024).Recommended Reading: Wendy Gonaver, The Peculiar Institution and the Making of Modern Psychiatry, 1840-1880 (2019).Aaron Freundschuh, The Courtesan and the Gigolo: The Murders in the Rue Montaigne and the Dark Side of Empire in Nineteenth Century Paris (2017).Julie Miller, Abandoned: Foundlings in Nineteenth-Century New York City (2008).Stephen O'Connor, Orphan Trains: The Story of Charles Loring Brace and the Children he Saved and Failed (2001).
  • 80. Roundtable: Birth of a Nation

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  • 79. White Man's Work

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    The intersections of race and class or work and power has tantalizing effects on our understanding of history. It can reshape our appreciation of socio-cultural norms and the way we define the Gilded Age. Joseph Jewell's latest book White Man's Work: Race and Middle-Class Mobility into the Progressive Era takes the reader through the changing social structures caused by industrialization and Reconstruction, and the attendant anxieties these changes wrought among White communities.Essential Reading:Joseph O. Jewell, White Man's Work: Race and Middle-Class Mobility into the Progressive Era (2024).Recommended Reading:Arnoldo De León, The Tejano Community, 1836-1900 (1982).Evelyn Nakano Glenn, Unequal Freedom: How Race and Gender Shaped American Citizenship and Labor (2004).Erika Lee, At America's Gates: Chinese Immigration during the Exclusion Era, 1882-1943 (2003).Raúl A. Ramos, Beyond the Alamo: Forging Mexican Ethnicity in San Antonio, 1821-1861 (2008).Philip F. Rubio, There's Always Work at the Post Office: African American Postal Workers and the Fight for Jobs, Justice, and Equality (2010).Eric S. Yellin, Racism in the Nation's Service: Government Workers and the Color Line in Woodrow Wilson's America (2013).
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    This episode is a feed drop from the Brattleboro Literary Cocktail Hour, a monthly event hosted by the Brattleboro Literary Festival. I am in conversation with Ed O'Keefe, the author of The Loves of Theodore Roosevelt: The Women who Created a President. Given Roosevelt's lifetime overlaps the Gilded Age and Progressive Era quite neatly, and the women in his life have gotten short shrift, I thought this would be of interest to podcast listeners. Please also check out the podcast sponsor SHGAPE (Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era)
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