America in the 1900s


What were Americans doing in the 1900s? Listening to phonographs, reading dime novels, watching vaudeville shows, and much more.

From workers' rights to civil liberties, Americans protested injustice in the 1900s. They went on strike for higher pay and shorter working hours and founded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to combat racial violence.

The decade's most influential people included President Theodore ...

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What were Americans doing in the 1900s? Listening to phonographs, reading dime novels, watching vaudeville shows, and much more.

From workers' rights to civil liberties, Americans protested injustice in the 1900s. They went on strike for higher pay and shorter working hours and founded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to combat racial violence.

The decade's most influential people included President Theodore Roosevelt, activist and educator W. E. B. DuBois, women's suffrage leader Mary Chapman Catt, popular composer George M. Cohan, and aviation pioneers Wilbur and Orville Wright. They helped pave the way for a decade of political reforms and technological advances. From picket lines to child labor, from ragtime music to the dawn of motion pictures, read about this fascinating decade from start to finish.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Heather N. Kolich
In magazine-style chapters, Brill provides a general overview and a few close examinations of topics such as politics; environmental concerns; the rapid advance of science, technology and communications; economics; how immigrants, minorities and women changed or challenged the norms; and the struggle of America to divorce herself from European customs in art, fashion, music, sports and entertainment. Any of the chapters in this beefy book could be expanded into a book on that topic alone. Throughout all the topics examined, Brill strives to emphasize the roles that women and African Americans played in defining that particular decade. Many of the activities and passions of the time are resurgent in the current decade, a century later, proving that those who do not learn from history are destined to repeat it. There are many interesting characters profiled in the pages, as well as some underreported stories that pique a desire to seek more information. Numerous sources for further learning are sandwiched between a timeline of greater events of the decade and an activity page in the extensive end material. This title of "The Decades of Twentieth-Century America" explores the trends, attitudes and accomplishments of America at the dawn of the twentieth Century. Reviewer: Heather N. Kolich
VOYA - Kathleen Beck
What do Theodore Roosevelt, Booker T. Washington, Frank Lloyd Wright, and "Jim Crow" have in common? All were emergent forces in the explosive change that shaped the first decade of the twentieth century. Immigration fed cheap labor, which in turn gave birth to the union movement. The first affordable automobiles inspired the growth of suburbs. Telephones and home labor-saving devices became common. All this and more is described in the first volume of this attractive new series. Likewise the 1970s witnessed the advent of home computers, the end of the Viet Nam War, the rise of the environmental movement, and Woodstock. The feminist movement solidified gains, including the widespread effects of Title IX. Richard Nixon became the first president to resign his office. Social change outpaced even technological innovation. Each decade receives a similar treatment, outlining politics, science and technology, economy, and society. More attention is given than in most young adult nonfiction series to topics such as media, music, and sports. The text is clear but not condescending, with unfamiliar terms defined in parentheses. Frequent, mostly black-and-white photographs punctuate pages with clear print and lots of white space. Time lines recap major events, while "To Learn More" suggests not only books but also Web sites and films. Indexes and "Source Notes" (footnotes) are superficial and sometimes confusing. Nonetheless even libraries owning Enslow's Decades of the American Century and Facts On File's Decades of American History will find this new offering a worthwhile addition for browsers and report writers. Reviewer: Kathleen Beck
School Library Journal
Gr 7-10–This well-written, appealing series provides glimpses into life in the United States during the 20th century. Chapters discuss the politics, science and technology, economy, social issues, literature and entertainment, sports, and music of the time and analyze how those factors affected this country's history. The texts are enlivened with quotes and excerpts from primary sources, period photos, and two sets of sidebars. “Profiles” provides biographical sketches of important people and “Turning Points” explains the significance of important events. Both the main texts and the sidebars offer extensive coverage of women and minority groups. A solid choice for readers and researchers.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822534365
  • Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/28/2008
  • Series: The Decades of Twentieth-Century America Series
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 144
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.10 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Marlene Targ Brill has written many books for young adults, including Tourette Syndrome, Marshall "Major" Taylor: World Champion Bicyclist, 1899-1901, and several books in The Decades of Twentieth-Century America series.

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Table of Contents

Prologue: Toward a New century 5

Chapter 1 Theodore Roosevelt's big stick: Politics in the 1900s 11

Chapter 2 Politics of the Land: Protecting Natural Resources 21

Chapter 3 Novel Ideas for Everyday Living: Science, Technology, and Communication 33

Chapter 4 Big Business and Workers' Rights: The 1900s Economy 49

Chapter 5 Battling Inequality: Immigrants, Minorities, and Women 61

Chapter 6 From Muckraking to Fantasy: Writing of the 1900s 79

Chapter 7 Impressionism to Gibson Girls: 1900s Arts, Architecture, and Fashion 87

Chapter 8 The Thrill of Entertainment: Theater and Movies in the 1900s 99

Chapter 9 Moving to Musicals and Ragtime: Music and Dance in the 1900s 109

Chapter 10 Daring and Speed: Sports and Recreation in the 1900s 117

Epilogue: Stars and Stripes Forever 131

Timeline 132

Source Notes 134

Selected Bibliography 136

To Learn More 137

Selected 1900s Classics 139

1900s Activity 140

Index 141

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