Our Times: America at the Birth of the 20th Century

Our Times: America at the Birth of the 20th Century

by Mark Sullivan, Dan Rather
A powerful social history of America from the 1890s to the 1920s, Our Times is "one of the most valuable contemporary histories any nation has been fortunate enough to possess" (St. Louis Globe-Democrat).


A powerful social history of America from the 1890s to the 1920s, Our Times is "one of the most valuable contemporary histories any nation has been fortunate enough to possess" (St. Louis Globe-Democrat).

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Sullivan, a muckraking journalist, confidant of Theodore Roosevelt and Henry Ford and a self-styled Progressive Republican, wrote a bestselling popular history of the United States covering the years 1900 to 1925 and published in six volumes between 1926 and 1936. CBS anchor Rather, author of four books, has abridged Sullivan's opus into a single hefty volume, adding a preface, a conclusion and a few section notes. Illustrated with 200 period photographs, political cartoons, drawings, ads and posters, Sullivan's robust chronicle is a stirring, lively saga of missed opportunity as America steps onto the world stage during WWI, then refuses to join the League of Nations, shirks its leadership role and retreats into the consumerism and isolation of the Roaring Twenties. Sullivan ably conveys the dizzying pace of change propelled by electricity, films, radio, railroads, automobiles, airplanes, advertising. His colorful account of American daily life is crammed with odd information on clothing styles, patent medicines, public amusements, dog ownership, popular songs. Roosevelt, Ford, Wilson, Andrew Carnegie, Upton Sinclair and John D. Rockefeller stride across a sprawling canvas that offers close-up views of the growth of Freudianism, public schooling, immigration, Sacco and Vanzetti, Hemingway, Sandburg, Mencken, the jazz age. (Dec.)
Library Journal
Dan Rather has produced an abridged version of Sullivan's six-volume classic of social history, published in the 1930s.
School Library Journal
YARather has distilled Sullivan's six-volume set into this single text, retaining key elements of the original language and material. After more than 60 years, the vibrancy of Sullivan's social, political, and economic commentary brings people and events from the 1890s to the late 1920s into crystal clarity. Students curious about what the average man of the day thought of such topics as flight, automobiles, Teddy Roosevelt, World War I, jazz, unions, Woodrow Wilson, or Nan Britton's The President's Daughter may think they have fallen back through time. Primary-source documents including archival visuals, political cartoons, direct quotes, and Sullivan's sharp journalist's observations (at times, first-hand reports) fill in the circumstances surrounding events. Students writing reports on Roosevelt, Taft, Wilson, and Harding will be privy to the passions, strengths, and failings of these men, their parties, and their impact on John Q. Public. Students working on social-history projects, especially decade research, will find lyrics and literature, education, household economics, and more to help them envision daily life during the 1920s. One man's selection from his and his nation's immediate past, with that same man's point of view and some of the biases of his time offers students valuable insight into another era.Barbara Hawkins, Oakton High School, Fairfax, VA
In 1926, journalist and historian Mark Sullivan (1874-1952) published the first of six volumes of history covering the period from 1900 to 1925. This version, edited down to one volume by news correspondent Dan Rather, presents a more succinct version of Sullivan's account of this fascinating era in US history. Includes many b&w illustrations from contemporary sources. No bibliography. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Brad Hooper
The interesting story behind this book is that between 1926 and 1936 then-eminent journalist Mark Sullivan (who is now pretty much forgotten) published in six volumes a popular history of the U.S. covering the years 1900 to 1920, collectively entitled "Our Times"; each volume, as it came out, became a best-seller. These volumes are little read anymore, but an admirer, an eminent journalist of "our" day, Dan Rather, has, by "whittling, paring, and reducing," abridged the six books into one. Sullivan blazed no brilliant trails of insight into character and events, but he nevertheless possessed a good understanding of a critical time in U.S. history, when the country emerged from war with Spain as a world power, exerted itself as such in World War I, then retreated to an isolationist stance. Sullivan's compelling accessibility has definitely been preserved in Rather's abridgment. Sullivan also covered home life--what people read, the music they listened to, and the state of fashion and education. This title is definitely for the general reader; all public libraries should consider purchase, particularly those without the original volumes on the back shelves.

Product Details

Publication date:
Edition description:
Abridged ed
Product dimensions:
6.42(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.52(d)

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