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

Overview

Our Times is a powerful social history of America from 1900 to 1925, told with a reporter's firsthand knowledge and a historian's analytical wisdom. Originally published in six volumes from 1926 to 1933 by Mark Sullivan, one of the most highly respected journalists of his day, it has now been abridged by an equally eminent journalist, CBS News correspondent Dan Rather. This lively account is filled with anecdotes and vivid personalities, observations both thought-provoking and humorous, and dozens of ...
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Overview

Our Times is a powerful social history of America from 1900 to 1925, told with a reporter's firsthand knowledge and a historian's analytical wisdom. Originally published in six volumes from 1926 to 1933 by Mark Sullivan, one of the most highly respected journalists of his day, it has now been abridged by an equally eminent journalist, CBS News correspondent Dan Rather. This lively account is filled with anecdotes and vivid personalities, observations both thought-provoking and humorous, and dozens of illustrations from contemporary sources.

A powerful social history of America from the 1890s to the 1920s, Our Times shows America evolving from a young, Victorian nation at the turn of the century, uneasy in world affairs, to a strong, vital player in global events. Originally published in the 1930s, this is a panorama of our national life during a vital period in its development. 200 b&w photos.

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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
Booknews
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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780684815732
  • Publisher: Scribner
  • Publication date: 9/5/1995
  • Edition description: Abridged ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 736
  • Product dimensions: 6.42 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 1.52 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 11
Editor's Introduction 13
Author's foreword 23
Pt. I The Turn of the Century 27
1 The Turn of the Century 29
2 America in 1900 41
3 Some Contrasts and Changes: 1900 to 1925 49
4 1900: Looking Backward and Looking Forward 60
5 More Contrasts and Changes: 1900 to 1925 67
6 The Automobile Emerges 96
7 The Airplane Emerges, Too 110
Pt. II America Finding Itself 125
1 Educating the American Mind 127
2 Roosevelt 166
3 A Picture, a Poem, and the Times 177
4 From Old to New in Industry 185
5 Oil 188
6 Titans at War 195
7 Waiting 201
8 Roosevelt Goes into Action 207
9 The Crusade for Pure Food 218
Pt. III Roosevelt's America 245
1 Roosevelt's Power 247
2 The Railroad Rate Fight 264
3 Two Friends 272
4 Selecting a Successor 278
5 Taft's Four Years 286
6 Roosevelt and Taft: The Break 297
7 Roosevelt: His Hat in the Ring 306
Editor's Note 319
Pt. IV Years of Ferment 321
1 June 28, 1914 323
2 New Energy, New Wealth 334
3 Henry Ford Emerges, Suddenly 339
4 New Ways in Industry 345
5 Art Finds a Patron 351
6 The Genius of the Age 369
7 New Influences on the American Mind 375
8 Popular Songs 394
9 An Emancipation 413
Pt. V Over Here 429
Armageddon 43
Prologue 435
1 War Knocks at Wilson's Door 445
2 America Looks On at the War 450
3 The Lusitania 465
4 Evolution of American Thought 475
5 Henry Ford Takes a Hand and a Ship 479
6 Preparedness 488
7 Wilson Changes His Mind 498
8 War 512
9 Wilson Organizes for War 543
10 Over Here 558
11 Peace 569
Pt. VI The Twenties 583
1 The World in 1920 585
2 Harding 593
3 The Election of 1920 and the Postwar Mood 604
4 The United States, When Harding Became President 615
5 The Harding Tragedy 628
6 The Scandals 638
7 Liturgy and Cultural Trends During the Twenties 654
8 Tunes of the Twenties 687
Conclusion 707
Index 713
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