World Wars and the Modern Age (American Heritage, American Voices Series)


From 1870 to 1950, America experienced an unprecedented era of rapid change and growth. A host of remarkable inventions led the way in transforming this nation into a major world power, and yet the forces of change often caused tremendous upheaval in people's lives. Now, World Wars and the Modern Age provides a rare glimpse into the day-to-day experiences of Americans who lived through Prohibition, the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression, and two world wars. You'll be there as the New York Times offices are ...
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From 1870 to 1950, America experienced an unprecedented era of rapid change and growth. A host of remarkable inventions led the way in transforming this nation into a major world power, and yet the forces of change often caused tremendous upheaval in people's lives. Now, World Wars and the Modern Age provides a rare glimpse into the day-to-day experiences of Americans who lived through Prohibition, the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression, and two world wars. You'll be there as the New York Times offices are filled with electric light for the first time. You'll watch as immigrants flock to America's colorful, fast-growing cities, hoping to start anew. You'll read a young soldier's account of going "over the top" during the grim trench warfare of World War I-and, barely twenty years later, an eyewitness account of the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that plunged America into World War II.

From the personal writings of Henry Ford on his Model T automobile to songs of the Depression, from FDR's Inaugural Address to a G.I.'s description of D-Day, World Wars and the Modern Age presents a wealth of period documents, including diaries, letters, articles, advertisements, speeches, and more, from both famous figures and ordinary citizens. Find out how all of these American voices together helped make this country what it is today.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Writing about history is both an honor and a challenge. While it is important to recount the story of mankind's journey it is difficult to recapture the past in print. One way of amplifying historical writing is to draw from the wealth of primary source documents that exist. It is this "first hand" approach to history that author David C. King effectively uses in this title, part of the "American Voices" series. Providing a broad overview of America from the late 19th century through the conclusion of World War II, this illustrated work connects a series of first-hand accounts with a tightly-written narrative. In this way readers are allowed not only to hear the author's account of keynote events but also the thoughts of actual participants. The reader is introduced to suffragettes, flappers, First World War infantrymen, dust bowl migrants, and women factory workers during the Second World War. One comes away from these selections with a sense of the humanity of history and not just names, dates, and facts. In addition, the many period photographs and illustrations add a great deal to the impact and feel of this fine book. This combination of elements helps make this work a pleasure to read and learn from. 2005, American Heritage, Ages 11 up.
—Greg M. Romaneck
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-King attempts to cover, in one thin volume, what is perhaps the greatest era of change in U.S. history, from the invention of the telephone to V-J Day. More than 75 primary sources have been collected to provide first-person insight into a wide range of people and events from 1876 to 1945, roughly grouped by chronologically arranged topics. This averages out to only about one entry per year and the result is an unfocused, hit-or-miss collection of paragraphs tied together by textbook-dull contextual passages and small, often poorly reproduced, black-and-white illustrations. The entries are mainly short excerpts from larger pieces and include parts of Andrew Carnegie's writings on wealth, an Edward R. Murrow broadcast, an FDR fireside chat, a Langston Hughes poem, a congressional address by Lindbergh, and an eyewitness account of the attack on Pearl Harbor. It's important to note that some spelling and grammar has been modernized from the original texts, which is an unfortunate editorial choice as it negates the authenticity of the voices. Some vocabulary and background information on the relevant topics is printed in the margins. Overall, there's not enough meat on any one topic or theme to warrant purchase for anything other than the most general use.-Andrew Medlar, Chicago Public Library, IL Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

DAVID C. KING is a former history teacher and an award-winning author who has written more than thirty books for children and young adults, including the other books in this series as well as the American Kids in History® series.

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Table of Contents

Introduction to the AmericanHeritage American Voices Series ix
Introduction to World Wars and the Modern Age xi
Part I A Nation in Transition 1
The Centennial Exhibition 2
From the Atlantic Monthly, July 1876 3
Alexander Graham Bell's Telephone 3
From "The Tele-phone," New York Tribune, November 4, 1876 4
Thomas Edison's Phonograph 4
From F. C. Beach, Scientific American, December 1877 5
Edison and Electric Lights 6
From the New York Times, September 5, 1882 7
Farming Becomes a Business 7
From Hamlin Garland's A Son of the Middle Border, 1914 8
Coming to a New Land 9
From Edward Corsi's In the Shadow of Liberty, 1935 9
Andrew Carnegie: An Immigrant's Success Story 10
From Andrew Carnegie's Gospel of Wealth, 1900 11
Mary Antin 12
From Mary Antin's The Promised Land, 1912 12
City Magic 14
From Giuseppe Giacosa's Impressions of America, 1908 14
Amusements and Pastimes 15
A Letter from the Chicago World's Fair, 1893 15
Big Business and National Markets 17
From Andrew Carnegie's "Wealth," 1889 17
From a Statement by John D. Rockefeller Jr., 1903 18
From George Rice's Testimony, 1889 19
The Plight of Workers and Farmers 20
From John Spargo's The Bitter Cry of the Children, 1906 21
Labor Wars 22
From Samuel Gompers's Autobiography, 1877 23
Part II Expansion and Reform 25
The Spanish-American War 26
From Charles J. Post's Memoirs, 1900 27
America's Colonial Empire 28
From President McKinley's Recollections, 1900 29
From a Speech by Senator George Hoar, 1900 30
The Beginning of the Progressive Movement 30
From a Journal Article by Jane Addams, 1893 31
The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire 32
From Frances Perkins's Account of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, 1911 33
Theodore Roosevelt: A Progressive in the White House 33
From "T. R.'s Road to the White House," 1902 34
From Mark Sullivan's Our Times, 1926 35
Regulating Big Business 36
From Theodore Roosevelt's The New Nationalism, 1910 37
Government Action for Public Health 38
From Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, 1906 39
Uneven Progress for African Americans 40
From "Original Rights," by Ida B. Wells, 1910 40
Women's Right to Vote 41
From Outlook Magazine, June 1915 42
Part III America in the First World War 43
World War I: From Neutrality to War 44
From the "Zimmermann Note," March 1917 45
From President Wilson's War Message to Congress, April 2, 1917 45
From "The First Lady Marine," 1917 47
The Government and Public Opinion 48
From the Buffalo Courier, July 1918 48
American Forces in Europe 49
From General Pershing's Cable to Washington, June 1918 50
From "Over There," 1917 51
Trench Warfare 51
From an Anonymous Soldier's Account, 1917 52
From the Diary of Norman Roberts, 1918 53
The Silent Weapon: Poison Gas 54
From Lieutenant Ed Lukert's Letter to His Wife, June 1918 54
The War in the Air 54
From Quentin Roosevelt's Letter Home, July 1918 55
The Road to Victory 56
From Corporal Elmer Sherwood's Diary, October 30, 1918 56
President Wilson's Fourteen Points 57
From President Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points, 1918 58
From a Speech by Henry Cabot Lodge, 1919 59
Part IV The "Roaring Twenties" 61
America on Wheels 62
From Henry Ford's My Life and Work, 1922 63
From "The Road to Freedom," Motor Car, 1922 64
The Deluxe Movie Theaters 64
From Lloyd Lewis's "The Deluxe Picture Palace," 1929 65
The Heroic Age in Sports 66
From the New York Times, September 20, 1924 66
From the New York Times, September 8, 1927 67
From an Article by W. O. McGeehan, 1926 68
"Lucky" Lindbergh: The Greatest Hero 68
From Frederick Lewis Allen's Only Yesterday, 1931 69
"Flaming Youth" 70
From Preston Slosson's The Great Crusade, 1930 70
"The Dry Decade" 72
From Felix von Luckner's "Prohibition in America," 1926 72
The Revival of the KKK 73
From "The Klan's Fight for Americanism," 1926 73
Rural Poverty 74
From "'Leven-cent Cotton," c. 1925 75
The "Jazz Age" 76
From James A. Rogers, "Jazz at Home," 1925 76
The "Harlem Renaissance" 77
Langston Hughes's "Lament for Dark Peoples," 1926 77
Fads and Crazes 78
From "The Child Stylelites of Baltimore," 1929 78
Part V The Great Depression and the New Deal 79
From Boom to Bust 80
From Jonathan Norton Leonard's Eyewitness Report, October 1929 81
Hard Times 83
From the Journal of E.W. Bakke, April 1933 83
From Charles R. Walker's "Relief and Revolution," 1932 84
FDR Launches the New Deal 86
From Roosevelt's Inaugural Address, March 4, 1933 87
From Frances Perkins's Memoirs, 1946 88
Work Programs 89
From Luther Wandall's "A Negro in the CCC," 1935 89
The Dust Bowl 91
From Lorena Hickok's Letter to Eleanor Roosevelt, November 1933 92
From John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, 1939 93
Creating a Documentary Record 94
Eleanor Roosevelt: The President's "Legs and Ears" 95
From Eleanor Roosevelt's On My Own, 1958 95
Songs of the Depression 96
From Woody Guthrie's "So Long (It's Been Good to Know Yuh)," c. 1937 97
Fun for Kids 98
Part VI The Second World War 99
The Approach of War 100
From Edward R. Murrow's Radio Broadcast, October 10, 1940 101
The Isolationists 101
From Charles A. Lindbergh's Speech before the America First Committee, May 1941 102
Pearl Harbor 103
From Cornelia MacEwen Hurd's Eyewitness Account, December 1941 104
The United States Declares War 104
From Roosevelt's Address to Congress, December 8, 1941 105
War Nerves and Anger 106
From Howard Still's Letter to His Brother, March 1942 106
Relocation of Japanese Americans 107
From a Government Poster, May 1942 108
From Jeanne Wakatsuki's Farewell to Manzanar, 1973 109
Striking Back 110
From a Soldier's Letter from the Italian Front, May 1944 111
Air Power 112
From a Bomber Pilot's Letter Home, August 1943 112
Homefront Warriors 114
From Roosevelt's Fireside Chat, April 1942 114
Women Workers 115
From a Woman War Worker's Recollections, 1942-1945 116
D-Day: The Allied Invasion of Normandy 117
From an Article by Ernie Pyle, June 1944 118
From a Private's Letter to His Wife, June 1944 119
The Shock of Hitler's Death Camps 120
From Sergeant Evers's Letter Home, May 1945 120
The Americans and the Russians Meet 121
From a Soldier's Account of the American-Soviet Meeting, April 1945 122
Winning the War in the Pacific 123
From Ted Allenby's Account of Iwo Jima, 1945 123
From a Physicist's Recollections of the Mahattan Project, 1945 125
V-J Day 126
From "Japan Surrenders: End of War," New York Times, August 15, 1945 127
Sources 128
Index 131
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