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


Experience explosive changes in American history with the people who witnessed them!

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 ...

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Experience explosive changes in American history with the people who witnessed them!

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.

AMERICAN HERITAGE? is well known for its magazine on American history, as well as its many highly acclaimed books, including the American Heritage? Illustrated History of the United States and the American Heritage? Illustrated History of the Presidents.

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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

  • ISBN-13: 9780471443926
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 12/28/2004
  • Series: American Heritage, American Voices Series , #3
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 144
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.52 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.33 (d)

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


The Invention Gap.

From "The Tele-phone," New York Tribune, Nov. 4, 1876.

Statements About Edison's Phonograph, 1877-1878.

From the Saturday Review [London], Jan. 10, 1880.

Acceptance of the New.

From an Anonymous Writer's Recollections, 1890s.

From the New York Herald, Jan. 2, 1880.

From The New York Times, Sept. 5, 1882.

New Industries, New Ways of Working.

From "A Visit to the States," London Times, March 1884.

Farming Becomes a Business.

From Hamlin Garland's A Son of the Middle Border, 1914.


Coming to a New Land.

From Edward Corsi's In the Shadow of Liberty, 1935.

From the Recollections of Eugene Lyons, c. 1900.

Three Immigrant Stories.

From Andrew Carnegie's Gospel of Wealth, 1900.

From Mary Antin's The Promised Land, 1912.

From Samuel Gompers' Autobiography, 1925.

City Magic.

From an Anonymous Letter from Chicago, c. 1885.

From Giuseppe Giacosa's Impressions of America, 1908.

The American Spirit.

From the Writings of Swami Vivekananda, c. 1895.

From Halvdan Koht's Recollections, c. 1908.


Big Business and National Markets.

From John D. Rockefeller's Recollections, 1909.

From George Rice's Testimony, 1889.

From a Worker's Speech to the Railway Union, 1894.

The Plight of Workers and Farmers.

From John Spargo's The Bitter Cry of the Children, 1906.

From Jacob Riis's How the Other Half Lives, 1890.

From Frank Norris's The Octopus, 1903.

Survival of the Fittest.

From a Statement by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., 1903.

From Andrew Carnegie's "Wealth," 1889.

Fighting Back.

From a Speech by Mary Lease, c. 1888.

From Samuel Gompers' Autobiography, 1877.

From The New York Times, 1892.


The Spirit of Reform.

From a Journal Article by Jane Addams, 1893.

Theodore Roosevelt: A Progressive in the White House.

From Mark Sullivan's Our Times, 1926.

Regulating Big Business.

From Theodore Roosevelt's The New Nationalism, 1910.

Government Action for Public Health.

From Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, 1906.

The Struggle for Women's Voting Rights.

From Mary Church Terrell's Autobiography, 1940.

From an Interview with Alice Paul, 1918.

Uneven Progress for African Americans.

From a Speech by Booker T. Washington, 1895.

From the Platform of the Niagara Movement, 1905.

From a Magazine Article by Ida B. Wells, 1910.

Taft, Wilson and the End of Progessivism.

From Woodrow Wilson's Inaugural Address, March 4, 1913.


The Spanish-American War.

From Stephen Crane's Report to The World, 1898.

From President McKinley's Recollections, 1900.

From a Speech by Senator George Hoar, 1900.

World War I: From Neutrality to War.

From an Interview with a Lusitania Survivor, 1915.

From the "Zimmermann Note, March 1917.

From President Wilson's War Message to Congress, April 2, 1917.

America at War.

From an Anonymous Soldier's Account, 1917.

From the Diary of Norman Roberts, 1918.

From Lieutenant Ed Lukert's Letter to His Wife, June 1918.

From Lieutenant Lewis Plusk's Letter Home, November 1918.

The Failure of the Peace.

From a Speech by Henry Cabot Lodge, 1920.


America on Wheels.

From Henry Ford's My Life and Work, 1922.

From Ida Tarbell's Interview with Henry Ford, 1915.

From Henru Ford's My Life and Work, 1922.

From "The Road to Freedom," Motor Car, 1922.

From an English Visitor's Account, 1921.

From "Down on the Farm," Motor Car, 1926.

From Middletown, 1919.

The Influence of Radio.

From "Signing Off   on the First Ten Years," 1930.

The Deluxe Movie Theaters.

From   "The Deluxe Picture Palace," 1929.

The Heroic Age in Sports       .

From The New York Times, September 20, 1924.

From The New York Times, September 8, 1927.

From an Article   by W.O. McGeehan, 1926.

"Lucky" Lindbergh: The Greatest Hero.

From "The Start for Paris," The New York Times, May 21, 1927.

From Lindbergh's We, 1927.

From Frederick Lewis Allen's Only Yesterday, 1931.

"Flaming Youth".

From Preston Slosson's The Great Crusade, 1930.

From F. Scott Fitzgerald's This Side of Paradise, 1920.

"The Dry Decade".

From Felix von Luckner's "Prohibition in America," 1926.

From an Interview with Al Capone, 1928.

The Revival of the KKK.

From "The Klan's Fight for Americanism," 1926.

Rural Poverty.

'Leven-cent Cotton, c. 1925.

Jazz and Harlem.

From James A. Rogers, "Jazz at Home," 1925.

Langston Hughes, Lament for Dark Peoples, 1926.

Politics in the Golden Decade.

From a Speech by President Herbert Hoover, June 1931.

President Coolidge:   The State of the Union — 1927.

President Coolidge:   The State of the Union — 1928.

Fads and Crazes.

From "The Child Stylelites of Baltimore," 1929.


From Boom to Bust.

Statements About the Economy, 1928-1929.

From Jonathan Norton Leonard's Eyewitness Report, October 1929.

Hard Times.

From a Speech by President Herbert Hoover, 1932.

From the Journal of E.W. Bakke, April 1933.

From Charles R. Walker's "Relief and Revolution," 1932.

From Ladies Home Journal, September 1932.

The Bonus Army.

From Evalyn Walsh McLean's Recollections, 1936.

FDR and the New Deal.

From Roosevelt and Hoover Campaign Speeches, 1932.

From Roosevelt's Inaugural Address, March 4, 1933.

From Roosevelt's First "Fireside Chat," March 12, 1933.

From Frances Perkins' Memoirs, 1946.

From The New York Times Magazine, May 7, 1933.

From Luther Wandall's "A Negro in the CCC," 1935.

The Dust Bowl.

From Lorena Hickok's Letter to Eleanor Roosevelt, Nov. 1933.

From John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, 1939.

From a Report by Stuart Chase, 1938.

Creating a Documentary Record.

Eleanor Roosevelt: The President's Eyes and Ears.

From "The Traveling First Lady," March 1937.

Opposition to the New Deal.

From a Radio Address by Father Charles E. Coughlin, July 1936.

From a Radio Speech by Senator Huey Long, 1935.

From a Speech by Roosevelt, November 1936.


Songs of the Depression.

From Guthrie's "So Long (It's Been Good to Know Yuh)".

Beans, Bacon, and Gravy.

WPA and the Arts.


From "Invasion from Mars," October 30, 1938.

Hollywood Does Its Part.

Fun For Kids.


From Isolation to War.

From Edward R. Murrow's Radio Broadcast, Oct. 10, 1940.

From Roosevelt's Talk on Lend-Lease, March 1941.

From Charles A. Lindbergh's Speech to the America First Committee, May 1941.

Pearl Harbor and the Response.

From Eleanor Roosevelt's Autobiography, 1961.

From Roosevelt's Address to Congress, December 8, 1941.

War Nerves and Anger.

From Howard Still's Letter to His Brother, March 1942.

An Associated Press Report, December 9, 1941.

From an Associated Press Report, December 9, 1941.

From a New York Times Summary, April 10, 1942.

Relocation of Japanese Americans.

A Government Poster, May 1942.

From Time Magazine, "How to Tell Your Friends from the Japs," Dec. 22, 1941.

From Jeanne Wakatsuki's Farewell to Manzanar, 1973.

Homefront Warriors.

From Roosevelt's Fireside Chats, Dec. 9, 1941; April 1942.

From an Office of Price Administration (OPA) Directive, March 1943.

From a Woman War Worker's Recollections, 1942-1945.

From an Interview with the Commander, Aberdeen Proving Grounds, 1942.

From Roosevelt's Radio Appeal for Scrap Rubber, June 1942.

From the New York Times, July 11, 1942.

From The Chicago Tribune, April 1944.

Winning the War.

D-Day:   The Allied Invasion of Normandy.

From General Eisenhower's Memoirs, June 1944.

From an Article by Ernie Pyle, June 1944.

From a Private's Letter to His Wife, June 1944.

The Shock of Hitler's Death Camps.

From Sergeant Evers' Letter Home, May 1945.

Winning the War in the Pacific.

From Ted Allenby's Account of Iwo Jima, 1945.

A Physicist's Recollections of the Manhattan Project, 1945.


Suburban America.

From "Mass-Producing the American Dream House," 1948.

From the New York Times Magazine, June 1951.

From "The New Pioneers," August 1951.

The Start of the Cold War.

From Winston Churchill's "Iron Curtain" Speech, March 1946.

From President Truman's Message to Congress, 1947.

From George C. Marshall's Speech, June 1947.

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