THE HISTORY CLUB

A place for history teachers, students and enthusiasts

The American Gilded Age and The Populist and Progressive Era
Reading Group

Starting May 2017

This is a friendly group of people interested in reading great books about the American Gilded Age and The Populist and Progressive Eras c.1877 to 1920. It includes the American World War I home-front.

Please Read: Suggestions on how to Meaningfully and Constructively Participate in our History Reading Groups

Thank you for your interest.

Our Current Book and Reading

Current Book Reading Schedule :: Week and Chapter

  1. Introduction Dreaming of Rebirth

    Thought Questions: (continued in Chapter 1)
    - In what says did the Civil War shape the Gilded Age and Populist Progressive Era?
    - In what ways did the Civil War effect the North and South differently?
    - In what ways did the Civil War effect people differently based on age and gender?
    - In what ways did age and gender create commonalities transcending North and South?

    Primary Sources
    - Presidential Inaugural Address - 1877

    American Literature Supplemental Reading
    - Begin The Gilded Age by Mark Twain
  2. Chapter One The Long Shadow of Appomattox

    Thought Questions:(continued from Introduction)
    - In what says did the Civil War shape the Gilded Age and Populist Progressive Era?
    - In what ways did the Civil War effect the North and South differently?
    - In what ways did the Civil War effect people differently based on age and gender?
    - In what ways did age and gender create commonalities transcending North and South?

    Primary Sources
    - Presidential Inaugural Address - 1881

    American Literature Supplemental Reading
    - Continue The Gilded Age by Mark Twain
  3. Chapter Two The Mysterious Power of Money

    Thought Questions
    - In what ways did the development of financial capitalism and the displacement of commodity based capitalism effect Americans?
    - In what ways did financial capitalism create a breach between labor and those that controlled money and production?
    - How did the Civil War and the resulting political imbalance effect the development of finance capitalism differently in the North, South and West?

    Primary Sources
    - Presidential Inaugural Address - 1885

    American Literature Supplemental Reading
    - Continue The Gilded Age by Mark Twain
  4. Chapter Three The Rising Significance of Race

    Thought Questions
    - How did emancipation create new racial divisions in America?
    - How did different Americans react to emancipation?
    - How did racial issues effect non-white/black Americans?
    - How did the West act as a "safety value" for racial and economic tensions?
    - In what ways did the North - South division before the Civil War transform into an East - West division in the post Civil War era?
    - How did social Darwinism, "scientific eugenics" and "racial regeneration" effect American race relations?
    - How did religious differences effect racial attitudes and relations?
    - How did class consciousness effect racial attitudes and relations?

    Primary Sources
    - The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882
    - April 4, 1882: Veto of the Chinese Exclusion Act
    - The National Origins Act of 1924

    American Literature Supplemental Reading
    - Continue The Gilded Age by Mark Twain
  5. Chapter Four The Country and the City

    Thought Questions
    - How did the Hamilton - Jefferson dispute renew itself after the Civil War?
    - How did the Urban - Rural divide in America effect race relations after reconstruction?

    American Literature Supplemental Reading
    - Continue The Gilded Age by Mark Twain
  6. Chapter Five Crisis and Regeneration

    Thought Questions
    - X

    American Literature Supplemental Reading
    - Continue The Gilded Age by Mark Twain
  7. Chapter Six Liberation and Limitation

    Thought Questions
    - X

    American Literature Supplemental Reading
    - Continue The Gilded Age by Mark Twain
  8. Chapter Seven Empire as a Way of Life

    Thought Questions
    - X

    American Literature Supplemental Reading
    - Continue The Gilded Age by Mark Twain
  9. Conclusion

    Thought Questions
    - X

    American Literature Supplemental Reading
    - Finish The Gilded Age by Mark Twain

American Gilded Age and The Populist and Progressive Era Group Reading List

  1. Rebirth of a Nation: The Making of Modern America, 1877-1920 by Jackson Lears
  2. American Colossus: The Triumph of Capitalism, 1865-1900 by H.W. Brands
  3. The Populist Vision by Charles Postel
  4. A Fierce Discontent: The Rise and Fall of the Progressive Movement in America, 1870-1920 by Michael McGerr
  5. Over Here: The First World War and American Society by David M. Kennedy
  6. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West by Dee Brown
  7. Black and Brown: African Americans and the Mexican Revolution, 1910-1920 by Gerald Horne
  8. The Devil Is Here in These Hills: West Virginia's Coal Miners and Their Battle for Freedom by James Green
  9. At America's Gates: Chinese Immigration during the Exclusion Era, 1882-1943 by Erika Lee
  10. The Buffalo Soldiers: A Narrative of the Black Cavalry in the West by William H. Leckie and Shirley A. Leckie
  11. Encounter on the Great Plains: Scandinavian Settlers and the Dispossession of Dakota Indians, 1890-1930 by Karen V. Hansen
  12. Sisters: The Lives of America's Suffragists by Jean H. Baker
  13. American Nightmare: The History of Jim Crow by Jerrold M. Packard
  14. Greenbackers, Knights of Labor, and Populists: Farmer-Labor Insurgency in the Late-Nineteenth-Century South by Matthew Hild
  15. Teddy Roosevelt Trilogy by Edmund Morris

After the first books listed above we will select the next books we read from the list below. Provide us feedback and suggestions for our next book by clicking here.

To view the books on our American Gilded Age, Populist and Progressive Era History Reading List click here