American Colossus: The Triumph of Capitalism, 1865-1900 by H. W. Brands

By H. W. Brands

In a grand-scale narrative historical past, the bestselling writer of 2 finalists for the Pulitzer Prize now captures the many years whilst capitalism was once at its so much unbridled and some breathtakingly prosperous businessmen totally remodeled the USA from an agrarian economic system to a global energy.

The years among the Civil battle and the top of the 19th century observed the wholesale transformation of the US from a land of small farmers and small businessmen into an commercial substantial. pushed by means of unfathomably prosperous and strong businessmen like J. P. Morgan, Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller, armies of staff, either female and male, have been harnessed to a brand new imaginative and prescient of big undefined. A society rooted within the soil grew to become one dependent in towns, and legions of immigrants have been interested in American seashores. What’s extra, in reaching its revolution, capitalism threatened to eclipse American democracy. “What do I care concerning the law?” bellowed Cornelius Vanderbilt. “Hain’t I bought the power?” He did, and with it he and the opposite capitalists reshaped each element of yankee existence. In American Colossus, H.W. manufacturers portrays the emergence, in a remarkably little while, of a recognizably sleek the USA.

The capitalist revolution left no longer a unmarried zone or element of yankee lifestyles untouched. It roared around the South, wrenching that sector from its feudal earlier and integrating the southern economic system into the nationwide one. It burst over the West, dictating the destruction of local American economies and peoples, riding the exploitation of normal assets, and making the frontier of payment a enterprise frontier to boot. It crashed around the city panorama of the East and North, turning towns into engines of wealth and poverty, opulence and squalor. It swamped the politics of an prior period, shooting one significant occasion and half the opposite, inspiring the production of a 3rd get together and opting for the problems over which all 3 waged many of the bitterest battles in American background.

Brands’s spellbinding narrative fantastically depicts the oil gushers of western Pennsylvania, the increase, in Chicago, of the 1st skyscraper, the exploration of the Colorado River, the farm animals drives of the West, and the early passionate sparks of union existence. via 1900 the the USA he portrays is wealthier than ever, but prosperity is precarious, inequality rampant, and democracy stretched skinny. American Colossus is an unforgettable portrait of the years whilst the competition among capitalism and democracy used to be at its sharpest, and capitalism triumphed.

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She later received an eight-month prison sentence having been found with just several hundred pounds worth of goods. The riots, and the harsh sentencing that followed, illustrate the tense disconnect between society’s messages.

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