At the end of the Reconstruction, the spread of science and technology, industrialism, urbanization, immigration, and economic depressions eroded Americans' conventional beliefs in individualism and a divinely ordained social system. In The Search for Order, Robert Wiebe shows how, in subsequent years, during the Progressive Era of Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, Americans sought the organizing principles around which a new viable social order could be constructed in the modern world. This subtle and sophisticated study combines the virtues of historical narrative, sociological analysis, and social criticism.
In this remarkable tour de force of investigative reporting, James Bamford exposes the inner workings of America's largest, most secretive, and arguably most intrusive intelligence agency. The NSA has long eluded public scrutiny, but The Puzzle Palace penetrates its vast network of power and unmasks the people who control it, often with shocking disregard for the law. With detailed information on the NSA's secret role in the Korean Airlines disaster, Iran-Contra, the first Gulf War, and other major world events of the 80s and 90s, this is a brilliant account of the use and abuse of technological espionage.
The Good Old Days--were they really good? On the surface they appear to be so--especially the period to which this term is most often applied, the years from the end of the Civil War to the early 1900's. This period of history has receded into a benevolent haze, leaving us with the image of an ebullient, carefree America, the fun and charm of the Gilded Age, the Gay Nineties.But this gaiety was only a brittle veneer that covered widespread turmoil and suffering. The good old days were good for but the privileged few. For the farmer, the laborer, the average breadwinner, life was an unremitting hardship. This segment of the populace was exploited or lived in the shadow of total neglect. And youth had no voice. These are the people, the mass of Americans, whose adversities this book attempts to chronicle.
The "settling" of the American West has been perceived throughout the world as a series of quaint, violent, and romantic adventures. But in fact, Patricia Nelson Limerick argues, the West has a history grounded primarily in economic reality; in hardheaded questions of profit, loss, competition, and consolidation. Here she interprets the stories and the characters in a new way: the trappers, traders, Indians, farmers, oilmen, cowboys, and sheriffs of the Old West "meant business" in more ways than one, and their descendents mean business today.
No figure has contributed as much to American culture as that of the cowboy. Describing American dreams and values as seen through the cowboy image, Jack Weston contrasts that image with reality: the hardworking rider who had to fight not only the elements but his employer in order to make a slender living. The Real American Cowboy is a fascinating account of real life in the Wild West-not glamorous as in the movies, but full of the excitement of a hard and dangerous trade. The very special treatment of the cowboy image in nineteenth-century journalism and the dime novel, and in the twentieth-century media as well, explains the growth of the cowboy myth and its effect on America's goals and assumptions. In analyzing the differences between the myth and the historical reality, this book offers an important new assessment of the Western-and the West-in fiction, film, and in life.
"The Mayor of Castro Street" is Shilts's acclaimed story of Harvey Milk, the man whose personal life, public career, and tragic assassination mirrored the dramatic and unprecedented emergence of the gay community in America during the 1970s. His is a story of personal tragedies and political intrigues, assassination in City Hall and massive riots in the streets, the miscarriage of justice and the consolidation of gay power and gay hope.
This is the second of two Library of America volumes (the companion volume here) presenting, in compact form, all seven parts of Francis Parkman's monumental narrative history of the struggle for control of the American continent. Thirty years in the writing, Parkman's "history of the American forest" is an accomplishment hardly less awesome than the explorations and adventures he so vividly describes. The story reaches its climax with the fatal confrontation of two great commanders at Quebec's Plains of Abraham--and a daring stratagem that would determine the future of a continent.Count Frontenac and New France under Louis XIV (1877) details how France might have won her imperial struggle with England. Frontenac, a courtier who was made governor of New France by that most sagacious of monarchs, oversaw the colony's brightest era of growth and influence. Had Canada's later governors possessed his administrative skill and personal force, his sense of diplomacy and political talent, or his grasp of the uses of power in a modern world, the English colonies to the south might have become part of what Frontenac saw as a continental scheme of French dominion. England's American colonies flourished, while France, in both the Old World and the New, declined from its greatness of the late seventeenth century. Conflict over the developing western regions of North America erupted in a series of colonial wars. As narrated by Parkman in A Half-Century of Conflict (1892), these American campaigns, while only part of a larger, global struggle, prepared the colonies for the American Revolution. In Montcalm and Wolfe (1884) Parkman describes the fatal confrontation of the two great French and English commanders whose climactic battle marked the end of French power in America. As the English colonies cooperated for their own defense, they began to realize their common interests, their relative strength, and their unique position. In this imperial war of European powers we also begin to see the American figures--Benjamin Franklin, George Washington--soon to occupy a historical stage of their own. LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation's literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America's best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
This landmark history of slavery in the South--a winner of the Bancroft Prize--challenged conventional views of slaves by illuminating the many forms of resistance to dehumanization that developed in slave society.Rather than emphasizing the cruelty and degradation of slavery, historian Eugene Genovese investigates the ways that slaves forced their owners to acknowledge their humanity through culture, music, and religion. Not merely passive victims, the slaves in this account actively engaged with the paternalism of slaveholding culture in ways that supported their self-respect and aspirations for freedom. Roll, Jordan, Roll covers a vast range of subjects, from slave weddings and funerals, to the language, food, clothing, and labor of slaves, and places particular emphasis on religion as both a major battleground for psychological control and a paradoxical source of spiritual strength. Displaying keen insight into the minds of both slaves and slaveholders, Roll, Jordan, Roll is a testament to the power of the human spirit under conditions of extreme oppression.