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 such a lot unbridled and some breathtakingly prosperous businessmen totally reworked the USA from an agrarian economic climate to a global energy.

The years among the Civil conflict and the tip of the 19th century observed the wholesale transformation of the US from a land of small farmers and small businessmen into an commercial big. pushed by means of unfathomably prosperous and strong businessmen like J. P. Morgan, Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller, armies of employees, either female and male, have been harnessed to a brand new imaginative and prescient of big undefined. A society rooted within the soil turned 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 in regards to the law?” bellowed Cornelius Vanderbilt. “Hain’t I received the power?” He did, and with it he and the opposite capitalists reshaped each element of yankee lifestyles. In American Colossus, H.W. manufacturers portrays the emergence, in a remarkably couple of minutes, of a recognizably sleek the US.

The capitalist revolution left now not a unmarried zone or element of yank lifestyles untouched. It roared around the South, wrenching that area from its feudal earlier and integrating the southern financial system into the nationwide one. It burst over the West, dictating the destruction of local American economies and peoples, using the exploitation of usual 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 celebration and 1/2 the opposite, inspiring the construction of a 3rd get together and opting for the problems over which all 3 waged a number of the bitterest battles in American historical past.

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 livestock drives of the West, and the early passionate sparks of union existence. by means of 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 was once at its sharpest, and capitalism triumphed.

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Extra info for American Colossus: The Triumph of Capitalism, 1865-1900

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