American Colossus: The Triumph of Capitalism, 1865-1900

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American Colossus: The Triumph of Capitalism, 1865-1900

Author: H.W. Brands
Publisher: Doubleday
Copyright: 2010
Pages: 624
Cover Price: $ 35.00

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From bestselling historian H. W. Brands, a sweeping chronicle of how a few wealthy businessmen reshaped America from a land of small farmers and small businessmen into an industrial giant. The three decades after the Civil War saw a wholesale shift in American life, and the cause was capitalism. Driven by J. P. Morgan, Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, and oth­ers like them, armies of men and women were harnessed to a new vision of massive industry. A society rooted in the soil became one based in cities, and legions of immigrants were drawn to American shores.

H. W. Brands’s American Colossus portrays the stunning trans­formation of the landscape and institutions of American life in these years. Brands charts the rise of Wall Street, the growth of a national economy, the building of the railroads, and the first sparks of union life. By 1900, America was wealthier than ever, yet prosperity was precarious, inequality rampant, and democ­racy stretched thin. A populist backlash stirred. American Colossus is an unforgettable portrait of the years when a recognizably modern America first took shape.

Background Information

J.P. Morgan was a banker equally at home in the refinement of London financial circles and the rough and tumble of American industry. Andrew Carnegie immigrated from Scotland and grew enormously rich in the steel business, which he sold to JP Morgan to devote himself to philanthropy. John D. Rockefeller went from humble beginnings to become the richest man in America by consolidating his hold on the production and refining of petroleum through Standard Oil. The Populist Party was formed by those who felt that the major parties, whether Republican or Democrat, were run by big interests without regard for the common man.