That new frontier came just when the Western one on which America prided itself closed. No longer could America expand internally; imperialism was the way of the future. But even as the United States became a colonial power, Jim Crow laws ensured that only whites could reap the harvest of empire. In The Reckless Decade, Brands captures the essence - whimsical, tragic, and intrinsically contradictory - of the 1890s, when for the first time America turned its face outward to the world and geared up for the "American Century." Evocative and fascinating, this remarkable book looks back over that amazing time and, in the telling, teaches us much about ourselves and our own reckless decade.
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Andrew Carnegie immigrated from Scotland and grew enormously rich in the steel business, which he sold to JP Morgan to devote himself to philanthropy. J.P. Morgan was a banker equally at home in the refinement of London financial circles and the rough and tumble of American industry. 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. Jim Crow laws were designed to deny their civil rights in the South, either directly or by indirect consequences.