Description: This book provides a descriptive, episodic yet analytical synthesis of industrialization in America. It integrates analysis of the profound economic and social changes taking place during the period between 1877 and the start of the Great Depression. Ten topics--varieties of industrialization, questions of labor, immigration, urbanization, the Westward movement, the environment, transportation, power, politics, and the organization of work--are examined with each subject illustrated by three case studies. The 30 case studies were selected as examples of the underlying principles of industrialization that cumulatively convey a comprehensive understanding of the era.
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1. Varieties of Industrialization
2. The Labor Question
5. The West
8. The Politics of Industrialization
Comment(s): "Rees covers a large swath of land and has done so in an economical and quite interesting traverse. The topical method of organization as well as the choice of topics is laudable. He has skillfully tied the discussion of those topics closely and consistently to the main thread of industrialization. ... In spite of its brevity, this is one of the clearest, cleanest, and most useful accounts of industrialization that I have read." -- Stanley K. Schultz, Emeritus Professor of History, University of Wisconsin-Madison
"Ingenious and insightful, this book is a marvelous introduction to a subject that every college-educated student should know about." -- Robert W. Rydell, Montana State University
"Rees's book takes industrialization, a concept we think we know so well, as his lens into the Progressive Era, and shows us how no moment, person, or event remains untouched by its power. By systematically describing what industrialization is and entails, he requires us to think twice about commonplace items, habits, and institutions we take for granted and instead, see their potential--both frightening and alluring--to transform the country into a modern nation." -- Robin Henry, Wichita State University
Review(s): "This accessible title could serve as supplemental reading for a survey course in US history or an upper-division course in US industrialization, the Gilded Age, or the Progressive Era. Recommended. All levels of undergraduate students." -- Choice
"In his concise and insightful book, Jonathan Rees has provided teachers of survey courses a handy guide for teaching the period from the Civil War to the 1920s. Rees provides not only a useful tool for teaching the period, but also advances the view that the era is best dealt with topically, encouraging historians to consider a review of their thoughts, lectures, and lesson plans for the topic. The scope and succinctness of Rees's work are complemented by the clarity of his writing. This work was written with the student in mind: its brevity, the simplicity of expression, and organization of the material are clear and straightforward. Perhaps the most useful aspect of the text is the ordering of the topics in such a way that teachers who are less familiar with the era can increase their awareness easily and find useful anecdotes for lectures and presentations." -- Teaching History
"Rees has written a thoroughly readable and persuasive account of the role of industrialization in shaping the modern United States. Teachers of the undergraduate U.S. history survey course will find Industrialization and the Transformation of American Life to be a very useful supplement to other texts, and faculty teaching other U.S. history courses will find many valuable historical case studies as well." -- H-Net Reviews