Gilded Age

Used to describe the final decades of the 19th century, the Gilded Age was a period of rapid industrialization when notable families accumulated great wealth. Beneath the splendor, however, serious social problems and financial depressions created unrest. Learn more about this period of history with a book from the Lititz Public Library.

Marching Home : Union Veterans and Their Unending Civil WarMarching Home: Union Veterans and Their Unending Civil War by Brian Matthew Jordan
Civil war veterans, who returned home with rotting wounds, battling alcoholism and campaigning for meager pensions, stood as an unwelcome reminder to a new America eager to heal, forget and embrace the bounty of the Gilded Age.

The Richest Woman in America: Hetty Green in the Gilded Age by Janet Wallach
Abandoned at birth by her neurotic mother and scorned by her father, Hetty Green set out to prove her value and accumulated an investment fortune of at least $100 million dollars.

The Murder of Jim Fisk for the Love of Josie Mansfield: A Tragedy of the Gilded Age by H.W. Brands
Notorious financier “Jubilee Jim” Fisk, who attempted to corner the gold market in 1869 and battled for control of the Erie Railroad, was shot dead on the stairway of the Grand Central Hotel in 1872.

The War Lovers : Roosevelt, Lodge, Hearst, and the Rush to Empire 1898The War Lovers: Roosevelt, Lodge, Hearst and the Rush to Empire, 1898 by Evan Thomas
A powerful group of influential politicians who wanted the United States to exert muscle across the seas saw great potential in 1898 sinking of the American ship USS Maine in Havana Harbor.

Passing Strange: A Gilded Age Tale of Love and Deception Across the Color Line by Martha A. Sandweiss
A scientist and surveyor hid his secret double life for thirteen years, one life as a celebrated white explorer, geologist and writer and the other as a black Pullman porter and steelworker with an African-America wife and five multi-racial children.

Mrs. Astor’s New York: Money and Social Power in a Gilded Age by Eric Homberger
Against a background of a city marred with widespread poverty, Mrs. Astor was the arbiter of the rules of correct behavior for New York’s social aristocracy.

97 Orchard : An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenement97 Orchard: An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenement by Jane Ziegelman
The stories of five immigrant families, who lived in impossibly cramped tenement apartments, illustrate how preserved traditions from their homelands began an American culinary heritage.

The Floor of Heaven: A True Tale of the Last Frontier and the Yukon Gold Rush by Howard Blum
In 1897 gold was discovered in Alaska and the adjacent Canadian Klondike creating a new frontier and attracting a stampede of men and women in search of vast wealth.

The Last Gunfight: The Real Story of the Shootout at the O.K. Corral and How It Changed the American West by Jeff Guinn
Popular depictions of the Earp brothers and Doc Holliday are challenged as a clash between competing social, political and economic forces represented in the old and new West.

The Children’s Blizzard by David Laskin
In January 1888, an epic prairie snowstorm killed hundreds of newly arrived settlers, leading many homesteaders to leave the plains.

The Remedy : Robert Koch, Arthur Conan Doyle, and the Quest to Cure TuberculosisThe Remedy: Robert Koch, Arthur Conan Doyle and the Quest to Cure Tuberculosis by Thomas Goetz
In 1875, with tuberculosis accounting for a third of all deaths in the world, German doctor Robert Koch discovered the bacteria that caused TB and a small-town English doctor created a character inspired by his scientific methods.

The Age of Edison: Electric Light and the Invention of Modern America by Ernest Freeberg
The late nineteenth century was a period of explosive technological creativity led by the incandescent lightbulb unveiled in Menlo Park in 1879.

July 3, 2015