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America 1900 (Hardcover)
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Judy Crichton's "America 1900" - a sweeping narrative filled with
humor and compassion - opens New Year's Day and follows an eclectic
group of men and women over the course of one remarkable year. An
unknown writer, Jack London, publishes an essay about the
"shrinkage" of time and space. Sixteen-year-old Harry Truman reads
of war and dreams of peace. Wilbur and Orville Wright and their
friend Paul Laurence Dunbar, one of America's greatest poets,
surface and resurface. Theodore Roosevelt, "the coming American for
the 20th century, " is caught in a bitter political struggle -
which he will seem to lose. At the White House, there are fears
about the President's security, but William McKinley shrugs off the
warnings. He is President of the most prosperous nation on earth;
Americans are optimistic and so is he. Ragtime composer Scott
Joplin is changing the sound of American music. The bohemian
photographer Frances Benjamin Johnston and the elegant academic
W.E.B. Du Bois are working on an exhibit for the great Paris
Exposition. But over the year, Americans' soaring sense of
confidence would be tested by wars overseas, riots and strikes at
home. Belief in technology is shaken by the Galveston flood - the
greatest natural disaster in the nation's history. In the fall, the
election campaign triggers bitter debates about the growing gap
between rich and poor, the power of the big corporations, and the
conflicting visions of America's role in the world. Du Bois
declares that race will be the issue for the 20th century. Finally,
on New Year's Eve 1900, as Americans tried to perceive the shape of
the future, what no one could understand without the gift of
foresight - was that the nation hadalready moved across an unseen
divide, from one age to the next. The issues so critical in 1900
would be much the same in the year 2000.
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