The Republic for Which It Stands: The United States during Reconstruction and the Gilded Age, 1865-1896

The Republic for Which It Stands: The United States during Reconstruction and the Gilded Age, 1865-1896

The Oxford History of the United States is the most respected multivolume history of the American nation. In the newest volume in the series, The Republic for Which It Stands, acclaimed historian Richard White offers a fresh and integrated interpretation of Reconstruction and the Gilded Age as the seedbed of modern America.

At the end of the Civil War the leaders and citizens of the victorious North envisioned the country's future as a free-labor republic, with a homogenous citizenry, both black and white. The South and West were to be reconstructed in the image of the North. Thirty years later Americans occupied an unimagined world. The unity that the Civil War supposedly secured had proved ephemeral. The country was larger, richer, and more extensive, but also more diverse. Life spans were shorter, and physical well-being had diminished, due to disease and hazardous working conditions. Independent producers had become wage earners. The country was Catholic and Jewish as well as Protestant, and increasingly urban and industrial. The "dangerous" classes of the very rich and poor expanded, and deep differences-ethnic, racial, religious, economic, and political-divided society. The corruption that gave the Gilded Age its name was pervasive.

These challenges also brought vigorous efforts to secure economic, moral, and cultural reforms. Real change-technological, cultural, and political-proliferated from below more than emerging from political leadership. Americans, mining their own traditions and borrowing ideas, produced creative possibilities for overcoming the crises that threatened their country.

In a work as dramatic and colorful as the era it covers, White narrates the conflicts and paradoxes of these decades of disorienting change and mounting unrest, out of which emerged a modern nation whose characteristics resonate with the present day.

Title:The Republic for Which It Stands: The United States during Reconstruction and the Gilded Age, 1865-1896
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780199735815
Format Type:

    The Republic for Which It Stands: The United States during Reconstruction and the Gilded Age, 1865-1896 Reviews

  • Brent

    These 900 pages seem increasingly relevant to interpret our Gilded President: author Richard White and this fine book deserve your time and attention. We are reliving aspects of this history: division...

  • Christopher Saunders

    Richard White's The Republic for Which It Stands is the latest entry in the Oxford History of the United States, covering the three decades between Lincoln's assassination and McKinley's election. Dur...

  • Michael Perkins

    "an age that in many ways seems like our own" yes, very much so.We have the largest income gap since the Gilded Age of the 19th century. “Following the Great Recession, the recovery passed over most...

  • Peter Mcloughlin

    After a transformative and cataclysmic war, the country originally powered strong ideals falls back into a slacking repose and is all about the getting and making of money and drops that cumbersome ra...

  • Bruce Katz

    A masterful work of extraordinary ambition. It looks at this critical period of American history from above, exploring in great detail the larger themes and forces shaping the country. There is much t...

  • Marks54

    This book is a recent addition to the Oxford History of the United States. I was familiar with Richard White’s research on the railroads. The book covers the period from Reconstruction (beginning wi...

  • Ryan

    Recent events prompted me to puzzle over why so many Americans see Confederate leaders as an important part of our heritage and something deserving of honor. After all, these are folks who rose up in ...

  • Pete

    i have been reading this book for at least 30 mins a day for seriously two months. it's VERY long and some of the people white uses to pry open both the narrative and the significance of history are p...

  • Loring Wirbel

    It's been a long wait for this installment of The Oxford History of the United States, though the 900 pages of Richard White's magnum opus is a worthy addition to the series. The work merits five star...

  • Lauren Hiebner

    Richard White thoroughly covers the time period from the end of the Civil War to the Gilded Age and the 1896 Presidential election. He sees Reconstruction and the Gilded Age as results of Abe Lincoln...