Bensel, Richard F. The Political Economy of Industrialization, 1877–1900. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000. Bensel examines the policies and political conflicts that fed and emerged from the second Industrial Revolution.
Chandler, Alfred. The Visible Hand: The Managerial Revolution in American Business. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1993. Chandler explores the pioneering role of railroads in the development of the modern business and discusses the various ways in which corporations developed and grew their market.
Domosh, Mona. American Commodities in an Age of Empire. New York: Routledge, 2006. Explores the commercial empire established before political empire in the late nineteenth century with a focus on the nation’s five largest international companies, including Singer Manufacturing and H. J. Heinz Company.
Fink, Leon. Workingmen’s Democracy: The Knights of Labor and American Politics. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1993. Fink examines the rise of the Knights of Labor and their advances in local politics in the 1880s prior to their decline in the wake of the Haymarket bombing.
Hofstadter, Richard. Social Darwinism in American Thought. Boston: Beacon Press, 1992 (1944). Based on the dissertation of this honored and influential U.S. historian, this classic study establishes the central role of Social Darwinism in American thought in the Gilded Age and beyond.
Keller, Morton. Affairs of State: Public Life in Late Nineteenth Century America. Clark, NJ: Lawbook Exchange Ltd., 2000 (1977). Keller explores the changes caused by the Civil War and the impact of politics, law, and government upon the new social and economic order.
Montgomery, Maureen. Gilded Prostitution: Status, Money, and Transatlantic Marriages, 1870–1914. New York: Routledge, 1989. Examines the phenomenon of wealthy young American women who married European aristocrats and the response to these marriages in the United States and Europe.
Nasaw, David. Andrew Carnegie. New York: Penguin, 2007. A comprehensive look at the life and times of Andrew Carnegie and his rise from impoverished immigrant to one of the world’s richest and most powerful men.
Rodgers, Daniel T. The Work Ethic in Industrial America, 1850–1920. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978. A classic study of the changing nature of work and the response of laborers to the new industrial order.
Shannon, Fred. The Farmer’s Last Frontier: Agriculture 1860–1897. Armonk, NJ: M. E. Sharpe Inc., 1989 (1945). This classic work in economic history remains a highly readable and compelling introduction to the experience of farmers from the Civil War to the Populist Movement.
Thomas, John. Alternative Americas: Henry George, Edward Bellamy, Henry Demarest Lloyd and the Adversary Tradition. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1983. The author’s thorough exposition on the thoughts and criticisms of these three public intellectual figures of the Gilded Age remains current and convincing today.
Trachtenberg, Alan. The Incorporation of America: Culture and Society in the Gilded Age. New York: Hill and Wang, 2007. A comprehensive examination of the impact of industrial capitalism on American culture.
Published by Oxford University Press
Cook, Sylvia J. Working Women, Literary Ladies: The Industrial Revolution and Female Aspiration. Traces the hopes and tensions generated by expectations of their gender and class from the first New England operatives in the early 19th century to immigrant sweatshop workers in the early 20th century.
Angels in the Machinery: Gender in American Party Politics from the Civil War to the Progressive Era. Offers a sweeping analysis of the centrality of gender to politics in the United States from the days of the Whigs to the early twentieth century.
Evensen, Bruce J. God’s Man for the Gilded Age: D.L. Moody and the Rise of Modern Mass Evangelism. A Chicago shoe salesman with a fourth-grade education, Moody rose from obscurity to become God’s man for the Gilded Age. Evensen focuses on the pivotal years during which Moody established his reputation on both sides of the Atlantic through a series of highly popular and publicized campaigns.
Gruber Garvey, Ellen. The Adman in the Parlor: Magazines and the Gendering of Consumer Culture, 1880s to 1910s. Garvey argues that readers’ participation in advertising, rather than top-down dictation by advertisers, made advertising a central part of American culture.
Greenwood, Janette Thomas. The Gilded Age: A History in Documents. Drawing from the letters, memoirs, newspaper articles, journals, and speeches of Gilded Age Americans, author Janette Greenwood arranges all of these voices to tell a story more vibrant and textured than the simple tale of robber baron versus starving poor.
The Dramas of Haymarket. Contains a detailed narrative of the events at Haymarket, select documents online, and other features.
Thomas Alva Edison. A celebration of Edison’s life work with a photo gallery, book excerpts, a list of inventions, and more.
The Great Railroad Strike of 1877. Designed for history teachers, this site offers document packages and classroom activities around these source materials.
Child Labor Public Education Project. A discussion and chronology of the history of 19th-century child labor in the United States with related interactive materials.