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Synopsis

Populists and Progressives, Norman K Risjord's next book in the Representative Americans series, gives readers a fascinating glimpse into the tumultuous turn of the twentieth century.

Risjord brings together brief biographies to explore the political, social, and cultural dimensions of the period from 1890–1920. The work begins by personifying the rise of big business and the early struggle between capital and labor with profiles of John D. Rockefeller and Mother Jones. Next, a comparison of William Graham Sumner and Lester Frank Ward illuminates the intellectual debate over social Darwinism. The Great Plains’ form of Populism comes to life through the story of William Peffer, while Louis Brandeis represents the Wilsonian variety of Progressivism. A portrait of Carrie Chapman Catt provides a window into the women's suffrage movement and sketches of Alfred Thayer Mahan, Richard Harding Davis, and John Hay explore the shaping of American policies and politics. Finally, John Muir, W.E.B. DuBois, and Margaret Sanger represent individuals ahead of their time and mark the transition from Progressivism to the liberal thought of the latter half of the twentieth century.

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