In the half century between the Civil War and World War I‚ widespread yearning for a new beginning penetrated American public life. Dreams of spiritual‚ moral‚ and physical rebirth formed the foundation for the modern United States‚ inspiring its leaders with imperial ambition. Theodore Roosevelt's desire to recapture frontier vigor led him to promote U.S. interests throughout Latin America. Woodrow Wilson's vision of a reborn international order drew him into a war to end war. Andrew Carnegie's ideal of philanthropy coincided with his creation of the world's first billion-dollar corporation‚ United States Steel. Presidents and entrepreneurs helped usher the nation into the modern era‚ but sometimes the consequences of their actions failed to match the grandeur of their hopes.
Award-winning historian Jackson Lears vividly captures this crucial period in America's history-when the country reunited and began to form the world power of the twentieth century. In addition to the imperialists‚ Gilded Age mavericks‚ and vaudeville entertainers that Lears richly chronicles‚ the period was also defined by progressive reformers‚ both male and female‚ many of whom were motivated by their own vision of Christianity‚ which they called Social Christianity. Longings for revitalization swept up a variety of seekers‚ from populist farmers to avant-garde artists and writers. REBIRTH OF A NATION brilliantly weaves the remarkable story of this crucial epoch into a masterful work of history.