Are We Living in A Second Gilded Age?
In his new book, Henry George and the Crisis of Inequality: Progress and Poverty in the Gilded Age (Columbia University Press, 2015), author Edward T. O'Donnell brings a fresh examination of the influential reformer Henry George, and the tumultuous period known as the Gilded Age (1870-1900). George emerged in the 1880s as a prominent reformer who warned about the threats posed to American democracy by increasing poverty, inequality, and corporate influence in politics. George played a key role in popularizing some of the foundational ideas of progressivism that shaped U.S. social and economic policy in the 20th century. This topic has major relevance for contemporary U.S. society as it confronts similar questions about poverty, inequality, and corporate power, in what some have taken to calling a Second Gilded Age.
Edward T. O'Donnell, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of History at Holy Cross College in Worcester, MA. In addition to Henry George and the Crisis of Inequality: Progress and Poverty in the Gilded Age, he is the author of Ship Ablaze: The Tragedy of the Steamboat General Slocum (Random House, 2003), and co-author of the U.S. history college-level textbook, Visions of America: A History of the United States 2nd edition (Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2012). His scholarly articles have appeared in the Public Historian, Journal of Urban History, and the Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. O'Donnell has created video courses for the Great Courses Company titled, "Turning Points in American History" and "America in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era." He also writes a blog on American history, In The Past Lane.