Title: The Gilded Agethe gilded age1
Author: Walter A. Hazen
Pages: 32
Recommended Ages: 12 & up
Star Rating: ★★★★

The Gilded Age is from a series of books called ‘Eye on History’ – each installment zeroes in on a particular era of history and examines the beliefs which influenced it and the important figures which populated it. In this particular installment, we learn about the period which fell between the War Between the States and World War I – the Gilded Age.

This was the age in which the likes of Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D. Rockefeller, and Andrew Carnegie reigned – it was the same age in which factories flourished and strikes emerged. The Gilded Age investigates the differences between the upper and lower classes – their habits, manner of life, and the reasons which caused this distinction.

I purchased The Gilded Age thinking that it was a workbook for younger students, but quickly found that it was not. The questions were incisive and thought provoking. I found myself stopping to really think through several of the challenging issues which were raised.

Unfortunately, I found that the author misportrayed this era by presenting the abuses of capitalism as the heart of capitalism. He makes statements such as, “In an age before the graduated income tax and government legislation regulating business practices, the robber barons faced few obstacles in their quest for unbridled power and fortune.” [pg. 6] However, this slant of Mr. Hazen’s only provided for more intense thinking. : )

The word ‘darn’ is used once.

Conclusion. I hope to find more books from this series, as it was not only informative, but thought-provoking.

Review © 2013 Laura Verret

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