Lord’s account of the optimism and spirit that marked the beginning of the twentieth century for America
Though remarkable in their own right, the first fifteen years of the 1900s had the misfortune of being sandwiched between—and overshadowed by—the Gilded Age and the First World War. In The Good Years, Walter Lord remedies this neglect, bringing to vivid life the events of 1900 to 1914, when industrialization made staggering advances, and the Wright brothers captured the world’s imagination.
Lord writes of Newport and Fifth Avenue, where the rich lived gaily and without much worry beyond the occasional economic panic. He also delves into the sweatshops of the second industrial revolution, where impoverished laborers and children suffered under unimaginable conditions. From the assassination of President McKinley to the hot and lazy “last summer” before the outbreak of war, Lord writes with insight and humor about the uniquely American energy and enthusiasm of those years before the Great War would forever change the world.