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Lord’s account of the optimism and spirit that marked the beginning of the twentieth century for AmericaThough 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.

ABOUT Walter Lord

  • BIOGRAPHY

    Walter Lord (1917–2002) was an acclaimed and bestselling author of literary nonfiction best known for his gripping and meticulously researched accounts of watershed historical events. Born in Baltimore, Lord went to work for the Office of Strategic Services during World War II. After the war’s end, Lord joined a New York advertising firm, and began writing nonfiction in his spare time. His first book was The Fremantle Diary (1954), a volume of Civil War diaries that became a surprising success. But it was Lord’s next book, A Night to Remember (1955), that made him famous. The bestseller caused a new flurry of interest in the Titanic and inspired the 1958 film of the same name. Lord went on to use the book’s interview-heavy format as a template for most of his following works, which included detailed reconstructions of the Pearl Harbor attack in Day of Infamy (1957), the battle of Midway in Incredible Victory (1967), and the integration of the University of Mississippi in The Past That Would Not Die (1965). In all, he published a dozen books.

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