The Gilded Age and Progressive Era
A Historical Exploration of Literature
by Wendy Martin and Cecelia Tichi
February 2016, 260pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-1-61069-763-7
$74, £57, 65€, A102
Please contact your preferred distributor for pricing.
eBook Available: 978-1-61069-764-4
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Help students to understand key pieces in literature from the Gilded Age and Progressive Era by putting them in multidisciplinary contexts.

This book offers a one-stop reference work covering the Gilded Age and Progressive Era that serves teachers and their students.

This book helps students to better understand key pieces in literature from the Gilded Age and Progressive Era by putting them in the context of history, society, and culture through historical context essays, literary analysis, chronologies, documents, and suggestions for discussion and further research. It provides teachers and students with selections that align with the ELA Common Core Standards and that also offer useful connections for curriculum that integrates American literature and social studies.

The book covers Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper, Willa Cather’s A Lost Lady, and Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle. Readers will be able to appreciate the significance of this period through these canonical and widely taught works of American literature. The book also includes historical context essays, primary document excerpts, and suggested readings.


  • Integrates and aligns material for American literature and social studies curricula
  • Offers a range of tools to support literary works—analysis, history, document excerpts, and areas for study
  • Provides historical context for multiple key works of literature on the Gilded Age and Progressive era
Wendy Martin is professor of American literature and American studies and director of the Tufts Poetry Awards Program at Claremont Graduate University (CGU). She is also vice provost and director of transdisciplinary studies at CGU and holds the George and Ronya Kozmetsky Endowed Chair of Transdisciplinary Studies. Her published works include The American Sisterhood: Writings of the Feminist Movement from Colonial Times to the Present; An American Triptych: Anne Bradstreet, Emily Dickinson, Adrienne Rich; We Are the Stories We Tell: Best Short Stories by North American Women Since 1945; and The Cambridge Companion to Emily Dickinson.

Cecelia Tichiis the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of English and professor of American studies at Vanderbilt University, where her research and classroom work has focused in recent years on the literature and culture of the U.S. Gilded Age and Progressive Era. She is the past president of the American Studies Association and is the 2009 recipient of the Jay B. Hubbell Prize for distinguished work in American literary studies, awarded by the American Literature Division of the Modern Language Association. Tichi's work has been supported with fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Radcliffe Institute, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (under the auspices of the Henry E. Huntington Library), and the Bellagio Center of the Rockefeller Foundation. In addition, she has held the Chair in Modern Culture at the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress. She has lectured widely in the United States and abroad and is the author of eight scholarly books, including Exposés and Excess: Muckraking in America 1900/2000; Civic Passions: Seven Who Launched Progressive America (And What They Teach Us); and Jack London: A Writer's Fight for a Better America. Her several edited volumes include a recent collection of short stories, Best of Times, Worst of Times: American Short Stories from the New Gilded Age, coedited with Wendy Martin.


"[T]his is a good resource for those embarking on the study of U.S. literature; in addition, it will be helpful for students of education, since it illustrates how to plan an instructional unit for high school students to explore. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates; general readers."—Choice, September 1, 2016

"Overall, The Gilded Age and Progressive Era is a well-written, informative, and thought-provoking book. This volume is a useful tool to help readers understand the sometimes perplexing works of the American past, with their unfamiliar language and references to obsolete technologies, such as the telegraph. Therefore, this volume is highly recommended for purchase by all public and academic libraries."—ARBA, September 28, 2016
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