Daily Life in the Industrial United States, 1870-1900
, 2nd Edition
by Julie Husband and Jim O'Loughlin
June 2019, 287pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-6348-6
$61, 51€, A88
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-6349-3
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

The biggest fad of the industrial era was bicycling. Membership in the League of American Wheelmen grew from 44 members in 1880 to 141,532 members in 1898.

Not just about the rise of the factories or the emergence of the modern city, this fascinating history conveys how it felt to work the assembly line and walk the bustling urban streets.

Daily Life in the Industrial United States: 1870–1900 is a narrative-based social history that is ideal for college and high school students researching this era. Thematically organized chapters, devoted to Economic Life, Domestic Life, Recreational Life, and other themes, are broad in scope but include primary documents and telling details that give readers a visceral sense of the lives of people who lived during the era of industrialization.

Primary documents range from first-person diaries of individuals who lived during the era, to letters from freed slaves looking to reunite with relatives sold away from them, to speeches and essays by activists including Frederick Douglass and Jane Addams. They reveal how people understood the goals of education, the legal position of African Americans in the South, and marriage, among many other daily phenomena. Readers will become privy to a range of personal experiences while comprehending the importance of the economic and social developments of the period. A chronology, a glossary, a selection of illustrations, and further reading sources complete the work.


  • Provides an overview of the dramatic economic changes occurring in the United States during industrialization, especially in the textile, meatpacking, steel, and railroad industries
  • Describes a political culture marked by high participation rates in the North, active suppression of the African American vote in the South, and a youth culture that made voting an important male rite of passage
  • Offers primary documents that invite readers to consider contrasting positions on a variety of issues, including how white supremacists justified violence and suppression of the black vote and how African American activists spoke out to resist this
  • Explores a variety of educational models, including manual education, Montessori education, and single-sex education, that resonate with contemporary debates on education
Julie Husband, PhD, is professor of American Literature at the University of Northern Iowa. She is author of Antislavery Discourse and Nineteenth Century American Literature: Incendiary Pictures and, along with John R. McKivigan and Heather Kaufman, an editor of The Speeches of Frederick Douglass: A Critical Edition.

Jim O'Loughlin, PhD, is professor of American Literature and creative writing at the University of Northern Iowa. He is the editor of Kurt Vonnegut Remembered and author of the flash fiction collection Dean Dean Dean Dean.

Daily Life

What was life really like for ordinary people in other cultures throughout history? How did they raise their children? What did they do for fun? From sexual mores in ancient Egypt to resistance music in modern Latin America, and from the fashion sense of the Mongols to the importance of film in modern India, the world comes alive in the indispensable hands-on volumes of this award-winning series. A truly interdisciplinary resource, the Daily Life series covers arts; religion; food; literature; language; romance; rites of passage and coming of age; marriage customs; social and government structure; sickness and cures; warfare; sports and games; holidays; festivals; and more. With direct ties to the curriculum and supported by the most current research, these authoritative volumes are organized in an accessible narrative chapter format, and supplemented with photos, maps, and other ready-reference materials, Daily Life volumes are ideal sources for general readers and students of world history, United States history, social studies, anthropology, religion, literature, arts, and more.

Each volume provides:
• An exploration of complex eras in history on a level accessible to students and general readers
• Authoritative coverage stemming from the most current scholarship and recent discoveries
• A focus on social rather than political history in key curricular areas, providing an in-depth understanding of the nuts and bolts of daily life
• Interactive, exciting details such as recipes, sheet music, rules for games, song lyrics, and more
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