The Making of Modern America: 150 years in 150 minutes (Cape Cod)

Sunday, October 29, 2017 10:00 am - 12:30 pm


10:00 am - 12:30 pm
The Making of Modern America (150 years in 150 minutes)

Edward O'Donnell / Holy Cross College

Massive banks and corporations wield enormous power, the income gap between the rich and poor grows wider, new technologies are changing lives, and conflicts over military interventionism, the environment, and immigration dominate public debate. Sound familiar? You might be surprised to know that these headlines were ripped, not from today's newspaper, but from newspapers long ago from the transformative periods known as the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era. Stretching from the end of the Civil War in 1865 to roughly 1920, this extraordinary time was not only an era of vast and sweeping change, but it saw the birth of the United States as we and the world at large now know it.

The Making of Modern America is your chance to relive the most powerful and groundbreaking moments in the fascinating story of the United States of America, all the way through the remarkable political climate we are experiencing in 2017. This lecture, delivered by masterful historian Professor Edward O'Donnell, offers you a different perspective on the sweeping narrative of U.S. history and a comprehensive tour of those particular moments after which the nation would never be the same again. Taking a chronological and thematic approach, Professor O'Donnell gives you new ways to understand American history and to appreciate it as a grand narrative, pinpointed with key moments that changed things forever. Along the way, he'll dispel some intriguing myths and half-truths. His presentation is packed with unfamiliar anecdotes, stories, and side notes that just may change your views on American history.

Edward O'Donnell / Holy Cross College

Edward O’Donnell is a professor of History at College of the Holy Cross. He is the author of several books, including Henry George and the Crisis of Inequality: Progress and Poverty in the Gilded Age. He frequently contributes op-eds to publications like Newsweek and The Huffington Post. He has been featured on PBS, the History Channel, the Discovery Channel, and C-SPAN. O’Donnell also has curated several major museum exhibits on American history and appeared in several historical documentaries. He currently hosts a history podcast, “In the Past Lane.”