The years between the Civil War and the Second World War marked the emergence of the United States as the wealthiest and strongest nation in the world. America’s extraordinary rise was unpredictable, difficult, and often close to disaster. A diverse group of citizens made key decisions to transform the country – Theodore Roosevelt, FDR, John D. Rockefeller, Jane Addams, Booker T. Washington, and Henry Ford. These larger-than-life personalities shaped an era, and the essential course of American history. Examining this history helps us to understand our own world better, and what it will take to renew American society in coming years.