The Gay Nineties in America: A Cultural Dictionary of the 1890s
From a vantage point 100 years later, one can look back on the excitement and ferment of a turbulent decade and find the seeds of the joys and anguish, the excesses and successes of the twentieth century. Whether for browsing or research, readers will reap rewards from this entertaining and enlightening alphabetical compendium of the persons, events, institutions, and ideas of the era. Taking the emergence of modern American literature--with realism and naturalism replacing romanticism--as his point of view, Robert L. Gale profiles some ninety-five writers of classic and popular literature, journalism, and criticism, 140 individual works, and thirty magazines, all set against the background of America thrusting itself into the twentieth century and evolving as a world power. But he doesn't stop there. Also represented in over 500 entries are painters and politicians, social workers and industrialists, composers and inventors, explorers and evangelists as well as topics like crime, immigration, medicine, motion pictures, sports, and universities and landmark events like the Panic of 1893, the Spanish-American War, and the World's Columbian Exposition. Fully cross-referenced and indexed, the dictionary includes a chronology of events from 1888 to 1901, an appendix classifying entries on key people in occupational and other categories, and an extensive bibliography. Starting on page one or dipping in at any point in the dictionary, the reader will be led to related materials and, finally, to an understanding of this formative period in American cultural history.