1877

America’s Year of Living Violently

A “compelling work of historical scholarship” (Jon Wiener) that brilliantly recaptures one of the few truly pivotal years in U.S. history

“A bold, insightful book, richly researched, and fast paced.” —Alfred F. Young, co-editor of Revolutionary Founders: The Promise of the American Revolution

1877 was the year many Americans wanted to forget. In the messy aftermath of the Civil War, economic depression, white supremacy, labor unrest, and a factionalized political system produced a period of unprecedented violence and upheaval in American life. This &ldquosolid, deeply informed history” (Publishers Weekly) brilliantly recaptures this tumultuous time, revealing that the fires of that pivotal year also fueled a hothouse of cultural and intellectual innovation. Best of all, historian Michael A. Bellesiles tells the story of 1877 not just through dramatic events, but also through the lives of famous and little-known Americans alike: Mark Twain, Crazy Horse, Susan B. Anthony; the detective Allan Pinkerton and President Rutherford B.Hayes; the black poet Albery Allson Whitman and the pioneer in women's health issues Mary Putman Jacobi; Ida B. Wells; and Billy the kid. 1877’s account of America at the dawn of its modern era will forever alter our understanding of the forces that shape our politics, our culture, and our national identity.

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Praise

“A superb and troubling book about the soul of Modern America.”
—William Deverell, director of the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West
“Every reader will be caught up in this powerful examination of a nation trying to make sense of the complex changes and challenges of the post–Civil War era.”
—Carol Berkin, author of A Brilliant Solution: Inventing the American Constitution and Revolutionary Mothers: Women in the Struggle for America’s Independence
“[A] wonderful read that is sure to appeal to those interested in the challenges of creating a post–Civil War society.”
Choice
“A bold, insightful book, richly researched, and fast paced. . . . Bellesiles vividly portrays on a single canvas the violent confrontations in 1877.”
—Alfred F. Young, co-editor of Revolutionary Founders: The Promise of the American Revolution

Books by Michael A. Bellesiles

A People’s History of the U.S. Military
Ordinary Soldiers Reflect on Their Experience of War, from the American Revolution to Afghanistan

Michael A. Bellesiles