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September 15 , 2010

The Workshop of Democracy


The second volume of Burns’s acclaimed history of America, from the end of the Civil War to the beginning of the Great Depression
Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address pointed to a new way to preserve an old hope—that democracy might prove a vibrant and lasting form of government for people of different races, religions, and aspirations. The scars of the Civil War would not soon heal, but with that one short speech, the president held out the possibility that such a nation might not simply survive, but flourish. The Workshop of Democracy explores more than a half-century of dramatic growth and transformation of the American landscape, through the addition of dozens of new states, the shattering tragedy of the First World War, the explosion of industry, and, in the end, the emergence of the United States as an new global power.

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