Synopses & Reviews
A captivating look at a bygone era through the lens of a single, surprisingly momentous American year one century ago. 1908 was the year Henry Ford launched the Model T, the Wright Brothers proved to the world that they had mastered the art of flight, Teddy Roosevelt decided to send American naval warships around the globe, the Chicago Cubs won the World Series (a feat they have never yet repeated), and six automobiles set out on an incredible 20,000 mile race from New York City to Paris via the frozen Bering Strait. andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;andnbsp;A charming and knowledgeable guide, Rasenberger takes readers back to a time of almost limitless optimism, even in the face of enormous inequality, an era when the majority of Americans believed that the future was bound to be better than the past, that the worldand#8217;s worst problems would eventually be solved, and that nothing at all was impossible. As Thomas Edison succinctly said that year, and#8220;Anything, everything is possible.and#8221;
"Jim Rasenberger has found the perfect aperture through which to view the explosion of modernity. 1908 was indeed a big bang of a year, a year full of hope and promise but also one which presented our world with a Pandora's box of unforeseen perils. Readers will love -- and historians will envy -- the graceful simplicity of Rasenberger's singular prism. America, 1908 effortlessly transports us back to the future, to a distant time and place that seems oddly familiar."
--Hampton Sides, author of Blood and Thunder and Ghost Soldiers"This is a wonderful surprise of a book -- a time machine back to the year when the American Century got going full tilt. Jim Rasenberger writes in a voice as winning as Theodore Roosevelt's smile and pilots his machine with a sure-handedness that would have impressed the Wright brothers. When you finish America, 1908, you will swear you were there."
--Patricia O'Toole, author of When Trumpets Call: Theodore Roosevelt after the White House"An exhilarating panorama of the United States as it was a century ago. The cast of characters here, from Teddy Roosevelt to Fred Merkle (the luckless batter whose mistake lost the New York Giants a still-legendary pennant race), is unforgettable. And the America that shows itself in this masterful narrative constantly reveals links to America today."
--Mark Caldwell, author of New York Night: The Mystique and Its History"America 1908 is an intricate time machine with moving parts that mesh like a fine old gold watch, transporting the reader to a time extraordinarily like and yet unlike our own. Rasenberger, a master of detail, gives us a superb rendition of an important and fascinating American moment."
--James Tobin, author of To Conquer the Air: The Wright Brothers and the Great Race for Flight
"Rasenberger's research is voluminous and he is a master storyteller."
-- Chicago Sun-Times
andlt;bandgt;and#8220;A grand and inspiring panoply." andlt;/bandgt;andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;--andlt;iandgt;Newsweekandlt;/iandgt;
andlt;bandgt;and#8220;Rasenberger's research is voluminous and he is a master storyteller.and#8221;andlt;/bandgt; andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;-- andlt;iandgt;Chicago Sun-Timesandlt;/iandgt;
About the Author
andlt;Bandgt;Jim Rasenbergerandlt;/Bandgt; is the author of andlt;Iandgt;The Brilliant Disaster: JFK, Castro, and America's Doomed Invasion of Cuba's Bay of Pigs andlt;/Iandgt;and andlt;iandgt;High Steel: The Daring Men Who Built the Worldand#8217;s Greatest Skylineandlt;/iandgt;. He has written for andlt;iandgt;The New York Times,andlt;/iandgt; andlt;iandgt;Vanity Fairandlt;/iandgt;, andlt;iandgt;Smithsonian,andlt;/iandgt; and andlt;iandgt;The Wilson Quarterlyandlt;/iandgt;, among other publicationsandlt;iandgt;.andlt;/iandgt; A native of Washington, D.C., he lives in New York City with his wife and sons.