Everett Cafe: Lessons from the Gilded Age
After collective iterations of selections for the new Everett Café book display, Lessons from the Gilded Age, the last thing I expect to find is a small frog in my path. Down the steep hill at the top of the park, I am cycling too fast to stop, but I shift my Schwinn just a little to the right – saving its speckled skin, as it slowly crawls off in search of greenery.
Mark Twain, author of The Gilded Age: A Tale of To-day – a satirical novel written in 1873, was closely associated with the jumping frog, an animal symbolizing opportunities in transition, good luck, indeed incredible transformations. Twain was an avid theater go-er, theater critic, and founding member of the extant Players Club in New York. I learn from the Mark Twain House and Museum that his highly successful novel served as the basis for his first play, The Gilded Age, later renamed Colonel Sellers, in recognition of the comic schemer prone to shouting, “There’s millions in it!” Twain’s play, written with character actor John Raymond in mind, premiered at the Park Theater in New York on September 16, 1874, then toured very successfully for a dozen years, bringing in unanticipated profits.
As we look toward the opening of the splendid fourth floor Learning Theater, we realize the import of the carefully curated collection; titles are drawn from the Gottesman Libraries’ existing collections, research to curricular, showcasing interdisciplinary and cross disciplinary ideas, trends, issues in society, schools, culture. What does the late nineteenth century, an American dichotomy of expansive economic growth and great poverty, teach us? Hazel Hertzberg, authority on American Indian history and Teachers College Assistant Professor of History and Education, certainly had salient thoughts on Teaching the Age of the City: The Gilded Age and After. Just about seeing a frog in the tree tops outside Russell Hall, we realize her tower of stacks equates in height the distant tenements, now dwarfed by developments.
Bourguignon, François. The Globalization of Inequality. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2015.
Cafe HC59.3 .B7213 2015
Brands, H. W. The Reckless Decade: America in the 1890s. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002.
Cafe E661 .B795 2002
Bullough, William A. Cities and Schools in the Gilded Age: The Evolution of an Urban Institution. Port Washington, NY: Kennikat Press, 1974.
Cafe LC5131 .B84 1974
Duncan, Greg J. and Richard J. Murnane. Restoring Opportunity: The Crisis of Inequality and the Challenge for American Education. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2014.
Cafe LC213.2. D86 2014
Glubok, Shirley. The Art of America in the Gilded Age. Designed by Gerard Nook. New York, Macmillan 
Cafe N6510.G56 1971
Grusky, David B. and Tamar Kricheli-Katz, eds. The New Gilded Age: The Critical Inequality Debates of Our Time. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
Cafe HN90.S6 N447 2012
Kozol, Jonathon. Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s Schools. New York: Harper Perennial, 1992.
Cafe LC4091. K69 1992
Lareau, Annette. Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life. 2nd ed, with an Update a Decade Later. Berkeley: University of California Press, c2011.
Cafe HQ767.9 .L37 2011
Massey, Douglas S. Categorically Unequal: The American Stratification System. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2007.
Cafe HN90.S6 M36 2007
Noah, Timothy. The Great Divergence: America’s Growing Income Inequality Crisis and What We Can Do about It. New York : Bloomsbury Press, 2012.
Cafe HC110.I5 N63 2013
Merrill, Marlene Deahl, ed. Growing Up in Boston’s Gilded Age: The Journal of Alice Stone Blackwell, 1872-1874. New Haven : Yale University Press, c1990.
Cafe F73.5 .B53 1990
Riis, Jacob. How the Other Half Lives: Studies among the Tenements of New York. With 100 photos from the Jacob A. Riis Collection, the Museum of the City of New York, and a new preface. by Charles A. Madison. New York: Dover, .
Cafe HV4046.N6 R58 1971
Stern, Robert A.M., Thomas Mellins and David Fishman. New York 1880: Architecture and Urbanism in the Gilded Age. New York: Monacelli Press, 1999.
Cafe NA735.N5 S727
Stiglitz, Joseph E. The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future. New York : W.W. Norton & Co., c2012.
Cafe HC110.I5 S867 2012
Twain, Mark. The Gilded Age: A Tale of To-day. New York and London: Harper and Brothers, .
Cafe PS1311 .A1 1915
University of the State of New York. Bureau of Secondary Curriculum Development. Teaching the Age of the City: The Gilded Age and After, (1865-1914): A Guide for Seventh Grade Social Studies. Albany, NY: 1968.
Cafe HN80.N5 A55 1968
At the Everett News Cafe, you’ll find a new book collection every few weeks that relates to current affairs, education, or learning environments.
Note: Poster Image drawn from The New York Daily Graphic, September 21, 1874; referencing Tracy Wuster’s Humor in America.