The Curious Relevance of the Gilded Age

Let's capture the best of Ida B. Wells, W.E.B. Du Bois, Alexander Graham Bell and more.

Surely not the Gilded Age, you might be thinking. Not the age of forgotten, mustachioed presidents and massive income inequality.Not the era of unchecked discrimination against immigrant groups and newly-freed former slaves. And certainly not the time that yielded fodder for mediocre Leonardo DiCaprio movies.

But at the opening ceremony of the Aspen Ideas Festival on Wednesday, The Atlantic's Jim Fallows made a compelling argument that today looks a lot like the late 19th century -- in ways both good and bad. Here's Fallows on the social progress, political movements, and powerful inventions that we should use as a guide more than a century later:

 

Courtesy of the Aspen Institute

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Emma Green is the assistant managing editor of TheAtlantic.com, where she also writes about religion and culture.

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