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

Presented by

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

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in National

Just In