This winter, the Wilton Historical Society and Wilton Library are partnering on an informative scholarly series about an important time in America's history, the end of the 19th century known as the Gilded Age. This series examines a changing nation at a critical juncture. Many of today's issues were beginning to take form such as change vs. status quo; federal vs. state involvement; regulation vs. laissez-faire and more. Although registration is required, the lectures are free and open to the public. To register, please call 203-762-3950, ext. 213 or click
On Sunday, Feb. 8 from 4 pm to 8 pm the topic will feature Brent Colley, who will deliver a talk entitled, "A Gilded Life: Mark Twain." Mark Twain's life is perceived by many as a 'charmed life' but the reality is the rags to riches story of the most widely recognized author/humorist the world has ever known is not as 'charmed' as one might think. Join us for a discussion of Mark Twain's life and the challenges he faced and overcame throughout the course of his lifetime.
This lecture is followed by another lecture on February 22 from 4 pm - 5:30 pm called Race Relations and Politics in the Gilded Age. Professor James Goodman will discuss how race relations dominate the study of antebellum America, the Civil War, and Reconstruction through 1877 tends to disappear in the Gilded Age, especially in the popular versions of the Gilded Age history. It shouldn't, for we can't understand the U.S. in the Gilded Age without understanding what was going on between black people and white people in the wake of Reconstruction. Nor - if we jump from the end of the first Reconstruction to the beginning of the second (imagining that beginning in 1954 or 1955) - can we understand where we are today.
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