This March, 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 lectures are free of charge, registration is necessary; to register please call 203-762-3950, ext. 213 visit the website.
On March 8, Bonnie Yochelson will present How the Other Half Lives from 4 pm - 5:30 pm. In 1890, Jacob A. Riis published How the Other Half Lives, a best-selling book that revealed the horrific conditions of New York's slums, which were the worst in the world. A Danish-born immigrant, Riis was a charismatic writer and speaker who engaged the conscience of his readers while entertaining them. He stumbled upon the innovative idea of using photographs to enhance his message. Author of a dozen books and hundreds of articles, Riis traveled the country giving illustrated lectures until his death in 1914. Join this lecture for a fresh interpretation of Riis' contribution to social reform and photographic history by Bonnie Yochelson, art historian and independent curator.
This lecture is followed by a lecture curated by Matthew Warshauer called: From Civil War to Revolution: The Rapid Industrialization of America and the Challenges We Still Face on March 22 from 4 pm - 5:30 pm. Matthew Warshauer, Professor of History at Central Connecticut State University, will explore the remarkable and fast-paced changes to American life in the aftermath of the Civil War. Mass production during the conflict caused the nation to travel from the edge of industrialization to full blown industrial revolution. The nature of work changed drastically, as did home life, as millions moved from farm to city. Was it the Gilded Age or industrialized poverty? What was government's role and responsibility in this new economy? How much should government then and now be involved in the nation's economic future?
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