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Program 14: Industrial Supremacy
Donald L. Miller with Stephen Ambrose, Virginia Scharff, Waldo E. Martin, Jr., Pauline Maier, Louis P. Masur, and Douglas Brinkley.
Miller: America in the late 19th century. Everywhere, East and West, the sense of possibility, opportunity, excitement. The Civil War is over, Reconstruction's failure denied.
So there's enormous, swirling change that goes on, and the creation of an industrial machine, and what it does to human life and to culture. Tolstoy called it the "permanent revolution." The Industrial Revolution. You could hear its roar around the world.
When I look at the 19th century through the eyes of the Europeans, what they're impressed by, in the West as well as in the East, is they're impressed by businessmen. That's who impresses them. It captured the eye of these people. One foreigner calls them "capitalist conquistadors." He says he's never seen anything like this.
Men like Gustavus Swift and Andrew Carnegie. In New York and Chicago, and across the nation, Americans are making things and money on a spectacular scale. But there is always a price. A new America? Today, on A Biography of America, "Industrial Supremacy."