Latest Journal Issue

Latest issue: 19.3 (July 2020)

The newest Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era is available to members here:

Our July 2020 issue greets readers with the dour mugshot of Myrtle Farnum, sentenced to 1 year to life for manslaughter in 1896. Just three years later, she was paroled from Joliet and entered into Illinois’s largely privately managed parole system. Morgan Shanan’s SHGAPE Graduate Student Prize essay, “Making Good: On Parole in Early Twentieth-Century Illinois,” examines Farnum and other parolees’ experiences within Illinois’s parole system. The parole system was one example of the Progressive Era state’s growing reliance on the private sector.

The problem of shifting relationships between private and public, citizen and state reappears throughout this issue. Colin McConarty and Michael McGuire focus on the interactions of private citizens and the Federal government. McConarty examines the 200+ letters sent to Senator George Frisbie Hoar trying to influence the Federal Elections Bill of 1890. McGuire turns to Radcliffe students, administrators, and alumnae’s slow turn to mobilization during World War I, suggesting that “coercive voluntarism” was not all-pervasive.

The following two articles consider the American empire in the Pacific. Theresa Ventura explores the American career of Manila-born author Ramon Reyes Lala. A naturalized US citizen, Lala defended American annexation of the Philippines but found his Republican Party patrons used his arguments to deny Filipino citizenship claims. Constance Chen looks at how Progressive Era American travel in China and Japan shaped an American “global ‘modern’ identity.” By describing the Japanese as modern and the Chinese as “primitive,” Chen argues that American ideas about the Asian countries helped create racialized meanings of modernity and progress that in turn shaped the American empire at home and abroad.

The issue ends with roundtable that reflects on the long history of anti-Semitism in the United States. Moving back and forth between scholars Hasia R. Diner, Eric L. Goldstein, Jonathan D. Sarna, and Beth S. Wagner, David S. Kaufman moderates a consideration of what Gilded Age and Progressive Era anti-Semitism can tell us about the “larger social, political, or psycho-spiritual matters dear to America,” then and now.

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