In this short span of time, a new world order was emerging in ultimately tragic contradiction to the old. These were the years in which the political and personal repercussions of the Industrial Revolution were felt worldwide: Cities grew like never before as people fled the countryside and their traditional identities; science created new possibilities as well as nightmares; education changed the outlook of millions of people; mass-produced items transformed daily life; industrial laborers demanded a share of political power; and women sought to change their place in society -- as well as the very fabric of sexual relations.
From the tremendous hope for a new century embodied in the 1900 World's Fair in Paris to the shattering assassination of a Habsburg archduke in Sarajevo in 1914, historian Philipp Blom chronicles this extraordinary epoch year by year. Prime Ministers and peasants, anarchists and actresses, scientists and psychopaths intermingle on the stage of a new century in this portrait of an opulent, unstable age on the brink of disaster.
Beautifully written and replete with deftly told anecdotes, The Vertigo Years brings the wonders, horrors, and fears of the early twentieth century vividly to life.
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About the Author
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations viii
1 1900: The Dynamo and the Virgin 5
2 1901: The Changing of the Guard 23
3 1902: Oedipus Rex 44
4 1903: A Strange Luminescence 71
5 1904: His Majesty and Mister Morel 92
6 1905: In All Fury 122
7 1906: Dreadnought and Anxiety 155
8 1907: Dreams and Visions 189
9 1908: Ladies with Rocks 219
10 1909: The Cult of the Fast Machine 249
11 1910: Human Nature Changed 277
12 1911: People's Palaces 308
13 1912: Questions of Breeding 334
14 1913: Wagner's Crime 360
15 1914: Murder Most Foul 388