History in general is stained with tales of greatness…tales that that play off the harsh climate of sociopolitical and economic turmoil and celebrate the ingenuity or ‘progress’ made in a world that lacked connections to modern society. It is within Making a New Deal: Industrial Workers in Chicago 1919-1939 that Cohen tackles the myth of
In America, progressivism began as a social movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and grew into a political movement, in what was known as the Progressive Era. While the term “American progressives” represent a range of diverse political pressure groups (not always united), some American progressives rejected Social Darwinism, believing that the problems society faced (poverty, violence, greed, racism, class warfare) could best be addressed by providing good education, a safe environment, and an efficient workplace. Progressives lived mainly in the cities, were college educated, and believed that government could be a tool for change.