The Search for Order, 1877-1920

Robert H. Wiebe

Hill and Wang



Trade Paperback

352 Pages



Request Desk Copy Request Exam Copy

At the end of the Reconstruction, the spread of science and technology, industrialism, urbanization, immigration, and economic depressions eroded Americans' conventional beliefs in individualism and a divinely ordained social system. In The Search for Order, Robert Wiebe shows how, in subsequent years, during the Progressive Era of Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, Americans sought the organizing principles around which a new viable social order could be constructed in the modern world. This subtle and sophisticated study combines the virtues of historical narrative, sociological analysis, and social criticism.


Praise for The Search for Order, 1877-1920

"A sensitive, gracefully written synthesis . . . He dispels old myths and offers a compelling new view."—William E. Leuchtenburg

"A unified intelligible overview of the half century before 1920 . . . Required reading for anyone interested in modern America, or for that matter in the modern world. The book abounds with information and is written very gracefully."—Walter Nugent, Journal of American History

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Robert H. Wiebe

  • Robert H. Wiebe, professor of history at Northwestern University, is the author of The Segmented Society and Self Rule: A Cultural History of American Democracy.