The First Measured Century: An Illustrated Guide to Trends in America, 1900-2000

Front Cover
Most history tells the story of the past through anecdotes, but anecdotes do not always present an accurate or complete picture. There is another way to look at history. The rise of widespread, systematic data collection in the twentieth century--the first measured century--allows us to examine the past 100 years with unprecedented clarity. Now, The First Measured Century uses social data to tell us what happened to everyday Americans in the twentieth century. Whether the topic is politics, sexual behavior, economics, immigration, living arrangements, religion, longevity, or public opinion, this myth-busting popular reference work shows that the facts often turn out to be more interesting than the fiction. A special feature of The First Measured Century is original 1999 research that builds on the landmark sociological study of the 1920s, "Middletown." With survey results that span more than seven decades, The First Measured Century offers the longest timeline of consistent attitudinal data anywhere. This panorama of the American twentieth century unfolds in a series of key trends, each explained in a one-page essay written for the general reader and illustrated by one or more vibrantly colored charts on the facing page. The First Measured Century is an essential tool for anyone interested in journalism, economics, history, political science, sociology, demography, public relations, business, the arts, or public policy.
 

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The first measured century: an illustrated guide to trends in America, 1900-2000

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With this tie-in to a PBS documentary that aired in December, Caplow (Recent Social Trends in the United States), Louis Hicks (Systems of War and Peace), and Ben J. Wattenberg (Values Matter Most ... Read full review

The first measured century: an illustrated guide to trends in America, 1900-2000

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

With this tie-in to a PBS documentary that aired in December, Caplow (Recent Social Trends in the United States), Louis Hicks (Systems of War and Peace), and Ben J. Wattenberg (Values Matter Most ... Read full review

Contents

As the nation grew the share of the population living in the Northeast
10
During the second half of the century the proportion of minorities in
18
The proportion of American men who were in the labor force declined
32
The unemployment rate fluctuated with the business cycle and military
46
Womens share of bachelors and advanced degrees trended upward
54
Family
67
The decline in the share of U S households maintained by a married cou
80
U S households became smaller
92
Although the equalization of womens and mens earnings proceeded
162
Private philanthropy increased more than fivefold in the last half of
168
Poverty decreased significantly from 1959 when official measurements
174
Democrats and Republicans shared presidential election victories almost
180
The number of black elected officials increased greatly after 1970
186
Federal state and local governments expanded their activities
192
Federal government employees were a smaller component of the labor
194
Veterans made up a large part of the civilian male population during
208

Religion
105
Active Leisure
119
The world record for land speed not subject to any particular human lim
128
The health of children showed spectacular improvement
134
The suicide rate fluctuated with economic conditions during the first half
140
The popularity of psychotropic substances fluctuated
146
Health care expenditures increased sharply toward the end of the century
152
Money
159
The inmate population of state and federal prisons increased significantly
222
Toward the end of the century the proportion of new state and federal
224
Bicycles like horses and sailboats did not disappear when they were
238
For much of the century only a small fraction of the population owned
252
Material progress required large inputs of mechanical energy and greater
256
The importance of advertising in the national economy increased slowly
270
Index
297
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About the author (2001)

Theodore Caplow is the Commonwealth Professor of Sociology at the University of Virginia and the author of many books, inclduing American Social Trends (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1991).

Louis Hicks is an associate professor of sociology at St. Mary's College of Maryland and co-author of Systems of War and Peace (University Press of America, 1995).

Ben J. Wattenberg is a senior fellow at AEI, a syndicated solumnist, moderator of the PBS series "Think Tank," and author of many books, including Values Matter most (Free Press, 1995).

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