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8 Must-Read Progressive Era Books

This article showcases our top picks for the best progressive era books. We reached out to industry leaders and experts who have contributed the suggestions within this article (they have been credited for their contributions below).

We are keen to hear your feedback on all of our content and our comment section is a moderated space to express your thoughts and feelings related (or not) to this article This list is in no particular order.


eLIVate Your Life by Nona Djavid

This product was recommended by Dr Nona Djavid from Nona Djavid

We live in a world where our daily obligations and common distractions, like technology and the media, tend to get in the way of what we really want. So many of us have dreams, hopes, and desires that we let sit on the back burner while we continue to move through life on autopilot. This book seeks to change the world of self-help by providing you with the steps to take to activate immediate and lasting change. eLIVate your Life is a comprehensive, spiritual self-help guide designed to help you change your life forever. If there is something in your life that needs improving, don’t wait another minute. Let the seven core principles of energy, love, inspiration, vision, alignment, truth, and empowerment guide you to the life you deserve. Now is not just the time for change. Now is your time for change. eLIVate your life!


Island of Vice by Richard Zacks

This product was recommended by Bryan Eastman from PoliEngine

Perhaps the progressive era’s greatest accomplishment was the focus on better government: implementing civil service reform and showing Americans their government could work for them, not just be used as patronage for politicians. Island of Vice tells the story of the progressive era’s best known person, Teddy Roosevelt, early in his career taking on entrenched corruption and Tammany Hall as police commissioner in New York. This moment in time was a critical first step for the progressive era, before this government jobs were just patronage dolled out for votes. With the implementation of civil service reform and anti-corruption laws we laid the groundwork for a government people could believe in to do more to help them. Roosevelt was just one young person swept up in this movement, and in a book that is a joy to read it shows the optimism and righteousness of this first wave of reformers of the progressive era.


Life Beyond the Pandemic by Oreste J Daversa

This product was recommended by Oreste J. DAversa from Metropolitan Small Business Coaching LLC

Starting over is always a challenge, at best is difficult and at worst sometimes impossible and is now even more magnified with the advent of a pandemic. We all need, want and desire direction to pick our lives up and begin again. As we all are multifaceted as human beings so must our approach be multifaceted as well to begin our new journey. When starting over we just don’t want to be where we were we want to be in an even better place than where we once were in our lives. New situations, new problems and a new way of life need new tools, methods and techniques to get to a better place spiritually, emotionally, mentally, physically and financially. A new day-to-day reality needs to be created to deal, manage and thrive in the new realism of the post pandemic world. From the spiritual to the practical each chapter offers valuable insights and life changing tools, methods and techniques to achieve a more prosperous life in all areas of our lives.


The Metaphysical Club by Louis Menand

This product was recommended by Alex Savy from SleepingOcean

I like how the author takes a look at the Progressive Era from a slightly different point of view. The idea revolves around American pragmatism but it is deeply intertwined with historical events and substantial changes of the century.


Return of the Light by Michael Goldstein

This product was recommended by Michael Goldstein from N/A

It is Winter Solstice, 2120. At one of thousands of such gatherings across the U.S., a storyteller begins the annual retelling of how, back in 2023, the people took over their own government, making it a means for mobilizing their collective power to promote justice, peace, sustainability, and a society hospitable to the needs of the human spirit. The first President under the new government was a woman who helped lead the movement. As a vision of a path forward, the book is a wonderful source of hope and inspiration.


Standing at Armageddon by Nell Irvin Painter

This product was recommended by Jennifer Willy from Etia

Standing at Armageddon by Nell Irvin Painter is a comprehensive and lively historical account of America’s shift from a rural and agrarian society to an urban and industrial society.


The Progressive Era by Murray N Rothbard

This product was recommended by Jennifer Willy from Etia

The Progressive Era by Murray N Rothbard is a must-read study of this dreadful time in our past. – From the Foreword by Judge Andrew P. Napolitano, the current relationship between the modern state and the economy has its roots in the Progressive Era.Standing at Armageddon by Nell Irvin Painter


Rebirth of a Nation by Jackson Lears

This product was recommended by Jennifer Willy from Etia

Rebirth of a Nation by Jackson Lears brilliantly weaves the remarkable story of this crucial epoch into a masterful work of history. In the half-century between the Civil War and World War I, dreams of spiritual, moral, and physical rebirth formed the foundation for the modern United States.

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