This book explores the campaign to improve the lives of children and youth during the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. It considers an emerging idea that influenced both thinking about children and the reforms related to them: the so-called discovery of adolescence as a separate phase of life. It also examines the ways in which children, women, and men came to grips with the industrializing, increasingly complex world in which they lived. The book is divided into two parts. Part 1 discusses some of the ways in which reformers, governments, manufacturers, and even writers attempted to influence how children and youth perceived the world around them and became useful members of that world. Part 2 focuses on the ways in which children and youth seized—or attempted to seize—control of their own lives and how parents and other authority figures attempted to influence those lives.
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