Same As It Ever Was

Tuesday, Feb 6, 2018



Credit: Courtesy of the Museum of the City of New York

The Gilded Age, from WGBH’s American Experience, is a portrait of an era of glittering wealth contrasted with extreme poverty, much as we see today.  Thirty years after the Civil War, America had transformed itself into an economic powerhouse and was fast becoming the world’s leading producer of food, coal, oil and steel. But the transformation had created stark new divides in wealth, class and opportunity. By the end of the 19th century, the richest 4,000 families in the country—fewer than one percent of all Americans—possessed nearly as much wealth as the other 11.6 million families combined. The simultaneous growth of a lavish new elite and a struggling working class sparked passionate and violent debate over questions still being asked today: How is wealth best distributed, and by what process? Should the government concern itself with economic growth or economic justice? Are we two nations, one for the rich and one for the poor, or one nation where everyone has a chance to succeed?

Watch it tonight at 9pm on WGBH 2

ABOUT THIS BLOG

Embedded in the exterior wall of WGBH's studios is a Boston landmark: a digital mural designed to brighten the ride for commuters with a theme a day that provokes thought, inspires curiosity, and reflects the content and values of public media.

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February 2018

 

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Funding for WGBH’s digital mural has been provided by the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund, a program of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, administered through a collaborative arrangement between MassDevelopment and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

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