On the first morning of 1908, human flight remained, for most Americans, in the realm of myth and dream. By the end of that year, the Wright brothers would be worldwide celebrities, heralded as the first people to conquer the sky. Yet that miraculous achievement was but one of many in 1908: Teddy Roosevelt sent the Great White Fleet on a voyage around the globe, Robert Peary began his courageous dash to the North Pole, six automobiles left Times Square on an epic twenty-thousand-mile race to Paris, and Henry Ford introduced an oddly shaped new automobile called the Model T.
It was an era of seemingly boundless innovation----everything was bigger, better, faster, and greater than ever before. In New York City and Chicago, banks of high-speed elevators zipped through vertical shafts in the tallest buildings on earth. Pneumatic tubes whisked mail between far-flung post offices in minutes. Woman cleaned their homes with amazing new devices called vacuums as American engineers cut fifty-mile canal through the Isthmus of Panama.
By turns gripping and humorous, shocking and delightful, Jim Rasenberger's America, 1908 brings to life our nation as it was more than one hundred years ago, at a moment of delirious optimism and pride, a time when Americans believed that the future was bound to be better than the past. This is a rousing chronicle of a young country on the brink of greatness--even as we wonder what awaits us in the century ahead.