The Gilded Age (1873–1900) takes its name from the title of an 1873 novel by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner. The social transformations that prompted Twain and Warner to characterize this period as materialistic, shallow, and corrupt also affected definitions of manliness. Amid the increasing pace and growing scale of urban industrial life, the Gilded Age witnessed the emergence of corporate and bureaucratic structures, new technologies, new forms of work, and changing career paths for men. Those who considered work, productive effort, and artisanal or entrepreneurial autonomy critical to their definitions of manliness found themselves in a social setting that no longer seemed to furnish men of different class backgrounds with a sense of achievement. The social transformations of the late nineteenth century ...

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