At the turn of the 20th century, when industrialization, urbanization, and immigration were radically changing the face of America, an activist government was taking root across the nation.
Innovative public servants fought to meet the needs of ordinary people who didn’t have access to the benefits afforded by wealth and power. From a lonely champion of Native American children in Oklahoma to a postal clerk–turned–police chief in Berkeley, Civic Pioneers: Local Stories from a Changing America, 1895-1915 tells the dramatic tales of how these individuals, both heroic and flawed, shaped the country for generations to come.
Gretchen Dykstra worked in and around local government for more than twenty years in New York City, growing to respect people who devote their professional lives to the everyday needs of ordinary people.
“From big cities to rural towns, Pioneers is a smart new look at America’s history of local innovation — by someone who has helped lead it.” —Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York, 2002–2013, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies
“Interesting, inspirational, and important profiles, engagingly told.”—Cokie Roberts, journalist and author
“An informative and engrossing introduction to key individuals.” —Kirkus Review