1877 was the year many Americans wanted to forget. In the messy aftermath of the Civil War, economic depression, white supremacy, labor unrest, and a factionalized political system produced a period of unprecedented violence and upheaval in American life. This "solid, deeply informed history" (Publishers Weekly) brilliantly recaptures this tumultuous time, revealing that the fires of that pivotal year also fueled a hothouse of cultural and intellectual innovation. Best of all, historian Michael A. Bellesiles tells the story of 1877 not just through dramatic events, but also through the lives of famous and little-known Americans alike: Mark Twain, Crazy Horse, Susan B. Anthony; the detective Allan Pinkerton and President Rutherford B.Hayes; the black poet Albery Allson Whitman and the pioneer in women's health issues Mary Putman Jacobi; Ida B. Wells; and Billy the kid. 1877's account of America at the dawn of its modern era will forever alter our understanding of the forces that shape our politics, our culture, and our national identity.