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The First Measured Century


180 minutes on 2 DVDs
Source: PBS Video

In 1881, President James Garfield predicted that "statistical inquiry" would make the historian "the prophet of his generation." Instead of cataloging "princes, dynasties, sieges, and battles," he proclaimed, the new historian would use data to examine the lives of "the people themselves." The rise of social science made the realization of Garfield's vision possible, and thus the twentieth century became the "first measured century." The First Measured Century looks at America in the 20th century through the stories of influential social scientists--their triumphs and failures, and the burning controversies they started.

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