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In Volume One of The American Chronicles, Robert Vaughan panoramically evokes America at the beginning of the Twentieth Century, poised on the brink of greatness and fraught with the tumult of rapid change. In a time of robber-baron industrialists and rapid territorial expansion both at home and abroad, the new music called “ragtime” is the soundtrack for a confident nation of ambitious dreamers. It is 1904 and the nation’s eyes are on the St. Louis World's Fair, which features an astounding variety of modern marvels. The enormous exhibition brings together the best minds the country has to offer, each of them with something to lose and opportunities to seize: Bob Canfield, a young and wealthy landowner who is willing to risk his honor and his fortune to make a profit out of the desert; Eric Twainbough, a solitary young cowboy riding the rails East from Wyoming, innocently bringing disaster with him; Terry Perkins, a reporter desperate to get the scoop on the story in St. Louis; Connie Bateman, one of the politically conscious new women fighting for freedom, bravely defending their right to equality.