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Julian Nelson
Julian Nelson

6 : Roaring Upheaval

The Great Gatsby film, based on the classic novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, follows the life and times of millionaire Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his neighbor Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire), who recounts his encounter with Gatsby at the height of the Roaring Twenties in New York state. The film explores themes of decadence, idealism, resistance to change, social upheaval, and excess, creating a portrait of the Jazz Age or the Roaring Twenties that has been described as a cautionary tale regarding the American Dream.

6 : Roaring Upheaval

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The social and economic upheaval that followed World War I powerfully destabilized the Weimar Republic, Germany's fledgling democracy, and gave rise to many radical right wing parties in Weimar Germany.

The labor violence and economic upheavals of the late 19th century had been horrific enough to convince many powerful Americans that reform was necessary. In 1898, Republican president William McKinley, who would be assassinated in 1901 by the anarchist Leon Czolgosz, appointed the United States Industrial Commission to study the causes of labor violence. At the same time, a broad group of largely middle-class and elite Americans, soon to be known as Progressives, set out to document and then ameliorate the worst forms of corruption in the economy and politics, and to soften the edges of the new industrial system by making workplaces, consumer products, and neighborhoods safer and healthier. There was no single Progressive Era social movement; rather, reformers sought everything from antitrust legislation, shorter working hours, and safer workplaces to bans on child labor, protective legislation for female workers, and reforms that would clean up manufacturing and the political process.

We call the coming period of upheaval "the Great Transformation" and define it through 10 interlocking themes, including the changing ages and stages of life, the rise of platforms and post-globalization in geopolitics. Our research indicates that the depth and breadth of changes in the 2020s will set apart this transformation from many previous ones.

Getting there is the challenge. How should leadership teams set targets or goals if longtime assumptions are no longer valid? Clearly, there is no set formula for managing through significant macroeconomic upheaval. But there are many practical steps companies can take to assess how a vastly changed macroeconomic landscape might affect their business and how to position themselves for change. In our view, the most important one is building resilience. Organizations that can absorb shocks and change course quickly will have the best chance of thriving in the turbulent 2020s and beyond.

While the decade of the 1920s is remembered as 'roaring,' with the rise of big business, jazz and urban culture, it did not start off that way. The decade opened to a prelude of fear, anxiety and suspicion.

The Red Scare that hit America at the start of the roaring 1920s would not be the last. Many fears about leftist radicals were dormant until concerns became real. In April of 1919, the U.S. Post Office intercepted some 40 bombs addressed to prominent Americans. However, some got through. One of particular note was the letter bomb that reached the home of Attorney General, A. Mitchell Palmer. This was enough for the U.S. government to take action. 041b061a72


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