Ecstatic Nation: Confidence, Crisis, and Compromise, 1848-1877 American History

Harper #ad - T. C. A new york times notable book of 2013a kirkus best book of 2013a bookpage best book of 2013Dazzling in scope, when the country dreamed big, craved new lands and new freedom, Ecstatic Nation illuminates one of the most dramatic and momentous chapters in America's past, and was bitterly divided over its great moral wrong: slavery.

With a canvas of extraordinary characters, such as P. It takes us from photographic surveys of the Sierra Nevadas to the discovery of gold in the South Dakota hills, and it signals the painful, thrilling birth of modern America. An epic tale by award-winning author brenda Wineapple, Ecstatic Nation lyrically and with true originality captures the optimism, the failures, and the tragic exuberance of a renewed Republic.

Ecstatic Nation: Confidence, Crisis, and Compromise, 1848-1877 American History #ad - Lamar, and it astutely chronicles the complex aftermath of that war and Reconstruction, Ecstatic Nation brilliantly balances cultural and political history: It's a riveting account of the sectional conflict that preceded the Civil War, including the promise that women would share in a new definition of American citizenship.

Barnum, frederick Douglass, Walt Whitman, and L. Q.


The Impeachers: The Trial of Andrew Johnson and the Dream of a Just Nation

Random House #ad - Devastated by war and resorting to violence, many white Southerners hoped to restore a pre–Civil War society, if without slavery, and the pugnacious Andrew Johnson seemed to share their goals. Teeming with fiery passions and unforgettable characters, The Impeachers will be devoured by contemporary readers seeking enlightenment on this issue.

And she brings to vivid life the extraordinary characters who brought that impeachment forward: the willful Johnson and his retinue of advocates—including complicated men like Secretary of State William Seward—as well as the equally complicated visionaries committed to justice and equality for all, like Thaddeus Stevens, Charles Sumner, Frederick Douglass, and Ulysses S.

The Impeachers: The Trial of Andrew Johnson and the Dream of a Just Nation #ad - She serves up not simply food for thought but a veritable feast of observations on that most trying decision for a democracy: whether to oust a sitting president. With the unchecked power of executive orders, pardoned rebel leaders, Johnson ignored Congress, promoted white supremacy, opposed civil rights, and called Reconstruction unnecessary.

Congress was divided over how the union should be reunited: when and how the secessionist South should regain full status, whether former Confederates should be punished, and when and whether black men should be given the vote. Grant. With profound insights and making use of extensive research, Brenda Wineapple dramatically evokes this pivotal period in American history, when the country was rocked by the first-ever impeachment of a sitting American president.

A landmark study. Ron chernow, pulitzer Prize–winning author of Grant.


White Heat

Anchor #ad - In white heat brenda wineapple tells an extraordinary story about poetry, and love, politics, one that sheds new light on her subjects and on the roiling America they shared.   . White heat is the first book to portray the remarkable relationship between America's most beloved poet and the fiery abolitionist who first brought her work to the public.

White Heat #ad - As the civil war raged, an unlikely friendship was born between the reclusive poet Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson, a literary figure who ran guns to Kansas and commanded the first Union regiment of black soldiers. When dickinson sent higginson four of her poems he realized he had encountered a wholly original genius; their intense correspondence continued for the next quarter century.


Hawthorne: A Life

Random House #ad - In him, the quest of his generation for an authentically American voice bears disquieting fruit. He always puts himself in his books, ” said his sister-in-law Mary Mann, “he cannot help it. His life, like his work, was extraordinary, a play of light and shadow. In this major new biography of hawthorne, acclaimed biographer of janet flanner and gertrude and leo stein “luminous”–richard howard, unlike them, the first in more than a decade, Brenda Wineapple, fourteenth president of the United States and arguably one of its worst; friend to Emerson and Thoreau and Melville who, also unlike them, wrote compellingly of women, brings him brilliantly alive: an exquisite writer who shoveled dung in an attempt to found a new utopia at Brook Farm and then excoriated the community or his attraction to it in caustic satire; the confidant of Franklin Pierce, made fun of Abraham Lincoln and who, deeply identifying with them–he was the first major American writer to create erotic female characters.

Hawthorne himself declared that he was not “one of those supremely hospitable people who serve up their own hearts, delicately fried, with brain sauce, as a tidbit” for the public. Those vibrant, humiliates, independent women continue to haunt the imagination, although Hawthorne often punishes, or kills them, as if exorcising that which enthralls.

Hawthorne: A Life #ad - Here is the man rooted in salem, of an old pre-Revolutionary family, Massachusetts, reared partly in the wilds of western Maine, then schooled along with Longfellow at Bowdoin College. Yet those who knew him best often took the opposite position. Handsome, cordial, then playful, almost frighteningly aloof until he was approached, reserved, Nathaniel Hawthorne was as mercurial and double-edged as his writing.

Deep as dante, ” Herman Melville said.


The Second Founding: How the Civil War and Reconstruction Remade the Constitution

W. W. Norton & Company #ad - The jim crow system was the result. The reconstruction amendments abolished slavery, guaranteed all persons due process and equal protection of the law, and equipped black men with the right to vote. A series of momentous decisions by the Supreme Court narrowed the rights guaranteed in the amendments, while the states actively undermined them.

In grafting the principle of equality onto the Constitution, these revolutionary changes marked the second founding of the United States. Eric foner’s compact, insightful history traces the arc of these pivotal amendments from their dramatic origins in pre–Civil War mass meetings of African-American “colored citizens” and in Republican party politics to their virtual nullification in the late nineteenth century.

They established the principle of birthright citizenship and guaranteed the privileges and immunities of all citizens. Like all great works of history, this one informs our understanding of the present as well as the past: knowledge and vigilance are always necessary to secure our basic rights. Again today there are serious political challenges to birthright citizenship, due process, voting rights, and equal protection of the law.

The Second Founding: How the Civil War and Reconstruction Remade the Constitution #ad - . From the pulitzer prize–winning scholar, a timely history of the constitutional changes that built equality into the nation’s foundation and how those guarantees have been shaken over time. The declaration of independence announced equality as an American ideal, but it took the Civil War and the subsequent adoption of three constitutional amendments to establish that ideal as American law.

The federal government, was charged with enforcement, not the states, reversing the priority of the original Constitution and the Bill of Rights.


Armies of Deliverance: A New History of the Civil War

Oxford University Press #ad - Varon also offers new perspectives on major battles, illuminating how soldiers and civilians alike coped with the physical and emotional toll of the war as it grew into a massive humanitarian crisis. The union's politics of deliverance helped it to win the war. Northerners imagined the war as a crusade to deliver the Southern masses from slaveholder domination and to bring democracy, prosperity, and education to the region.

But such appeals failed to convince Confederates to accept peace on the victor's terms, ultimately sowing the seeds of postwar discord. Armies of deliverance offers innovative insights on the conflict for those steeped in Civil War history and novices alike. As the war escalated, lincoln and his allies built the case that emancipation would secure military victory and benefit the North and South alike.

Loyal americans marched off to war in 1861 not to conquer the South but to liberate it. Casting the union army as ruthless conquerors, Confederates argued that the emancipation of blacks was synonymous with the subjugation of the white South. Interweaving military and social history, the plundering of civilian homes, Varon shows that everyday acts on the ground--from the flight of slaves, to protests against the draft, and civilian defiance of military occupation--reverberated at the highest levels of government.

Armies of Deliverance: A New History of the Civil War #ad - In their quest for political unity Confederates relentlessly played up two themes: Northern barbarity and Southern victimization. Varon in armies of deliverance, a sweeping narrative of the Civil War and a bold new interpretation of Union and Confederate war aims. The theme of deliverance was essential in mobilizing a Unionist coalition of Northerners and anti-Confederate Southerners.


All the Powers of Earth: The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln Vol. III, 1856-1860

Simon & Schuster #ad - After a period of depression that he would ever find his way to greatness, Lincoln takes on the most powerful demagogue in the country, Stephen Douglas, in the debates for a senate seat. He sidelines the frontrunner william Seward, a former governor and senator for New York, to cinch the new Republican Party’s nomination.

But he must first build a new political party, brilliantly state the anti-slavery case and overcome shattering defeat to win the presidency. This is abraham lincoln, who indisputably becomes the greatest president and moral leader in the nation’s history. All the powers of Earth is the political story of all time.

All the Powers of Earth: The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln Vol. III, 1856-1860 #ad - In all the powers of earth, lincoln's incredible ascent to power in a world of chaos is newly revealed through the great biographer's extraordinary research and literary style. He was its preserver, a politician of moral integrity. In the years of civil war to follow, he will show mightily that the nation was right to bet on him.

Lincoln achieves the presidency by force of strategy, of political savvy and determination. All the powers of Earth cements Sidney Blumenthal as the definitive Lincoln biographer.


Voices of Protest: Huey Long, Father Coughlin, & the Great Depression

Vintage #ad - Long, a first-term united states Senator from the red-clay, piney-woods country of nothern Louisiana; and Charles E. Coughlin, a catholic priest from an industrial suburb near Detroit. Award-winning historian alan brinkely describes their modest origins and their parallel rise together in the early years of the Great Depression to become the two most successful leaders of national political dissidence of their era.

Voices of Protest: Huey Long, Father Coughlin, & the Great Depression #ad - Winner of the american Book Award for History*. The study of two great demagogues in American history--Huey P.


Washington's Crossing Pivotal Moments in American History

Oxford University Press #ad - On christmas night, as a howling nor'easter struck the Delaware Valley, he led his men across the river and attacked the exhausted Hessian garrison at Trenton, killing or capturing nearly a thousand men. The british were badly shaken. We see how the campaign unfolded in a sequence of difficult choices by many actors, from generals to civilians, on both sides.

. The startling success of washington and his compatriots not only saved the faltering American Revolution, but helped to give it new meaning. While british and german forces remained rigid and hierarchical, Americans evolved an open and flexible system that was fundamental to their success. Six months after the Declaration of Independence, the American Revolution was all but lost.

Washington's Crossing Pivotal Moments in American History #ad - Under cover of night, washington's men stole behind the enemy and struck them again, defeating a brigade at Princeton. A second battle of Trenton followed within days. In twelve weeks of winter fighting, their army suffered severe damage, their hold on New Jersey was broken, and their strategy was ruined.

Fischer's richly textured narrative reveals the crucial role of contingency in these events. A powerful british force had routed the Americans at New York, occupied three colonies, and advanced within sight of Philadelphia. Yet, as david hackett fischer recounts in this riveting history, George Washington--and many other Americans--refused to let the Revolution die.


The Problem of Democracy: The Presidents Adams Confront the Cult of Personality

Viking #ad - When john adams succeeded george Washington as President, his son had already followed him into public service and was stationed in Europe as a diplomat. They did not seek popularity it showed. They lamented the fact that hero worship in america substituted idolatry for results; and they made it clear that they were talking about Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Andrew Jackson.

. Rejection at the polls, each after one term, does not prove that the presidents Adams had erroneous ideas. No historian has attempted to dissect their intertwined lives as Nancy Isenberg and Andrew Burstein do in these pages, and there is no better time than the present to learn from the American nation's most insightful malcontents.

Crisply summarizing the Adamses' legacy, the authors stress principle over partisanship. The wall street journalhow the father and son presidents foresaw the rise of the cult of personality and fought those who sought to abuse the weaknesses inherent in our democracy, from the New York Times bestselling author of White Trash.

The Problem of Democracy: The Presidents Adams Confront the Cult of Personality #ad - John and john quincy adams: rogue intellectuals, unsparing truth-tellers, too uncensored for their own political good. Intellectually, they were what we today call "independents, " reluctant to commit blindly to an organized political party. Told with authority and style. Though they spent many years apart--and as their careers spanned Europe, political philosophy, Washington DC, and their family home south of Boston--they maintained a close bond through extensive letter writing, debating history, and partisan maneuvering.


The War Before the War: Fugitive Slaves and the Struggle for America's Soul from the Revolution to the Civil War

Penguin Books #ad - Fugitive slaves exposed the contradiction between the myth that slavery was a benign institution and the reality that a nation based on the principle of human equality was in fact a prison-house in which millions of Americans had no rights at all. Yet the fugitive slave act, intended to preserve the Union, in fact set the nation on the path to civil war.

Stunning. Ta-nehisi coatesthe devastating story of how fugitive slaves drove the nation to Civil WarFor decades after its founding, America was really two nations--one slave, one free. It divided not only the american nation, but also the hearts and minds of Americans who struggled with the timeless problem of when to submit to an unjust law and when to resist.

The War Before the War: Fugitive Slaves and the Struggle for America's Soul from the Revolution to the Civil War #ad - . By awakening northerners to the true nature of slavery, and by enraging southerners who demanded the return of their human "property, " fugitive slaves forced the nation to confront the truth about itself. By 1850, with america on the verge of collapse, congress reached what it hoped was a solution-- the notorious Compromise of 1850, which required that fugitive slaves be returned to their masters.

The fugitive slave story illuminates what brought us to war with ourselves and the terrible legacies of slavery that are with us still. There were many reasons why this composite nation ultimately broke apart, but the fact that enslaved black people repeatedly risked their lives to flee their masters in the South in search of freedom in the North proved that the "united" states was actually a lie.

A new york times notable book selection winner of the mark Lynton History Prize Winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book AwardA New York Times Critics' Best Book "Excellent.