The Zealot and the Emancipator: John Brown, Abraham Lincoln, and the Struggle for American Freedom

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The Zealot and the Emancipator: John Brown, Abraham Lincoln, and the Struggle for American Freedom
Title The Zealot and the Emancipator: John Brown, Abraham Lincoln, and the Struggle for American Freedom
Author
Publisher Doubleday
Release DateOctober 6, 2020
Category Biographies & Memoirs
Total Pages 464 pages
ISBN 0385544006
Book Rating 4.7 out of 5 from 49 reviews
Language EN, ES, BE, DA ,DE , NL and FR
Book Review & Summary:

Gifted storyteller and bestselling historian H. W. Brands narrates the epic struggle over slavery as embodied by John Brown and Abraham Lincoln—two men moved to radically different acts to confront our nation’s gravest sin. John Brown was a charismatic and deeply religious man who heard the God of the Old Testament speaking to him, telling him to destroy slavery by any means. When Congress opened Kansas territory to slavery in 1854, Brown raised a band of followers to wage war. His men tore pro-slavery settlers from their homes and hacked them to death with broadswords. Three years later, Brown and his men assaulted the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia, hoping to arm slaves with weapons for a race war that would cleanse the nation of slavery. Brown’s violence pointed ambitious Illinois lawyer and former officeholder Abraham Lincoln toward a different solution to slavery: politics. Lincoln spoke cautiously and dreamed big, plotting his path back to Washington and perhaps to the White House. Yet his caution could not protect him from the vortex of violence Brown had set in motion. After Brown’s arrest, his righteous dignity on the way to the gallows led many in the North to see him as a martyr to liberty. Southerners responded with anger and horror to a terrorist being made into a saint. Lincoln shrewdly threaded the needle between the opposing voices of the fractured nation and won election as president. But the time for moderation had passed, and Lincoln’s fervent belief that democracy could resolve its moral crises peacefully faced its ultimate test. The Zealot and the Emancipator is acclaimed historian H. W. Brands’s thrilling and page-turning account of how two American giants shaped the war for freedom.

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Title The Zealot and the Emancipator
Author H. W. Brands
Publisher Doubleday
Release Date 2020-10-06
Category History
Total Pages 464
ISBN 9780385544016
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Gifted storyteller and bestselling historian H. W. Brands narrates the epic struggle over slavery as embodied by John Brown and Abraham Lincoln—two men moved to radically different acts to confront our nation’s gravest sin. John Brown was a charismatic and deeply religious man who heard the God of the Old Testament speaking to him, telling him to destroy slavery by any means. When Congress opened Kansas territory to slavery in 1854, Brown raised a band of followers to wage war. His men tore pro-slavery settlers from their homes and hacked them to death with broadswords. Three years later, Brown and his men assaulted the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia, hoping to arm slaves with weapons for a race war that would cleanse the nation of slavery. Brown’s violence pointed ambitious Illinois lawyer and former officeholder Abraham Lincoln toward a different solution to slavery: politics. Lincoln spoke cautiously and dreamed big, plotting his path back to Washington and perhaps to the White House. Yet his caution could not protect him from the vortex of violence Brown had set in motion. After Brown’s arrest, his righteous dignity on the way to the gallows led many in the North to see him as a martyr to liberty. Southerners responded with anger and horror to a terrorist being made into a saint. Lincoln shrewdly threaded the needle between the opposing voices of the fractured nation and won election as president. But the time for moderation had passed, and Lincoln’s fervent belief that democracy could resolve its moral crises peacefully faced its ultimate test. The Zealot and the Emancipator is acclaimed historian H. W. Brands’s thrilling and page-turning account of how two American giants shaped the war for freedom.

Dreams Of El Dorado by H. W. Brands

Title Dreams of El Dorado
Author H. W. Brands
Publisher Basic Books
Release Date 2019-10-22
Category History
Total Pages 496
ISBN 9781541672536
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

"Epic in its scale, fearless in its scope" (Hampton Sides), this masterfully told account of the American West from a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist sets a new standard as it sweeps from the California Gold Rush and beyond. In Dreams of El Dorado, H. W. Brands tells the thrilling, panoramic story of the settling of the American West. He takes us from John Jacob Astor's fur trading outpost in Oregon to the Texas Revolution, from the California gold rush to the Oklahoma land rush. He shows how the migrants' dreams drove them to feats of courage and perseverance that put their stay-at-home cousins to shame-and how those same dreams also drove them to outrageous acts of violence against indigenous peoples and one another. The West was where riches would reward the miner's persistence, the cattleman's courage, the railroad man's enterprise; but El Dorado was at least as elusive in the West as it ever was in the East. Balanced, authoritative, and masterfully told, Dreams of El Dorado sets a new standard for histories of the American West.

John Brown Still Lives by R. Blakeslee Gilpin

Title John Brown Still Lives
Author R. Blakeslee Gilpin
Publisher Univ of North Carolina Press
Release Date 2011
Category History
Total Pages 279
ISBN 9780807835012
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

"Tracing Brown's legacy through writers and artists like Thomas Hovenden, W.E.B. Du Bois, Robert Penn Warren, Jacob Lawrence, Kara Walker, and others, Blake Gilpin transforms Brown from an object of endless manipulation into a dynamic medium for contemporary beliefs about the process and purpose of the American republic."--book jacket.

Lincoln S Mentors by Michael J. Gerhardt

Title Lincoln s Mentors
Author Michael J. Gerhardt
Publisher HarperCollins
Release Date 2021-02-02
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 496
ISBN 9780062877208
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A brilliant and novel examination of how Abraham Lincoln mastered the art of leadership “Gerhardt has devised an ingenious solution for demystifying America’s most enigmatic president: examining the key people who influenced Lincoln as he developed his own unique skills and leadership style.” –Russell L. Riley, UVA’s Miller Center In 1849, when Abraham Lincoln returned to Springfield, Illinois, after two seemingly uninspiring years in the U.S. House of Representatives, his political career appeared all but finished. His sense of failure was so great that friends worried about his sanity. Yet within a decade, Lincoln would reenter politics, become a leader of the Republican Party, win the 1860 presidential election, and keep America together during its most perilous period. What accounted for the turnaround? As Michael J. Gerhardt reveals, Lincoln’s reemergence followed the same path he had taken before, in which he read voraciously and learned from the successes, failures, oratory, and political maneuvering of a surprisingly diverse handful of men, some of whom he had never met but others of whom he knew intimately—Henry Clay, Andrew Jackson, Zachary Taylor, John Todd Stuart, and Orville Browning. From their experiences and his own, Lincoln learned valuable lessons on leadership, mastering party politics, campaigning, conventions, understanding and using executive power, managing a cabinet, speechwriting and oratory, and—what would become his most enduring legacy—developing policies and rhetoric to match a constitutional vision that spoke to the monumental challenges of his time. Without these mentors, Abraham Lincoln would likely have remained a small-town lawyer—and without Lincoln, the United States as we know it may not have survived. This book tells the unique story of how Lincoln emerged from obscurity and learned how to lead.

Title The Last American Aristocrat
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Publisher Simon and Schuster
Release Date 2020-11-24
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 464
ISBN 9781982128258
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice A revelatory biography of literary icon Henry Adams—one of America’s most prominent writers and intellectuals of his era, who witnessed and contributed to the United States’ dramatic transition from a colonial society to a modern nation. Henry Adams is perhaps the most eclectic, accomplished, and important American writer of his time. His autobiography and modern classic The Education of Henry Adams was widely considered one of the best English-language nonfiction books of the 20th century. The last member of his distinguished family—after great-grandfather John Adams, and grandfather John Quincy Adams—to gain national attention, he is remembered today as an historian, a political commentator, and a memoirist. Now, historian David Brown sheds light on the brilliant yet under-celebrated life of this major American intellectual. Adams not only lived through the Civil War and the Industrial Revolution but he met Abraham Lincoln, bowed before Queen Victoria, and counted powerful figures, including Secretary of State John Hay, Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, and President Theodore Roosevelt as friends and neighbors. His observations of these men and their policies in his private letters provide a penetrating assessment of Gilded Age America on the cusp of the modern era. The Last American Aristocrat details Adams’s relationships with his wife (Marian “Clover” Hooper) and, following her suicide, Elizabeth Cameron, the young wife of a senator and part of the famous Sherman clan from Ohio. Henry Adams’s letters—thousands of them—demonstrate his struggles with depression, familial expectations, and reconciling with his unwanted widower’s existence. Presenting intimate and insightful details of a fascinating and unusual American life and a new window on nineteenth century US history, The Last American Aristocrat shows us a more “modern” and “human” Henry Adams than ever before.

Traitor To His Class by H. W. Brands

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Author H. W. Brands
Publisher Anchor
Release Date 2009
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 888
ISBN 9780307277947
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A biography of Franklin Delano Roosevelt examines his political leadership in a dark time of Depression and war, his championship of the poor, his revolutionary New Deal legislation, and his legacy for the future.

Title The Presidents vs the Press
Author Harold Holzer
Publisher Penguin
Release Date 2020-08-25
Category Political Science
Total Pages 576
ISBN 9781524745271
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

An award-winning presidential historian offers an authoritative account of American presidents' attacks on our freedom of the press. “The FAKE NEWS media,” Donald Trump has tweeted, “is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!” Has our free press ever faced as great a threat? Perhaps not—but the tension between presidents and journalists is as old as the republic itself. Every president has been convinced of his own honesty and transparency; every reporter who has covered the White House beat has believed with equal fervency that his or her journalistic rigor protects the country from danger. Our first president, George Washington, was also the first to grouse about his treatment in the newspapers, although he kept his complaints private. Subsequent chiefs like John Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, and Barack Obama were not so reticent, going so far as to wield executive power to overturn press freedoms, and even to prosecute journalists. Theodore Roosevelt was the first president to actively manage the stable of reporters who followed him, doling out information, steering coverage, and squashing stories that interfered with his agenda. It was a strategy that galvanized TR’s public support, but the lesson was lost on Woodrow Wilson, who never accepted reporters into his inner circle. Franklin Roosevelt transformed media relations forever, holding more than a thousand presidential press conferences and harnessing the new power of radio, at times bypassing the press altogether. John F. Kennedy excelled on television and charmed reporters to hide his personal life, while Richard Nixon was the first to cast the press as a public enemy. From the days of newsprint and pamphlets to the rise of Facebook and Twitter, each president has harnessed the media, whether intentional or not, to imprint his own character on the office. In this remarkable new history, acclaimed scholar Harold Holzer examines the dual rise of the American presidency and the media that shaped it. From Washington to Trump, he chronicles the disputes and distrust between these core institutions that define the United States of America, revealing that the essence of their confrontation is built into the fabric of the nation.

Gambling With Armageddon by Martin J. Sherwin

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Author Martin J. Sherwin
Publisher Knopf
Release Date 2020-10-13
Category History
Total Pages 624
ISBN 9780525659310
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Book Summary:

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer comes the first effort to set the Cuban Missile Crisis, with its potential for nuclear holocaust, in a wider historical narrative of the Cold War--how such a crisis arose, and why at the very last possible moment it didn't happen. In this groundbreaking look at the Cuban Missile Crisis, Martin Sherwin not only gives us a riveting sometimes hour-by-hour explanation of the crisis itself, but also explores the origins, scope, and consequences of the evolving place of nuclear weapons in the post-World War II world. Mining new sources and materials, and going far beyond the scope of earlier works on this critical face-off between the United States and the Soviet Union--triggered when Khrushchev began installing missiles in Cuba at Castro's behest--Sherwin shows how this volatile event was an integral part of the wider Cold War and was a consequence of nuclear arms. Gambling with Armageddon looks in particular at the original debate in the Truman Administration about using the Atomic Bomb; the way in which President Eisenhower relied on the threat of massive retaliation to project U.S. power in the early Cold War era; and how President Kennedy, though unprepared to deal with the Bay of Pigs debacle, came of age during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Here too is a clarifying picture of what was going on in Khrushchev's Soviet Union. Martin Sherwin has spent his career in the study of nuclear weapons and how they have shaped our world. Gambling with Armegeddon is an outstanding capstone to his work thus far.

Reagan by H. W. Brands

Title Reagan
Author H. W. Brands
Publisher Anchor
Release Date 2016
Category Presidents
Total Pages 805
ISBN 9780307951144
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

From master storyteller and New York Times bestselling Historian H. W. Brands comes the definitive biography of a visionary and transformative president In his magisterial new biography, H. W. Brands brilliantly establishes Ronald Reagan as one of the two great presidents of the twentieth century, a true peer to Franklin Roosevelt. Reagan conveys with sweep and vigor how the confident force of Reagan's personality and the unwavering nature of his beliefs enabled him to engineer a conservative revolution in American politics and play a crucial role in ending communism in the Soviet Union. Reagan shut down the age of liberalism, Brands shows, and ushered in the age of Reagan, whose defining principles are still powerfully felt today. Employing archival sources not available to previous biographers and drawing on dozens of interviews with surviving members of Reagan's administration, Brands has crafted a richly detailed and fascinating narrative of the presidential years. He offers new insights into Reagan's remote management style and fractious West Wing staff, his deft handling of public sentiment to transform the tax code, and his deeply misunderstood relationship with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, on which nothing less than the fate of the world turned. Reagan is a storytelling triumph, an irresistible portrait of an underestimated politician whose pragmatic leadership and steadfast vision transformed the nation.

John Brown Abolitionist by David S. Reynolds

Title John Brown Abolitionist
Author David S. Reynolds
Publisher Vintage
Release Date 2009-07-29
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 594
ISBN 9780307486660
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

An authoritative new examination of John Brown and his deep impact on American history.Bancroft Prize-winning cultural historian David S. Reynolds presents an informative and richly considered new exploration of the paradox of a man steeped in the Bible but more than willing to kill for his abolitionist cause. Reynolds locates Brown within the currents of nineteenth-century life and compares him to modern terrorists, civil-rights activists, and freedom fighters. Ultimately, he finds neither a wild-eyed fanatic nor a Christ-like martyr, but a passionate opponent of racism so dedicated to eradicating slavery that he realized only blood could scour it from the country he loved. By stiffening the backbone of Northerners and showing Southerners there were those who would fight for their cause, he hastened the coming of the Civil War. This is a vivid and startling story of a man and an age on the verge of calamity.

No Property In Man by Sean Wilentz

Title No Property in Man
Author Sean Wilentz
Publisher Harvard University Press
Release Date 2019-09-03
Category History
Total Pages 368
ISBN 9780674244108
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Driving straight to the heart of the most contentious issue in American history, Sean Wilentz argues controversially that, far from concealing a crime against humanity, the U.S. Constitution limited slavery’s legitimacy—a limitation which in time inspired the antislavery politics that led to Southern secession, the Civil War, and Emancipation.

Title The Crooked Path to Abolition Abraham Lincoln and the Antislavery Constitution
Author James Oakes
Publisher W. W. Norton & Company
Release Date 2021-01-12
Category History
Total Pages 288
ISBN 9781324005865
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

An award-winning scholar uncovers the guiding principles of Lincoln’s antislavery strategies. The long and turning path to the abolition of American slavery has often been attributed to the equivocations and inconsistencies of antislavery leaders, including Lincoln himself. But James Oakes’s brilliant history of Lincoln’s antislavery strategies reveals a striking consistency and commitment extending over many years. The linchpin of antislavery for Lincoln was the Constitution of the United States. Lincoln adopted the antislavery view that the Constitution made freedom the rule in the United States, slavery the exception. Where federal power prevailed, so did freedom. Where state power prevailed, that state determined the status of slavery, and the federal government could not interfere. It would take state action to achieve the final abolition of American slavery. With this understanding, Lincoln and his antislavery allies used every tool available to undermine the institution. Wherever the Constitution empowered direct federal action—in the western territories, in the District of Columbia, over the slave trade—they intervened. As a congressman in 1849 Lincoln sponsored a bill to abolish slavery in Washington, DC. He reentered politics in 1854 to oppose what he considered the unconstitutional opening of the territories to slavery by the Kansas–Nebraska Act. He attempted to persuade states to abolish slavery by supporting gradual abolition with compensation for slaveholders and the colonization of free Blacks abroad. President Lincoln took full advantage of the antislavery options opened by the Civil War. Enslaved people who escaped to Union lines were declared free. The Emancipation Proclamation, a military order of the president, undermined slavery across the South. It led to abolition by six slave states, which then joined the coalition to affect what Lincoln called the "King’s cure": state ratification of the constitutional amendment that in 1865 finally abolished slavery.

James Madison by Lynne Cheney

Title James Madison
Author Lynne Cheney
Publisher Penguin
Release Date 2014-05-06
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 576
ISBN 9780698163454
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A major new biography of the fourth president of the United States by New York Times bestselling author Lynne Cheney Lin-Manuel Miranda's play "Hamilton" has reignited interest in the founding fathers; it features James Madison among its vibrant cast of characters. This majestic new biography of James Madison explores the astonishing story of a man of vaunted modesty who audaciously changed the world. Among the Founding Fathers, Madison was a true genius of the early republic. Outwardly reserved, Madison was the intellectual driving force behind the Constitution and crucial to its ratification. His visionary political philosophy and rationale for the union of states—so eloquently presented in The Federalist papers—helped shape the country Americans live in today. Along with Thomas Jefferson, Madison would found the first political party in the country’s history—the Democratic Republicans. As Jefferson’s secretary of state, he managed the Louisiana Purchase, doubling the size of the United States. As president, Madison led the country in its first war under the Constitution, the War of 1812. Without precedent to guide him, he would demonstrate that a republic could defend its honor and independence—and remain a republic still.

Heirs Of The Founders by H. W. Brands

Title Heirs of the Founders
Author H. W. Brands
Publisher Anchor
Release Date 2019-10
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 432
ISBN 9780525433903
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

From New York Times bestselling historian H. W. Brands comes the riveting story of how, in nineteenth-century America, a new set of political giants battled to complete the unfinished work of the Founding Fathers and decide the future of our democracy In the early 1800s, three young men strode onto the national stage, elected to Congress at a moment when the Founding Fathers were beginning to retire to their farms. Daniel Webster of Massachusetts, a champion orator known for his eloquence, spoke for the North and its business class. Henry Clay of Kentucky, as dashing as he was ambitious, embodied the hopes of the rising West. South Carolina's John Calhoun, with piercing eyes and an even more piercing intellect, defended the South and slavery. Together these heirs of Washington, Jefferson and Adams took the country to war, battled one another for the presidency and set themselves the task of finishing the work the Founders had left undone. Their rise was marked by dramatic duels, fierce debates, scandal and political betrayal. Yet each in his own way sought to remedy the two glaring flaws in the Constitution- its refusal to specify where authority ultimately rested, with the states or the nation, and its unwillingness to address the essential incompatibility of republicanism and slavery. They wrestled with these issues for four decades, arguing bitterly and hammering out political compromises that held the Union together, but only just. Then, in 1850, when California moved to join the Union as a free state, "the immortal trio" had one last chance to save the country from the real risk of civil war. But, by that point, they had never been further apart. Thrillingly and authoritatively, H. W. Brands narrates an epic American rivalry and the little-known drama of the dangerous early years of our democracy.

The President Who Would Not Be King by Michael W. McConnell

Title The President Who Would Not Be King
Author Michael W. McConnell
Publisher Princeton University Press
Release Date 2020-11-10
Category Political Science
Total Pages 440
ISBN 9780691211992
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Vital perspectives for the divided Trump era on what the Constitution's framers intended when they defined the extent—and limits—of presidential power One of the most vexing questions for the framers of the Constitution was how to create a vigorous and independent executive without making him king. In today's divided public square, presidential power has never been more contested. The President Who Would Not Be King cuts through the partisan rancor to reveal what the Constitution really tells us about the powers of the president. Michael McConnell provides a comprehensive account of the drafting of presidential powers. Because the framers met behind closed doors and left no records of their deliberations, close attention must be given to their successive drafts. McConnell shows how the framers worked from a mental list of the powers of the British monarch, and consciously decided which powers to strip from the presidency to avoid tyranny. He examines each of these powers in turn, explaining how they were understood at the time of the founding, and goes on to provide a framework for evaluating separation of powers claims, distinguishing between powers that are subject to congressional control and those in which the president has full discretion. Based on the Tanner Lectures at Princeton University, The President Who Would Not Be King restores the original vision of the framers, showing how the Constitution restrains the excesses of an imperial presidency while empowering the executive to govern effectively.

Title Somewhere in France Somewhere in Germany
Author Francis P. Sempa
Publisher Unknown
Release Date 2011
Category History
Total Pages 100
ISBN 0761856080
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Francis P. Sempa tells the story of father's journey through the Second World War. Using letters, local newspaper articles, the 29th Division's After Action Reports, and books about the history of the 29th Division in World War II, Sempa traces his father's steps throughout battlefields of France and Germany.

Dewey Defeats Truman by A. J. Baime

Title Dewey Defeats Truman
Author A. J. Baime
Publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date 2020-07-07
Category History
Total Pages 448
ISBN 9781328588593
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

From the New York Times best-selling author of The Accidental President comes the thrilling story of the 1948 presidential election, one of the greatest election stories of all time, as Truman mounted a history-making comeback and staked a claim for a new course for America. On the eve of the 1948 election, America was a fractured country. Racism was rampant, foreign relations were fraught, and political parties were more divided than ever. Americans were certain that President Harry S. Truman’s political career was over. “The ballots haven’t been counted,” noted political columnist Fred Othman, “but there seems to be no further need for holding up an affectionate farewell to Harry Truman.” Truman’s own staff did not believe he could win. Nor did his wife, Bess. The only man in the world confident that Truman would win was Mr. Truman himself. And win he did. The year 1948 was a fight for the soul of a nation. In Dewey Defeats Truman, A. J. Baime sheds light on one of the most action-packed six months in American history, as Truman both triumphs and oversees watershed events—the passing of the Marshall plan, the acknowledgement of Israel as a new state, the careful attention to the origins of the Cold War, and the first desegregation of the military. Not only did Truman win the election, he succeeded in guiding his country forward at a critical time with high stakes and haunting parallels to the modern day.

Mathew Brady by Robert Wilson

Title Mathew Brady
Author Robert Wilson
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Release Date 2013-08-06
Category History
Total Pages 288
ISBN 9781620402047
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The first narrative biography of the Civil War's pioneering visual historian, Mathew Brady, known as the “father of American photography.” Mathew Brady's attention to detail, flair for composition, and technical mastery helped establish the photograph as a thing of value. In the 1840s and '50s, “Brady of Broadway” photographed such dignitaries as Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, Dolley Madison, Horace Greeley, the Prince of Wales, and Jenny Lind. But it was during the Civil War that Brady's photography became an epochal part of American history. The Civil War was the first war in history to leave a detailed photographic record, and Brady knew better than anyone the dual power of the camera to record and excite, to stop a moment in time and preserve it. More than ten thousand war images are attributed to the Brady studio. But as Wilson shows, while Brady himself accompanied the Union army to the first major battle at Bull Run, he was so shaken by the experience that throughout the rest of the war he rarely visited battlefields except well before or after a major battle, instead sending teams of photographers to the front. Mathew Brady is a gracefully written and beautifully illustrated biography of an American legend-a businessman, a suave promoter, a celebrated portrait artist, and, most important, a historian who chronicled America during the gravest moments of the nineteenth century.

Midnight Rising by Tony Horwitz

Title Midnight Rising
Author Tony Horwitz
Publisher Henry Holt and Company
Release Date 2011-10-25
Category History
Total Pages 384
ISBN 9781429996983
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A New York Times Notable Book for 2011 A Library Journal Top Ten Best Books of 2011 A Boston Globe Best Nonfiction Book of 2011 Bestselling author Tony Horwitz tells the electrifying tale of the daring insurrection that put America on the path to bloody war Plotted in secret, launched in the dark, John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry was a pivotal moment in U.S. history. But few Americans know the true story of the men and women who launched a desperate strike at the slaveholding South. Now, Midnight Rising portrays Brown's uprising in vivid color, revealing a country on the brink of explosive conflict. Brown, the descendant of New England Puritans, saw slavery as a sin against America's founding principles. Unlike most abolitionists, he was willing to take up arms, and in 1859 he prepared for battle at a hideout in Maryland, joined by his teenage daughter, three of his sons, and a guerrilla band that included former slaves and a dashing spy. On October 17, the raiders seized Harpers Ferry, stunning the nation and prompting a counterattack led by Robert E. Lee. After Brown's capture, his defiant eloquence galvanized the North and appalled the South, which considered Brown a terrorist. The raid also helped elect Abraham Lincoln, who later began to fulfill Brown's dream with the Emancipation Proclamation, a measure he called "a John Brown raid, on a gigantic scale." Tony Horwitz's riveting book travels antebellum America to deliver both a taut historical drama and a telling portrait of a nation divided—a time that still resonates in ours.

If Kennedy Lived by Jeff Greenfield

Title If Kennedy Lived
Author Jeff Greenfield
Publisher Penguin
Release Date 2013-10-22
Category Political Science
Total Pages 272
ISBN 9780698138445
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

What if Kennedy were not killed that fateful day? What would the 1964 campaign have looked like? Would changes have been made to the ticket? How would Kennedy, in his second term, have approached Vietnam, civil rights, the Cold War? With Hoover as an enemy, would his indiscreet private life finally have become public? Would his health issues have become so severe as to literally cripple his presidency? And what small turns of fate in the days and years before Dallas might have kept him from ever reaching the White House in the first place? The answers Greenfield provides and the scenarios he develops are startlingly realistic, rich in detail, shocking in their projections, but always deeply, remarkably plausible. If Kennedy Lived is a tour de force of American history from one of the country’s most brilliant and illuminating political commentators.

Six Encounters With Lincoln by Elizabeth Brown Pryor

Title Six Encounters with Lincoln
Author Elizabeth Brown Pryor
Publisher Penguin
Release Date 2017-02-07
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 496
ISBN 9780735222793
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Winner of the Barondess/Lincoln Award from The Civil War Round Table of New York “Fascinating reading. . .this book eerily reflects some of today’s key issues.” – The New York Times Book Review From an award-winning historian, an engrossing look at how Abraham Lincoln grappled with the challenges of leadership in an unruly democracy An awkward first meeting with U.S. Army officers, on the eve of the Civil War. A conversation on the White House portico with a young cavalry sergeant who was a fiercely dedicated abolitionist. A tense exchange on a navy ship with a Confederate editor and businessman. In this eye-opening book, Elizabeth Brown Pryor examines six intriguing, mostly unknown encounters that Abraham Lincoln had with his constituents. Taken together, they reveal his character and opinions in unexpected ways, illustrating his difficulties in managing a republic and creating a presidency. Pryor probes both the political demons that Lincoln battled in his ambitious exercise of power and the demons that arose from the very nature of democracy itself: the clamorous diversity of the populace, with its outspoken demands. She explores the trouble Lincoln sometimes had in communicating and in juggling the multiple concerns that make up being a political leader; how conflicted he was over the problem of emancipation; and the misperceptions Lincoln and the South held about each other. Pryor also provides a fascinating discussion of Lincoln’s fondness for storytelling and how he used his skills as a raconteur to enhance both his personal and political power. Based on scrupulous research that draws on hundreds of eyewitness letters, diaries, and newspaper excerpts, Six Encounters with Lincoln offers a fresh portrait of Lincoln as the beleaguered politician who was not especially popular with the people he needed to govern with, and who had to deal with the many critics, naysayers, and dilemmas he faced without always knowing the right answer. What it shows most clearly is that greatness was not simply laid on Lincoln’s shoulders like a mantle, but was won in fits and starts.

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