The Zealot and the Emancipator

The Zealot and the Emancipator
Author: H. W. Brands
Publsiher: Anchor
Total Pages: 480
Release: 2021-10
Genre: Abolitionists
ISBN: 9780525563457

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"What do moral people do when democracy countenances evil? The question, implicit in the idea that people can govern themselves, came to a head in America at the middle of the nineteenth century, in the struggle over slavery. John Brown's answer was violence--violence of a sort some in later generations would call terrorism. Brown was a deeply religious man who heard the God of the Old Testament speaking to him, telling him to do whatever was necessary to destroy slavery. When Congress opened Kansas territory to slavery, the eerily charismatic Brown raised a band of followers to wage war against the evil institution. One dark night his men tore several proslavery settlers from their homes and hacked them to death with broadswords, as a bloody warning to others. Three years later Brown and his men assaulted the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia, with the goal of furnishing slaves with weapons to murder their masters in a race war that would cleanse the nation of slavery once and for all. Abraham Lincoln's answer was politics. Lincoln was an ambitious lawyer and former office-holder who read the Bible not for moral guidance but as a writer's primer. He disliked slavery yet didn't consider it worth shedding blood over. He distanced himself from John Brown and joined the moderate wing of the new, antislavery Republican party. He spoke cautiously and dreamed big, plotting his path to Washington and perhaps the White House. Yet Lincoln's caution couldn't preserve him from the vortex of violence Brown set in motion. Arrested and sentenced to death, Brown comported himself with such conviction and dignity on the way to the gallows that he was canonized in the North as a martyr to liberty. Southerners responded in anger and horror that a terrorist was made into a saint. Lincoln shrewdly threaded the needle of the fracturing country and won election as president, still preaching moderation. But the time for moderation had passed. Slaveholders lumped Lincoln with Brown as an enemy of the Southern way of life; seven Southern states left the Union. Lincoln resisted secession, and the Civil War followed. At first a war for the Union, it became the war against slavery Brown had attempted to start. Before it was over, slavery had been destroyed, but so had Lincoln's faith that democracy can resolve its moral crises peacefully"--

The Zealot and the Emancipator

The Zealot and the Emancipator
Author: H. W. Brands
Publsiher: Anchor
Total Pages: 464
Release: 2020-10-06
Genre: History
ISBN: 9780385544016

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From the acclaimed historian and bestselling author: a page-turning account of 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 the thrilling account of how two American giants shaped the war for freedom.

The Zealot and the Emancipator

The Zealot and the Emancipator
Author: H. W. Brands
Publsiher: Doubleday
Total Pages: 448
Release: 2020-10-06
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
ISBN: 0385544006

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From New York Times bestselling historian H. W. Brands, the epic struggle over slavery as embodied by John Brown and Abraham Lincoln, two men with radically different views on how moral people must act when their democracy countenances evil. 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. In 1854, when Congress opened Kansas territory to slavery, Brown raised a band of followers to wage war against the institution--his men tore proslavery 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 the coming race war that would cleanse the nation of slavery once and for all. Brown's violence pointed ambitious Illinois lawyer and former office-holder Abraham Lincoln toward a different solution to slavery: politics. A member of the moderate wing of the new, antislavery Republican Party, he spoke cautiously and dreamed big, plotting his path to Washington and perhaps the White House. Yet Lincoln's caution couldn't preserve him from the vortex of violence Brown set in motion. Arrested and sentenced to death, Brown's righteous dignity on the way to the gallows led many in the North to see him as a martyr to liberty. Southerners responded in anger and horror that a terrorist was made into a saint. Lincoln shrewdly threaded the needle of the fracturing country and won election as president, still preaching moderation. But the time for moderation had passed, and as the nation careened toward war Lincoln would see his central faith, that democracy can resolve its moral crises peacefully, face the ultimate test. Master storyteller H. W. Brands narrates in thrilling fashion how two men confronted America's gravest scourge in the moments before the nation's darkest hour.

Our First Civil War

Our First Civil War
Author: H. W. Brands
Publsiher: Doubleday
Total Pages: 496
Release: 2021-11-09
Genre: History
ISBN: 9780385546522

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“Americans tend to forget that we have always been at war with one another—even in the beginning…. Brands tells the story of the American Revolution as it really unfolded—as a civil war between colonial patriots and those loyal to the British Crown and Parliament. Division, Brands reminds us, is as American as unity.” —Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of His Truth Is Marching On From best-selling historian and Pulitzer Prize finalist H. W. Brands comes a gripping, page-turning narrative of the American Revolution that shows it to be more than a fight against the British: it was also a violent battle among neighbors forced to choose sides, Loyalist or Patriot. What causes people to forsake their country and take arms against it? What prompts their neighbors, hardly distinguishable in station or success, to defend that country against the rebels? That is the question H. W. Brands answers in his powerful new history of the American Revolution. George Washington and Benjamin Franklin were the unlikeliest of rebels. Washington in the 1770s stood at the apex of Virginia society. Franklin was more successful still, having risen from humble origins to world fame. John Adams might have seemed a more obvious candidate for rebellion, being of cantankerous temperament. Even so, he revered the law. Yet all three men became rebels against the British Empire that fostered their success. Others in the same circle of family and friends chose differently. William Franklin might have been expected to join his father, Benjamin, in rebellion but remained loyal to the British. So did Thomas Hutchinson, a royal governor and friend of the Franklins, and Joseph Galloway, an early challenger to the Crown. They soon heard themselves denounced as traitors--for not having betrayed the country where they grew up. Native Americans and the enslaved were also forced to choose sides as civil war broke out around them. After the Revolution, the Patriots were cast as heroes and founding fathers while the Loyalists were relegated to bit parts best forgotten. Our First Civil War reminds us that before America could win its revolution against Britain, the Patriots had to win a bitter civil war against family, neighbors, and friends.

The Man Who Saved the Union

The Man Who Saved the Union
Author: H. W. Brands
Publsiher: Anchor
Total Pages: 718
Release: 2013
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
ISBN: 9780307475152

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An analysis of Ulysses Grant's pivotal contributions during the Civil War and his presidency covers his defense of black civil rights, his willingness to sacrifice troops to win the war, and the criticism over his Reconstruction policies.

Tecumseh and the Prophet

Tecumseh and the Prophet
Author: Peter Cozzens
Publsiher: Knopf
Total Pages: 560
Release: 2020
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
ISBN: 9781524733254

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"The ... story of the Shawnee brothers who led the last great pan-Indian confederacy against the United States"--

Heirs of the Founders

Heirs of the Founders
Author: H. W. Brands
Publsiher: Anchor
Total Pages: 432
Release: 2018-11-13
Genre: History
ISBN: 9780385542548

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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.

Dreams of El Dorado

Dreams of El Dorado
Author: H. W. Brands
Publsiher: Basic Books
Total Pages: 496
Release: 2019-10-22
Genre: History
ISBN: 9781541672536

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"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.

The General vs the President

The General vs  the President
Author: H. W. Brands
Publsiher: Anchor
Total Pages: 448
Release: 2016-10-11
Genre: History
ISBN: 9780385540582

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From master storyteller and historian H. W. Brands comes the riveting story of how President Harry Truman and General Douglas MacArthur squared off to decide America's future in the aftermath of World War II. At the height of the Korean War, President Harry S. Truman committed a gaffe that sent shock waves around the world. When asked by a reporter about the possible use of atomic weapons in response to China's entry into the war, Truman replied testily, "The military commander in the field will have charge of the use of the weapons, as he always has." This suggested that General Douglas MacArthur, the willful, fearless, and highly decorated commander of the American and U.N. forces, had his finger on the nuclear trigger. A correction quickly followed, but the damage was done; two visions for America's path forward were clearly in opposition, and one man would have to make way. Truman was one of the most unpopular presidents in American history. Heir to a struggling economy, a ruined Europe, and increasing tension with the Soviet Union, on no issue was the path ahead clear and easy. General MacArthur, by contrast, was incredibly popular, as untouchable as any officer has ever been in America. The lessons he drew from World War II were absolute: appeasement leads to disaster and a showdown with the communists was inevitable--the sooner the better. In the nuclear era, when the Soviets, too, had the bomb, the specter of a catastrophic third World War lurked menacingly close on the horizon. The contest of wills between these two titanic characters unfolds against the turbulent backdrop of a faraway war and terrors conjured at home by Joseph McCarthy. From the drama of Stalin's blockade of West Berlin to the daring landing of MacArthur's forces at Inchon to the shocking entrance of China into the war, The General and the President vividly evokes the making of a new American era.

The Fiery Trial Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery

The Fiery Trial  Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery
Author: Eric Foner
Publsiher: W. W. Norton & Company
Total Pages: 448
Release: 2011-09-26
Genre: History
ISBN: 039308082X

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“A masterwork [by] the preeminent historian of the Civil War era.”—Boston Globe Selected as a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times Book Review, this landmark work gives us a definitive account of Lincoln's lifelong engagement with the nation's critical issue: American slavery. A master historian, Eric Foner draws Lincoln and the broader history of the period into perfect balance. We see Lincoln, a pragmatic politician grounded in principle, deftly navigating the dynamic politics of antislavery, secession, and civil war. Lincoln's greatness emerges from his capacity for moral and political growth.

Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson
Author: William Brown
Publsiher: Litres
Total Pages: 135
Release: 2021-12-02
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
ISBN: 9785040617869

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John Brown Abolitionist

John Brown  Abolitionist
Author: David S. Reynolds
Publsiher: Vintage
Total Pages: 594
Release: 2009-07-29
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
ISBN: 9780307486660

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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.

Traitor to His Class

Traitor to His Class
Author: H. W. Brands
Publsiher: Anchor
Total Pages: 888
Release: 2009
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
ISBN: 9780307277947

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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.

Abe

Abe
Author: David S. Reynolds
Publsiher: Penguin
Total Pages: 1088
Release: 2021-09-28
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
ISBN: 9780143110767

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Now an Apple TV+ documentary, Lincoln's Dilemma, airing February 18, 2022. One of the Wall Street Journal's Ten Best Books of the Year | A Washington Post Notable Book | A Christian Science Monitor and Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2020 Winner of the Gilder Lehrman Abraham Lincoln Prize and the Abraham Lincoln Institute Book Award "A marvelous cultural biography that captures Lincoln in all his historical fullness. . . . using popular culture in this way, to fill out the context surrounding Lincoln, is what makes Mr. Reynolds's biography so different and so compelling . . . Where did the sympathy and compassion expressed in [Lincoln's] Second Inaugural—'With malice toward none; with charity for all'—come from? This big, wonderful book provides the richest cultural context to explain that, and everything else, about Lincoln." —Gordon Wood, Wall Street Journal From one of the great historians of nineteenth-century America, a revelatory and enthralling new biography of Lincoln, many years in the making, that brings him to life within his turbulent age David S. Reynolds, author of the Bancroft Prize-winning cultural biography of Walt Whitman and many other iconic works of nineteenth century American history, understands the currents in which Abraham Lincoln swam as well as anyone alive. His magisterial biography Abe is the product of full-body immersion into the riotous tumult of American life in the decades before the Civil War. It was a country growing up and being pulled apart at the same time, with a democratic popular culture that reflected the country's contradictions. Lincoln's lineage was considered auspicious by Emerson, Whitman, and others who prophesied that a new man from the West would emerge to balance North and South. From New England Puritan stock on his father's side and Virginia Cavalier gentry on his mother's, Lincoln was linked by blood to the central conflict of the age. And an enduring theme of his life, Reynolds shows, was his genius for striking a balance between opposing forces. Lacking formal schooling but with an unquenchable thirst for self-improvement, Lincoln had a talent for wrestling and bawdy jokes that made him popular with his peers, even as his appetite for poetry and prodigious gifts for memorization set him apart from them through his childhood, his years as a lawyer, and his entrance into politics. No one can transcend the limitations of their time, and Lincoln was no exception. But what emerges from Reynolds's masterful reckoning is a man who at each stage in his life managed to arrive at a broader view of things than all but his most enlightened peers. As a politician, he moved too slowly for some and too swiftly for many, but he always pushed toward justice while keeping the whole nation in mind. Abe culminates, of course, in the Civil War, the defining test of Lincoln and his beloved country. Reynolds shows us the extraordinary range of cultural knowledge Lincoln drew from as he shaped a vision of true union, transforming, in Martin Luther King Jr.'s words, "the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood." Abraham Lincoln did not come out of nowhere. But if he was shaped by his times, he also managed at his life's fateful hour to shape them to an extent few could have foreseen. Ultimately, this is the great drama that astonishes us still, and that Abe brings to fresh and vivid life. The measure of that life will always be part of our American education.

Slavery by Another Name

Slavery by Another Name
Author: Douglas A. Blackmon
Publsiher: Icon Books
Total Pages: 496
Release: 2012-10-04
Genre: Social Science
ISBN: 9781848314139

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A Pulitzer Prize-winning history of the mistreatment of black Americans. In this 'precise and eloquent work' - as described in its Pulitzer Prize citation - Douglas A. Blackmon brings to light one of the most shameful chapters in American history - an 'Age of Neoslavery' that thrived in the aftermath of the Civil War through the dawn of World War II. Using a vast record of original documents and personal narratives, Blackmon unearths the lost stories of slaves and their descendants who journeyed into freedom after the Emancipation Proclamation and then back into the shadow of involuntary servitude thereafter. By turns moving, sobering and shocking, this unprecedented account reveals these stories, the companies that profited the most from neoslavery, and the insidious legacy of racism that reverberates today.