|Joanne B. Freeman.|
|Pages/Publication Date:||480 / 2018|
Elected representatives of the people, fighting on the floor of the U.S. Capitol? It is nothing new, as Joanne Freeman proves in this New York Times Notable Book—a finalist for the Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize—revealing that in the decades before the Civil War, legislative sessions were often punctuated by mortal threats, canings, flipped desks, and all-out slugfests. Revisiting the careers of John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay, and a host of lesser-known but no less fascinating men, Freeman provides tragicomic accounts of brawls and altercations between knife-wielding dignitaries, ratcheting up tensions between North and South and making a war inevitable.
"Given the enormous literature on the Civil War era, it's difficult for a historian to say something genuinely new, but Freeman has managed to do just that.... Freeman is a meticulous researcher and a vivid writer, [this book] makes for entertaining reading."—London Review of Books