When Abraham Lincoln was assassinated and Vice-President Andrew Johnson became "the Accidental President," it was a dangerous time in America. Devastated by war and resorting to violence, many white Southerners hoped to restore a pre-Civil War society, and the pugnacious Andrew Johnson seemed to share their goals. With the unchecked power of executive orders, Johnson ignored Congress, pardoned rebel leaders, promoted white supremacy, opposed civil rights, and called Reconstruction unnecessary. It fell to Congress to stop the president who acted like a king, and here Brenda Wineapple dramatically evokes this the first-ever impeachment of a sitting American president.
"Teeming with fiery passions and unforgettable characters.... A landmark study."—Ron Chernow