This final book by journalist and historian A.J. Langguth follows Patriots, Union 1812, and Driven West, taking us into the post–Civil War era following Abraham Lincoln's assassination. His "team of rivals," as Doris Kearns Goodwin dubbed Lincoln's cabinet, was left adrift, while political grudges during Andrew Johnson's presidency and greed and corruption under Ulysses S. Grant unraveled Lincoln's plans to rebuild the South.
"Langguth takes a warts-and-all approach in profiling the major figures of the Reconstruction.... [His] well-placed and humanizing personal details about the strident men orchestrating Reconstruction and Johnson's impeachment add depth and immediacy to the significant struggles of reuniting North and South, while clearly showing the harsh results of their actions in a post-Lincoln United States."—Publishers Weekly