After Lincoln: How the North Won the Civil War and Lost the Peace

Overview

With Abraham Lincoln's assassination, his "team of rivals" was left adrift. President Andrew Johnson, a former slave owner from Tennessee, was challenged by Northern Congressmen, Radical Republicans led by Thaddeus Stephens and Charles Sumner, who wanted to punish the defeated South. When Johnson's policies placated the rebels at the expense of the freed black men, radicals in the House impeached him for trying to fire Secretary of War Edwin Stanton. Johnson was saved from removal by one vote in the Senate trial,...

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After Lincoln: How the North Won the Civil War and Lost the Peace

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Overview

With Abraham Lincoln's assassination, his "team of rivals" was left adrift. President Andrew Johnson, a former slave owner from Tennessee, was challenged by Northern Congressmen, Radical Republicans led by Thaddeus Stephens and Charles Sumner, who wanted to punish the defeated South. When Johnson's policies placated the rebels at the expense of the freed black men, radicals in the House impeached him for trying to fire Secretary of War Edwin Stanton. Johnson was saved from removal by one vote in the Senate trial, presided over by Salmon Chase. Even William Seward, Lincoln's closest ally in his cabinet, seemed to waver.

By the 1868 election, united Republicans nominated Ulysses Grant, Lincoln's winning Union general. His attempts to reconcile Southerners with the Union and to quash the rising Ku Klux Klan were undercut by postwar greed and corruption during his two terms. Reconstruction died unofficially in 1887 when Republican Rutherford Hayes joined with the Democrats in a deal that removed the last federal troops from South Carolina and Louisiana. In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson signed a bill with protections first proposed in 1872 by Charles Sumner, the Radical senator from Massachusetts.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Langguth takes a warts-and-all approach in profiling the major figures of the Reconstruction." —-Publishers Weekly
Bookreporter.com
"A brilliant evocation of the post-Civil War era by the acclaimed author of Patriots and Union 1812. After Lincoln tells the story of the Reconstruction, which set back black Americans and isolated the South for a century."
Harold Holzer
“For nearly 50 years, A. J. Langguth has brightened the fields of global and American history with books offering brisk prose, careful research, and original analysis. At last he has turned his attention to post-Civil War Reconstruction, and the result is a lively, gripping tale in which lofty ideals collide with narrow minds to produce lost opportunities. Langguth manages to elevate frustration to the realm of high drama, producing a page-turner that reminds us afresh of how Lincoln’s plans for a new America could not be achieved without his leadership.”
Robert W. Merry
“Thomas Carlyle famously popularized the idea that world history “is but the biography of great men.’’ A. J. Langguth brilliantly applies that dictum to America’s fateful Reconstruction period. In rendering vivid and insightful portraits of the powerful figures who dominated that drama, Langguth creates a kind of literary booster rocket that propels his readers into a pivotal period of governmental intrigue, power politics, moral intensity, and constitutional crisis.”
Diane McWhorter
“A. J. Langguth brings Reconstruction and its attendant issues to vivid life through a cast of all-stars ranging from Charles Sumner to Andrew Johnson to Grant and Greeley—all conspiring toward the tragic rendezvous with Jim Crow. This history lesson is a stirring narrative, a pleasure throughout, leaving the reader nourished and enlightened.”
John Taliaferro
“The Civil War tore the American republic in two. After Lincoln tells the story of the men whose task it was to stitch the parts back together. A. J. Langguth’s reckoning of Reconstruction is itself a handsome piece of needlework, tight and vivid. Here are keenly limned profiles in courage and resolve. Here, too, is a rogue’s gallery of grudge and self-interest. The total tapestry highlights the shining strengths and hidebound flaws that continue to define our national identity.”
Library Journal
09/01/2014
This is the fourth book in Langguth's (Union 1812) popular history of the United States that starts with the American Revolution and includes volumes on the War of 1812 and the rise of American sectionalism under President Andrew Jackson. Langguth chose to skip a volume dedicated to the American Civil War and focuses here on Reconstruction. He tells the story chiefly through a series of minibiographies of important figures of the Reconstruction era including Andrew Johnson and Ulysses S. Grant as well as lesser-known figures such as Pinckney Benton Stewart "P.B.S." Pinchback and Oliver O. Howard. When Reconstruction ended is a subject of debate for historians, and Langguth concludes his story with Rutherford B. Hayes's withdrawal of the last occupying federal soldiers from the South in 1877. The author places much of the blame for the failure of Reconstruction on Northern racism, indifference to the plight of freed slaves, endemic corruption in Republican presidential administrations, and the Republican-controlled congress. VERDICT This book will appeal to both casual and scholarly readers of history as well as those who enjoyed Eric Foner's Reconstruction and similar titles.—Michael Farrell, Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, FL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781494554262
  • Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/16/2014
  • Format: MP3 on CD
  • Edition description: MP3 - Unabridged CD
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

A. J. Langguth, a professor emeritus of journalism in the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California, is the author of almost a dozen books, including Union 1812, Patriots, Driven West, and Our Vietnam. He lives in Los Angeles.

An award-winning audio engineer for over forty years, Tom Perkins has expanded his skills to narrating and has more than twenty titles to his credit. He learned by working with the world's best voice talent during his career, and he continues to engineer a variety of projects.

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