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"Dramatic, immediate, intensely readable, fascinating and often moving."--New York Times Book Review
Posted August 17, 2009
This book is engrossing in every way. It is a glimpse into the mechanism of our early Congress as well as a reminder of how divisive the slavery issue was. The culture of the powerful in the Southern slave society is revealed in all its arrogance. It is also a reminder of how important a man John Quincy Adams was, especially in his late career as Congressman Adams. The parallels to contemporary political conflicts are striking, but are merely left to us readers to observe.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 24, 2001
A decade-long Congressional debate that took place 160 years ago seems an impossible subject to make interesting. Yet William Lee Miller makes it more than merely interesting; rather, 'lively,' 'engaging,' 'inspiring' more accurately describe Miller's work. This story of one man--one good man--standing firmly upon principle at the center of the our antebellum hurricane embracing and speaking simple truth and right stirs the heart and uplifts the soul. This book will be read for generations to come.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 12, 2000
Any lifetime student of Early American History and the War for Southern Independence/War of the Rebellion/Civil War will do him- or herself a great service reading Miller's work illustrating a fascinating chapter in our pre-war history. Especially aggravating was watching hardheaded Southern politicians hurt the 94% of their [non-slaveowning] population for the benefit of 1 in 15 who were slaveowners. By enforcing gags denying discussion of slavery in the House of Representatives, they presented themselves as opponents of Freedom Speech and the Right of Petition - two fo the founding elements in the Original American Republic. The debates of 1836-1844 are a slim or nonexistent chapter in any school textbook. I strongly recommend it as important reading for a well rounded education. While the book is 4-stars; Miller's personal epilogues at the end net 2 stars for promoting overly symplistic, popular assumptions about why this war was really fought. This can be hard reading to anyone well read on the multitude of cultural, moral, religious, political, work ethic differences between the primarily Puritan North and the [Celtic] South. Nonetheless....Buy it! Read it! Scribble lots of notes in it. You'll be referring back to it over and over again. Chris Kelley Seattle, WA Member, Washington Civil War AssociationWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.