At the Precipice: Americans North and South during the Secession Crisis

Overview

Bowman explores the different ways in which Americans, North and South, black and white, understood their interests, rights, and honor during the secession period. He examines the lives and thoughts of key figures and provides an especially vivid glimpse into what less famous men and women in both sections thought about themselves and the worlds in which they lived, and how their thoughts informed their actions during this time. Both sides glorified the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the ...

See more details below
Hardcover (1)
$29.88
BN.com price
(Save 6%)$32.00 List Price
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (15) from $5.00   
  • New (9) from $10.38   
  • Used (6) from $5.00   
At the Precipice: Americans North and South during the Secession Crisis

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$16.49
BN.com price
(Save 45%)$29.99 List Price

Overview

Bowman explores the different ways in which Americans, North and South, black and white, understood their interests, rights, and honor during the secession period. He examines the lives and thoughts of key figures and provides an especially vivid glimpse into what less famous men and women in both sections thought about themselves and the worlds in which they lived, and how their thoughts informed their actions during this time. Both sides glorified the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States, yet they interpreted those sacred documents in markedly different ways and held very different notions of what constituted "American" values.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[A] work that will be invaluable for graduate students and scholars interested in antebellum sectionalism and the secession crisis."—Journal of American History

"[Bowman] does . . . a fine job of nailing the basic beliefs of Americans on both sides of the sectional split. . . . [Bowman's] extensive research is apparent. Highly recommended."—Choice

"[A] rewarding read that provides a detailed account of what a wide spectrum of individuals—some famous and others virtually unknown—believed was happening to their beloved republic in the final years before the war."—Civil War Times

"Unconventional yet persuasive. . . . Readers . . . are likely to come away feeling both that the Civil War was largely inevitable and that the instinct of U.S. politics to find compromise solutions is so strong that only a conflict as stark as the one between slavery and human freedom could overcome it."—Foreign Affairs

"A book that is as both elegantly written and historically grounded as is At the Precipice will please specialists and inform lay readers alike."—The Historian

"A valuable resource for those interested in the country's growing friction during the prewar years, especially students and general readers."—Southern Historian

"An eminently worthy edition to scholarship on the Civil War."—Journal of Southern History

"This work would serve admirably as a textbook. . . . Both academics and general readers will benefit from this study."—The Alabama Review

"This wide-ranging synthesis showcases the late Shearer Davis Bowman's command of antebellum history and his intellectual generosity." —The North Carolina Historical Review

"Bowman's last book…is one that merits attention." —Georgia Historical Quarterly
"Undergraduates in Civil War classes, together with the general reading public, will find this book a useful introduction to the affairs of the nation as it stood on the precipice of a massive, and tragic, civil war."—Arkansas Historical Quarterly

"There is a wealth of information and ideas in this book. . . . Intellectually challenging and thought-provoking. . . . [It] will expand your understanding of America entering the Civil War."—TOCWOC: A Civil War Blog

"Takes the reader into the thinking of the leading actors."—The Courier

"A compelling . . . addition to an underdeveloped field of history. . . . Worthy of reading for those interested in the American history of interracial relationships."—Arkansas Review

From the Publisher
"[A] work that will be invaluable for graduate students and scholars interested in antebellum sectionalism and the secession crisis."
-Journal of American History

"Unconventional yet persuasive. . . . Readers . . . are likely to come away feeling both that the Civil War was largely inevitable and that the instinct of U.S. politics to find compromise solutions is so strong that only a conflict as stark as the one between slavery and human freedom could overcome it."
-Foreign Affairs

"An eminently worthy edition to scholarship on the Civil War."
-Journal of Southern History

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807833926
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 10/4/2010
  • Series: Littlefield History of the Civil War Era Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 392
  • Sales rank: 1,448,898
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Shearer Davis Bowman is an associate professor in history at the University of Kentucky. He is author of Masters and Lords: Mid-19th-Century U.S. Planters and Prussian Junkers.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

1 Introduction and Overview 1

2 Slaveholders and Slaves, States Rights and Revolution 38

3 Honor and Degradation 77

Section, Hare, and Gender

4 The Second Party System and Its Legaey 112

The Careers of John Bell, John C. Breckinridge, Howell Cobb, Stephen A. Douglas, John Tyler, and Martin Van Buren

5 Jefferson Davis, Horac L. Kent, and the Old South 160

6 Abraham Lincoln, Henry Waller, and the Free-Labor North 195

7 Keziali Goodwyn Hopkins Brevard and Sojourner Truth 244

Faith, Race, and Gender

8 President Buchanan, the Crittenden Compromise, President Lincoln, and Fort Sumter 261

Notes 289

Guide to Further Reading 339

Acknowledgements 357

Index 359

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 30, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Difficult but Rewarding

    The author, who died in December 2009, spent his life teaching history at the college level. While not a dynamic writer, an excellent understanding of history coupled with the ability to discern trends resulted in a unique view of events creating a provocative view of American history.
    Eight chapters organize the author's position and present his arguments. "Introduction and Overview" is a slow read and may cause some to give up on the book. It is not an optional item as the author covers events and interruptions of events during the 1850s. "Slaveholders and Slaves, State's Rights and Revolution" picks up the pace looking at feelings, fears and values.
    "Honor and Degradation" takes a hard look at manliness and personal honor. How these items influence the political process and secession provides food for thought. How the political parties held off or brought on secession is the subject of "The Second Party System and Its Legacy". Looking at John Bell, John C. Breckinridge, Howell Cobb, Stephen A. Douglas, John Tyler and Martin Van Buren we see the process of comprise and disaffection. "Jefferson Davis, Horace L. Kent and the Old South" coupled with "Abraham Lincoln, Henry Waller and the Free-Labor North" highlight the development of the two sections. How different they were in attitude, politics and expectations resulting in one nation with two countries. "Faith, Race, and Gender" is worth the price of the book. Using Sojourner Truth, the author traces the history of slavery in the North. Using a well to do Southern widow, we see slavery in the South from a moderate's view. These 17 pages is a revelation on the subject of slavery. The last chapter looks at Buchanan, the Crittenden Compromise, Lincoln and Ft. Sumter. Throughout, the author looks at racism, property rights, westward expansion and abolition.
    The "takes readers into the minds" is misleading. To me, it brought back memories of the "pop physiology" histories that once were popular. In this book, the author makes his points using statements and actions by the participants. This results in a very well supported logical argument. This is a serious history with 49 pages of ends notes and 18 pages of further reading suggestions. Sources are a mix of primary and contemporary works.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)