Carl Schurz: A Biography

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Overview


The biography of Carl Schurz is a story of an amazing life. At the age of 19, Schurz, a student at the University of Bonn, became involved in the Revolution of 1848. Participating in the revolutionary army, he managed to escape through a sewer during the siege of Rastatt, flee across the Rhine to France, and come back to rescue his professor, Gottfried Kinkel, from a jail near Berlin. This deed made him famous, and when he came to American in 1852, Schurz was nominated for lieutenant governor of Wisconsin on the...
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Overview


The biography of Carl Schurz is a story of an amazing life. At the age of 19, Schurz, a student at the University of Bonn, became involved in the Revolution of 1848. Participating in the revolutionary army, he managed to escape through a sewer during the siege of Rastatt, flee across the Rhine to France, and come back to rescue his professor, Gottfried Kinkel, from a jail near Berlin. This deed made him famous, and when he came to American in 1852, Schurz was nominated for lieutenant governor of Wisconsin on the Republican ticket. He quickly rose in the party and was the head of the Wisconsin delegation at the 1860 National Convention. He worked hard for the cause, and Lincoln rewarded him with the post of Minister to Spain. At the outbreak of war he returned to join the Union Army, became a Major General, and took part in several important battles. After the war, he moved to Missouri, was elected Senator from that State, and became a role model for his fellow German Americans. In 1871 he became one of the main figures in the Liberal Republican movement, and in 1877 President Rutherford B. Hayes appointed him Secretary of the Interior. After his retirement from the cabinet, Schurz became active in the politics of New York, as an advocate of municipal and civil service reform. He was a leading Mugwump who supported Grover Cleveland in 1884 and at the end of his life became a violent opponent of imperialism. He died in 1906. Carl Schurz, the man, his story, his ideals and his example, are particularly appropriate today because of the light his life sheds on the never-ending problems of immigration, assimilation, and the retention of ethnic identity. Carl Schurz's career furnishes a model example for all of these.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Schurz (1829-1906) fled his native Germany after the failure of the 1848 revolution and immediately on arrived in the US used his ethnic connections to enter politics. Based in Wisconsin he rose in the Republican Party, was named minister to Spain by Lincoln, returned to fight in several major battles during the Civil War, then continued his political career in Missouri and New York. Trefousse (history, City U. of New York) highlights the issues of immigration, assimilation, and retention of ethnic identity. First published in 1982 by the University of Tennessee Press. Paper edition (unseen) $19.95. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823218554
  • Publisher: Fordham University Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/1998
  • Series: North's Civil War Series
  • Edition description: 2
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 386
  • Sales rank: 746,601
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 5.80 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Hans Trefousse (1921-2010) was Distinguished Professor of History at Brooklyn College and at the Graduate Center, of the City University of New York.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2002

    Well Researched, Complete, and Fast Paced Biography

    This book is extremely well-researched and devotes roughly fifty pages to interesting footnotes. Though it goes into great detail, it reads quickly. This can be partly attributed to the frugality Mr. Trefousse uses with his wordsmithing but also to the nature of the subject. If anything, Carl Shurz led an interesting life. I had read Mr. Shurz's autobiography and it was evident from Mr. Trefousse's research exactly where Shurz "fudged" in his stories. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, especially following Mr. Shurz's climb through the political machine. The last three or four chapters were slightly less interesting because, face it, Shurz was by then an old man whose biggest achievements were behind him. In my opinion, this is the definitive biography of Mr. Shurz.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2002

    Well Researched, Complete, and Fast Paced Biography

    This book is extremely well-researched and devotes roughly fifty pages to interesting footnotes. Though it goes into great detail, it reads quickly. This can be partly attributed to the frugality Mr. Trefousse uses with his wordsmithing but also to the nature of the subject. If anything, Carl Shurz led an interesting life. I had read Mr. Shurz's autobiography and it was evident from Mr. Trefousse's research exactly where Shurz "fudged" in his stories. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, especially following Mr. Shurz's climb through the political machine. The last three or four chapters were slightly less interesting because, face it, Shurz was by then an old man whose biggest achievements were behind him. In my opinion, this is the definitive biography of Mr. Shurz

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

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