Ecstatic Nation: Confidence, Crisis, and Compromise, 1848-1877

Ecstatic Nation: Confidence, Crisis, and Compromise, 1848-1877

by Brenda Wineapple
Ecstatic Nation: Confidence, Crisis, and Compromise, 1848-1877

Ecstatic Nation: Confidence, Crisis, and Compromise, 1848-1877

by Brenda Wineapple


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A New York Times Notable Book of 2013

A Kirkus Best Book of 2013

A Bookpage Best Book of 2013

Dazzling in scope, Ecstatic Nation illuminates one of the most dramatic and momentous chapters in America's past, when the country dreamed big, craved new lands and new freedom, and was bitterly divided over its great moral wrong: slavery. With a canvas of extraordinary characters, such as P. T. Barnum, Walt Whitman, Frederick Douglass, and L. C. Q. Lamar, Ecstatic Nation brilliantly balances cultural and political history: It's a riveting account of the sectional conflict that preceded the Civil War, and it astutely chronicles the complex aftermath of that war and Reconstruction, including the promise that women would share in a new definition of American citizenship. It takes us from photographic surveys of the Sierra Nevadas to the discovery of gold in the South Dakota hills, and it signals the painful, thrilling birth of modern America.

An epic tale by award-winning author Brenda Wineapple, Ecstatic Nation lyrically and with true originality captures the optimism, the failures, and the tragic exuberance of a renewed Republic.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061234583
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication date: 08/05/2014
Series: American History
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 736
Sales rank: 498,737
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Brenda Wineapple is the prizewinning author of several books, including White Heat: The Friendship of Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and a New York Times Notable Book. She lives in New York City.

Table of Contents

Prologue: The End of Earth 1

Part 1 (1848-1861)

1 Higher Laws 15

2 Who Ain't a Slave? 38

3 One Aggresses 58

4 Democracy 77

5 Sovereignty 99

6 Revolutions Never Go Backward 125

7 The Impending Crisis 149

8 A Clank of Metal 165

Part 2 (1861-1865)

9 On to Richmond 197

10 Battle Cry of Freedom 223

11 This Thing Now Never Seems to Stop 250

12 The Last Full Measure of Devotion 272

13 Fairly Won 296

14 Armed Liberty 325

15 And This Is Richmond 351

16 The Simple, Fierce Deed 367

Part 3 (1865-1876)

17 But Half Accomplished 391

18 Amphitheatrum Johnsonianum 411

19 Power 430

20 Deep Water 450

21 Running from the Past 475

22 Westward the Course of Empire 506

23 With the Ten Commandments in One Hand 529

24 Conciliation; or, the Living 559

Acknowledgments 595

Notes 601

Selected Bibliography 667

Index 695

What People are Saying About This

James McPherson

“Blending cultural and political history, Ecstatic Nation offers new perspectives on this transformative era in American history.”

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