John C. Calhoun and the Price of Union: A Biography / Edition 1

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LSU Press

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Slaveholder, Senator from South Carolina, secretary of state, secretary of war and vice-president under the administrations of John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson, Calhoun (1782-1850) is portrayed as ambitious but deeply insecure, riven by conflict in both his political and private lives, by Niven, author of Martin Van Buren and The Romantic Era of American Politics. Because of his role in instigating the War of 1812, the author charges, Calhoun nearly destroyed the Union that he professed to support, while his struggle for a unified South and his intransigent defense of the Southern way of life helped to doom it. In this comprehensive study, Niven traces 40 years of complex national and state politics and bitter rivalries, and sympathetically portays Calhoun's domestic trials and recurring health problems. He died in despair, we're shown, anticipating the dissolution of the Union. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Nov.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807118580
  • Publisher: LSU Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/1993
  • Series: Southern Biography Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 388
  • Sales rank: 1,038,863
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.86 (d)

Meet the Author

John Niven is professor of American history and chairman of the Graduate Faculty of History at the Claremont Graduate School. He is the author of several books, including Martin Van Buren and the Romantic Era of American Politics.

LSU Press

LSU Press

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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2001

    An excellent synthesis of the statesman and the events that shaped his career.

    This work presents not only a background into the obscure private life of the South's most prominent spokesman, but also elaborates on his changing views on the tariff, the supremacy of the national government, and the 'peculiar institution.' It shows Calhoun as not a vacillating personality, but rather one who responded to growing sectional tensions. Dr. Niven's book should be standard reading for anyone seeking to understand the tumultuous period leading to Civil War.

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