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Thaddeus Stevens: Nineteenth-Century Egalitarian

Overview

One of the most controversial figures in 19th-century American history, Thaddeus Stevens is best remembered for his role as congressional leader of the radical Republicans and as a chief architect of Reconstruction. Long painted by historians as a vindictive "dictator of Congress," out to punish the South at the behest of big business and his own ego, Stevens receives a more balanced treatment in Hans L. Trefousse's biography, which portrays him as an impassioned orator, an indefatigable advocate of racial ...
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Thaddeus Stevens: Nineteenth-Century Egalitarian

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Overview

One of the most controversial figures in 19th-century American history, Thaddeus Stevens is best remembered for his role as congressional leader of the radical Republicans and as a chief architect of Reconstruction. Long painted by historians as a vindictive "dictator of Congress," out to punish the South at the behest of big business and his own ego, Stevens receives a more balanced treatment in Hans L. Trefousse's biography, which portrays him as an impassioned orator, an indefatigable advocate of racial equality, and a leader in the struggle against slavery. Trefousse addresses the riddle of Stevens' personality - his seeming harshness toward his foes, his kindness toward the poor and powerless, his stern manner and biting sarcasm - and explores the motivations for this leader's lifelong commitment to racial equality. He offers a fascinating portrait of the man whose impassioned opposition to slavery helped move his more moderate congressional colleagues toward the implementation of egalitarianism.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
History and historians have not been particularly kind to Thaddeus Stevens, Congressional leader of the Radical Republicans during Reconstruction. Despite a career as a distinguished attorney, Pennsylvania legislator, and entrepreneur, Stevens is remembered more for his desire to punish the former Confederate states before readmitting then to the Union. But the Stevens presented by Trefousse (Historical Dictionary of Reconstruction) is more of an egalitarian, a great orator, and a staunch opponent of slavery. He was, however, often unsuccessful in achieving his national goals and personal aspirations.Over 40 years have passed since the last Stevens biography (Fawn Brodie's Thaddeus Stevens: Scourge of the South), making Trefousse's work an especially valuable addition to Civil War literature. This is now the definitive work on the Stevens. -- Boyd Childress, Auburn University Library, Alabama
Library Journal
History and historians have not been particularly kind to Thaddeus Stevens, Congressional leader of the Radical Republicans during Reconstruction. Despite a career as a distinguished attorney, Pennsylvania legislator, and entrepreneur, Stevens is remembered more for his desire to punish the former Confederate states before readmitting then to the Union. But the Stevens presented by Trefousse (Historical Dictionary of Reconstruction) is more of an egalitarian, a great orator, and a staunch opponent of slavery. He was, however, often unsuccessful in achieving his national goals and personal aspirations.Over 40 years have passed since the last Stevens biography (Fawn Brodie's Thaddeus Stevens: Scourge of the South), making Trefousse's work an especially valuable addition to Civil War literature. This is now the definitive work on the Stevens. -- Boyd Childress, Auburn University Library, Alabama
Richard H. Abbott
Despite Trefousse's skillful recapitulation of Stevens' career, the hard-bitten Pennsylvanian remains as much an enigma as ever. -- Mississippi Quarterly
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781470886301
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/28/2013
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Hans L. Trefousse (1921-2010), whose many books include a biography of Andrew Johnson and a study of the radical Republicans, was Distinguished Professor of History at Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

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