The Looming Conflict

The Looming Conflict

by Fergus M. Bordewich
     
 
This collection of six essays incorporates both historical narrative and firsthand reporting by the author. They focus on the central role that struggle over slavery and freedom played in the politics that led to secession and war. They include articles on the Underground Railroad, the Lincoln-Douglas debates, John Brown, the rivalry between James Buchanan and

Overview

This collection of six essays incorporates both historical narrative and firsthand reporting by the author. They focus on the central role that struggle over slavery and freedom played in the politics that led to secession and war. They include articles on the Underground Railroad, the Lincoln-Douglas debates, John Brown, the rivalry between James Buchanan and Thaddeus Stevens, the attack on Fort Sumter, and the battle of Fort Wagner, the first waged by black Union troops. These essays first appeared in Smithsonian Magazine.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Recent review for Mr. Bordewich's latest hardcover title, America's Great Debate (Simon & Schuster)

"[A] vivid, insightful history of the bitter controversy that led to the Compromise of 1850 . . . Political history is often a hard slog, but not in Bordewich's gripping, vigorous acount featuring a large cast of unforgettable characters with fierce beliefs."

—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940014357210
Publisher:
Fergus M. Bordewich
Publication date:
05/29/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
1 MB

Meet the Author

FERGUS M. BORDEWICH is the author of six non-fiction books: America's Great Debate: Henry Clay, Stephen A. Douglas, and the Compromise that Preserved the Union (Simon & Schuster, 2012); Washington: The Making of the American Capital (Amistad/HarperCollins, 2008); Bound for Canaan: The Underground Railroad and the War for the Soul of America (Amistad/HarperCollins, 2005); My Mother's Ghost, a memoir (Doubleday, 2001); Killing the White Man's Indian: Reinventing Native Americans at the End of the Twentieth Century (Doubleday, 1996); and Cathay: A Journey in Search of Old China (Prentice Hall Press, 1991).

Bordewich was born in New York City in 1947, and grew up in Yonkers, New York. While growing up, he often traveled to Indian reservations around the United States with his mother, LaVerne Madigan Bordewich, the executive director of the Association on American Indian Affairs, then the only independent advocacy organization for Native Americans. This early experience helped to shape his lifelong preoccupation with American history, the settlement of the continent, and issues of race, and political power. He holds degrees from the City College of New York and Columbia University. In the late 1960s, he did voter registration for the NAACP in the still-segregated South; he also worked as a roustabout in Alaska's Arctic oil fields, a taxi driver in New York City, and a deckhand on a Norwegian freighter.

He has been an independent writer and historian since the early 1970s. His articles have appeared in many magazines and newspapers, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Smithsonian, American Heritage, Atlantic, Harper's, New York Magazine, GEO, Reader's Digest, and others. As a journalist, he traveled extensively in Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Africa, writing on politics, economic issues, culture, and history, on subjects ranging from the civil war in Burma, religious repression in China, Islamic fundamentalism, German reunification, the Irish economy, Kenya's population crisis, among many others. He also served for brief periods as an editor and writer for the Tehran Journal in Iran, in 1972-1973, a press officer for the United Nations, in 1980-1982, and an advisor to the New China News Agency in Beijing, in 1982-1983, when that agency was embarking on its effort to switch from a propaganda model to a western-style journalistic one.

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