The Road to Disunion: Volume II: Secessionists Triumphant, 1854-1861 [NOOK Book]

Overview

Here is history in the grand manner, a powerful narrative peopled with dozens of memorable portraits, telling this important story with skill and relish. Freehling highlights all the key moments on the road to war, including the violence in Bleeding Kansas, Preston Brooks's beating of Charles Sumner in the Senate chambers, the Dred Scott Decision, John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry, and much more. As Freehling shows, the election of Abraham Lincoln sparked a political crisis, but at first most Southerners took a...
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The Road to Disunion: Volume II: Secessionists Triumphant, 1854-1861

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Overview

Here is history in the grand manner, a powerful narrative peopled with dozens of memorable portraits, telling this important story with skill and relish. Freehling highlights all the key moments on the road to war, including the violence in Bleeding Kansas, Preston Brooks's beating of Charles Sumner in the Senate chambers, the Dred Scott Decision, John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry, and much more. As Freehling shows, the election of Abraham Lincoln sparked a political crisis, but at first most Southerners took a cautious approach, willing to wait and see what Lincoln would do--especially, whether he would take any antagonistic measures against the South. But at this moment, the extreme fringe in the South took charge, first in South Carolina and Mississippi, but then throughout the lower South, sounding the drum roll for secession. Indeed, The Road to Disunion is the first book to fully document how this decided minority of Southern hotspurs took hold of the secessionist issue and, aided by a series of fortuitous events, drove the South out of the Union. Freehling provides compelling profiles of the leaders of this movement--many of them members of the South Carolina elite. Throughout the narrative, he evokes a world of fascinating characters and places as he captures the drama of one of America's most important--and least understood--stories. The long-awaited sequel to the award-winning Secessionists at Bay, which was hailed as "the most important history of the Old South ever published," this volume concludes a major contribution to our understanding of the Civil War. A compelling, vivid portrait of the final years of the antebellum South, The Road to Disunion will stand as an important history of its subject.
"This sure-to-be-lasting work--studded with pen portraits and consistently astute in its appraisal of the subtle cultural and geographic variations in the region--adds crucial layers to scholarship on the origins of America's bloodiest conflict."
--The Atlantic Monthly
"Splendid, painstaking account...and so a work of history reaches into the past to illuminate the present. It is light we need, and we owe Freehling a debt for shedding it."
--Washington Post
"A masterful, dramatic, breathtakingly detailed narrative."
--The Baltimore Sun
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book by one of the major names in southern history is an important study that anyone interested in the Civil War era must read and consider carefully.... A major new interpretation of how this war came upon the county.... Freehling makes it clear that he is in the business of providing analysis and retelling an epic."—Nicholas Evan Sarantakes, The North Carolina Historical Review

"A hard-nosed and dramatic account of how the nation split in 1861."—David Waldstreicher, The Boston Globe

"Secessionists Triumphant is outstanding, history at its best, illuminating one of the most crucial moments in our national experience, and at the same time showing how sane men and women who thought they had their own best interests at heart, could willingly indeed for some gleefully race to their destruction."—William C. Davis, History Book Club

"In richer detail than any previous study, William Freehling explains how a secessionist minority, even in the lower South before 1860, exploited sectional tensions to forge a majority for disunion. Fearful that slavery might erode and eventually crumble, they went on the offensive to force wavering moderates into the secessionist fold and then to provoke a showdown at Fort Sumter. Freehling makes clear that it was indeed a war of Southern aggression." —James M. McPherson, author of Battle Cry of Freedom

"The adjective 'magisterial' has been badly overused and devalued of late, but if it properly describes anyone's work, it certainly does Freehling's. The completion of this project is a genuinely monumental achievement."—Bruce Levine, Civil War Book Review

"William Freehling's long-awaited second volume of The Road to Disunion is a brilliant and indispensable reinterpretation of the causes of the Civil War. With much original insight, Freehling skillfully fuses impersonal economic and political forces with the crucial contingencies that help to explain what can still be seen as the central event in American history."—David Brion Davis, author of Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199839919
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 3/9/2007
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 417,725
  • File size: 5 MB

Meet the Author

William W. Freehling is one of the most distinguished American historians of the Civil War era. He is Singletary Professor of the Humanities Emeritus at the University of Kentucky and Senior Fellow at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. He is the author of Prelude to Civil War, which won a Bancroft Prize, The Road to Disunion, Volume I: Secessionists at Bay, and The South vs. the South: How Anti-Confederate Southerners Shaped the Course of the Civil War.

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Table of Contents

Illustrations
Maps
Preface
Prologue: Yancey's Rage
Part I: Better Economic Times Generate Worse Democratic Dilemmas
1. Democracy and Despotism, 1776-1854: The Road to Disunion, Volume I, Revisited
2
Part II: The Climactic Ideological Frustrations
3. James Henry Hammond and the Unsolvable Proslavery Puzzle
4. The Three Imperfect Solutions
5. The Puzzling Future and the Infuriating Scapegoats
Part III: The Climactic Political Frustrations
6. Bleeding Kansas and Bloody Summer
7. The Scattering of the Ex-Whigs
8. James Buchanan's Precarious Election
9. The President-Elect as the Dred Scotts' Judge
10. The Climactic Kansas Crisis
11. Caribbean Delusions
12. Reopening the African Slave Trade
13. Reenslaving Free Blacks
Part IV: John Brown and Three Other Men Coincidentally Named John
14. John Brown and Violent Invasion
15. John G. Fee and Religious Invasion
16. John Underwood and Economic Invasion
17. John Clark and Political Invasion
Part V: The Election of 1860
18. Yancey's Lethal Abstraction
19. The Democracy's Charleston Convention
20. The Democracy's Baltimore Convention
21. Suspicious Southerners and Lincoln's Election
Part VI: South Carolina Dares
22. The State's Rights Justification
23. The Motivation
24. The Tactics and Tacticians
25. The Triumph
Coda: Did the Coincidence Change History?
Part VII: Lower South Landslide, Upper South Stalemate
26. Alexander Stephen's Fleeting Moment
Coda: Did Stephens's and
Hammond's Personalities Change History?
27. Southwestern Separatists' Tactics and Messages
28. Compromise Rejected
29. Military Explosions
30. Snowball Rolling
31. Upper South Stalemate
32. Stalemate-and the south-shattered
Coda: How Did Slavery Cause the Civil War?
Abbreviations Used in Notes
Notes
Index

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