U.s. History - Antebellum Period 1840-1860
Spying on the South: An Odyssey Across the American Divide
Spying on the South
An Odyssey Across the American Divide
Hardcover      ISBN: 1101980281
The New York Times-bestselling final book by the beloved, Pulitzer-Prize winning historian Tony Horwitz.

With Spying on the South, the best-selling author of Confederates in the Attic returns to the South and the Civil War era for an epic adventure on the trail of America's greatest landscape architect. In the 1850s, the young Frederick Law Olmsted was adrift, a restless farmer and dreamer in search of a mission. He found it during an extraordinary journey, as an undercover correspondent in the South for the up-and-coming New York Times.

For the Connecticut Yankee, pen name "Yeoman," the South was alien, often hostile territory. Yet Olmsted traveled for 14 months, by horseback, steamboat, and stagecoach, seeking dialogue and common ground. His vivid dispatches about the lives and beliefs of Southerners were revelatory for readers of his day, and Yeoman's remarkable trek also reshaped the American landscape, as Olmsted sought to reform his own society by creating democratic spaces for the uplift of all. The result: Central Park and Olmsted's career as America's first and foremost landscape architect.

Tony Horwitz rediscovers Yeoman Olmsted amidst the discord and polarization of our own time. Is America still one country? In search of answers, and his own adventures, Horwitz follows Olmsted's tracks and often his mode of transport (including muleback): through Appalachia, down the Mississippi River, into bayou Louisiana, and across Texas to the contested Mexican borderland. Venturing far off beaten paths, Horwitz uncovers bracing vestiges and strange new mutations of the Cotton Kingdom. Horwitz's intrepid and often hilarious journey through an outsized American landscape is a masterpiece in the tradition of Great Plains, Bad Land, and the author's own classic, Confederates in the Attic.
The Field of Blood: Violence in Congress and the Road to Civil War
The Field of Blood
Violence in Congress and the Road to Civil War
Paperback      ISBN: 1250234581

The previously untold story of the violence in Congress that helped spark the Civil War

In The Field of Blood, Joanne B. Freeman recovers the long-lost story of physical violence on the floor of the U.S. Congress. Drawing on an extraordinary range of sources, she shows that the Capitol was rife with conflict in the decades before the Civil War. Legislative sessions were often punctuated by mortal threats, canings, flipped desks, and all-out slugfests. When debate broke down, congressmen drew pistols and waved Bowie knives. One representative even killed another in a duel. Many were beaten and bullied in an attempt to intimidate them into compliance, particularly on the issue of slavery.

These fights didn't happen in a vacuum. Freeman's dramatic accounts of brawls and thrashings tell a larger story of how fisticuffs and journalism, and the powerful emotions they elicited, raised tensions between North and South and led toward war. In the process, she brings the antebellum Congress to life, revealing its rough realities--the feel, sense, and sound of it--as well as its nation-shaping import. Funny, tragic, and rivetingly told, The Field of Blood offers a front-row view of congressional mayhem and sheds new light on the careers of John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay, and other luminaries, as well as introducing a host of lesser-known but no less fascinating men. The result is a fresh understanding of the workings of American democracy and the bonds of Union on the eve of their greatest peril.

Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times
Andrew Jackson
His Life and Times
Paperback      ISBN: 1400030722

National Bestseller

In this, the first major single-volume biography of Andrew Jackson in decades, H.W. Brands reshapes our understanding of this fascinating man, and of the Age of Democracy that he ushered in.

An orphan at a young age and without formal education or the family lineage of the Founding Fathers, Jackson showed that the presidency was not the exclusive province of the wealthy and the well-born but could truly be held by a man of the people. On a majestic, sweeping scale Brands re-creates Jackson's rise from his hardscrabble roots to his days as frontier lawyer, then on to his heroic victory in the Battle of New Orleans, and finally to the White House. Capturing Jackson's outsized life and deep impact on American history, Brands also explores his controversial actions, from his unapologetic expansionism to the disgraceful Trail of Tears. This is a thrilling portrait, in full, of the president who defined American democracy.

Ulysses S. Grant: Memoirs and Selected Letters (Loa #50)
Ulysses S. Grant
Memoirs and Selected Letters (Loa #50)
Hardcover      ISBN: 0940450585

Twenty years after Appomattox, stricken by cancer and facing financial ruin, Ulysses S. Grant wrote his Personal Memoirs to secure his family's future. in doing so, the Civil War's greatest general won himself a unique place in American letters. His character, intelligence, sense of purpose, and simple compassion are evident throughout this vivid and deeply moving account, which has been acclaimed by readers as diverse asMark Twain, Matthew Arnold, Gertrude Stein, and Edmund Wilson. Annotated and complete with detailed maps, battle plans, and facsimiles reproduced from the original edition, this volume offers an unparalleled vantage on the most terrible, moving, and inexhaustibly fascinating event in American history. included are 174 letters, many of them to his wife, Julia, which offer an intimate view of their affectionate and enduring marriage.

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation's literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America's best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
'New Raiments of Self': African American Clothing in the Antebellum South
'New Raiments of Self'
African American Clothing in the Antebellum South
Hardcover      ISBN: 1859731848

This book examines the clothing worn by African Americans in the southern United States during the thirty years before the American Civil War. Drawing on a wide range of sources, most notably oral narratives recorded in the 1930s, this rich account shows that African Americans demonstrated a thorough knowledge of the role clothing played in demarcating age, sex, status, work, recreation, as well as special secular and sacred events. Testimonies offer proof of African Americans' vast technical skills in producing cloth and clothing, which served both as a fundamental reflection of the peoples' Afrocentric craftsmanship and aesthetic sensibilities, and as a reaction to their particular place in American society. Previous work on clothing in this period has tended to focus on white viewpoints, and as a consequence the dress worn by the enslaved has generally been seen as a static standard imposed by white overlords. This excellent study departs from conventional interpretations to show that the clothing of the enslaved changed over time, served multiple functions and represented customs and attitudes which evolved distinctly from within African American communities. In short, it represents a vital contribution to African American studies, as well as to dress and textile history, and cultural and folklore studies.

12 Years a Slave: A True Story of Betrayal, Kidnap and Slavery
12 Years a Slave
A True Story of Betrayal, Kidnap and Slavery
Paperback      ISBN: 1843914719
The astonishing memoir of a free man who was sold into slavery in Louisiana where he was kept for 12 years--a powerful, riveting condemnation of slavery, and a story soon to be introduced to a new audience through a major filmTricked by two men offering him a job as a musician in New York state in 1841, Solomon Northup was instead drugged and kidnapped. Threatened with death, Northup was forced to assume a new name and fake past. Taken to Louisiana on a disease-ridden plague ship, he was initially sold to a cotton planter. In the 12 years that followed he was sold to many different owners who treated him with varying levels of savagery, including forced labor, scant food, and numerous beatings. Eventually Northup succeeded in contacting Samuel Bass, a white carpenter whom he knew to be sympathetic to the cause of black people. Bass contacted Northup's family and together they gained the necessary paperwork to travel to Louisiana to retrieve him. Northup pressed charges against his captors but in a triumph of irony the case was heard in Washington--meaning that as a black man he could not testify against the accused (in the end they were able to countersue him.) A true-life testament to tremendous courage and tenacity in the face of unfathomable injustice, Northup's account is also of extreme interest due to the meticulous recordings of slave life. Unique in its firsthand nature, the book became a runaway bestseller.
A. Lincoln: A Biography
A. Lincoln
A Biography
Paperback      ISBN: 0812975707
"If you read one book about Lincoln, make it A. Lincoln."--USA Today

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
The Washington Post - The Philadelphia Inquirer - The Christian Science Monitor - St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

WINNER OF THE CHRISTOPHER AWARD

Everyone wants to define the man who signed his name "A. Lincoln." In his lifetime and ever since, friend and foe have taken it upon themselves to characterize Lincoln according to their own label or libel. In this magnificent book, Ronald C. White, Jr., offers a fresh and compelling definition of Lincoln as a man of integrity-what today's commentators would call "authenticity"-whose moral compass holds the key to understanding his life.

Through meticulous research of the newly completed Lincoln Legal Papers, as well as of recently discovered letters and photographs, White provides a portrait of Lincoln's personal, political, and moral evolution. White shows us Lincoln as a man who would leave a trail of thoughts in his wake, jotting ideas on scraps of paper and filing them in his top hat or the bottom drawer of his desk; a country lawyer who asked questions in order to figure out his own thinking on an issue, as much as to argue the case; a hands-on commander in chief who, as soldiers and sailors watched in amazement, commandeered a boat and ordered an attack on Confederate shore batteries at the tip of the Virginia peninsula; a man who struggled with the immorality of slavery and as president acted publicly and privately to outlaw it forever; and finally, a president involved in a religious odyssey who wrote, for his own eyes only, a profound meditation on "the will of God" in the Civil War that would become the basis of his finest address.

Most enlightening, the Abraham Lincoln who comes into focus in this stellar narrative is a person of intellectual curiosity, comfortable with ambiguity, unafraid to "think anew and act anew."

A transcendent, sweeping, passionately written biography that greatly expands our knowledge and understanding of its subject, A. Lincoln will engage a whole new generation of Americans. It is poised to shed a profound light on our greatest president just as America commemorates the bicentennial of his birth.

African American Slave Medicine: Herbal and Non-Herbal Treatments
African American Slave Medicine
Herbal and Non-Herbal Treatments
1st Edition    Hardcover      ISBN: 0739116444

African-American Slave Medicine offers a critical examination of how African-American slaves medical needs were addressed during the years before and surrounding the Civil War. Drawing upon ex-slave interviews conducted during the 1930s and 1940s by the Works Project Administration (WPA), Dr. Herbert C. Covey inventories many of the herbal, plant, and non-plant remedies used by African-American folk practitioners during slavery. He demonstrates how active the slaves were in their own medical care and the important role faith played in the healing process. This book links each referenced plant or herb to modern scientific evidence to determine its actual worth and effects on the patients. Through his study, Dr. Covey unravels many of the complex social relationships found between the African-American slaves, Whites, folk practitioners, and patients. African-American Slave Medicine is a compelling and captivating read that will appeal to scholars of African-American history and those interested in folk medicine.

Amer Pres: Harrison
Amer Pres
Harrison
Hardcover      ISBN: 0805091181

The president who served the shortest term--just a single month--but whose victorious election campaign rewrote the rules for candidates seeking America's highest office

William Henry Harrison died just thirty-one days after taking the oath of office in 1841. Today he is a curiosity in American history, but as Gail Collins shows in this entertaining and revelatory biography, he and his career are worth a closer look. The son of a signer of the Declaration of Independence, Harrison was a celebrated general whose exploits at the Battle of Tippecanoe and in the War of 1812 propelled him into politics, and in time he became a leader of the new Whig Party, alongside Daniel Webster and Henry Clay. But it was his presidential campaign of 1840 that made an indelible mark on American political history.

Collins takes us back to that pivotal year, when Harrison's "Log Cabin and Hard Cider" campaign transformed the way candidates pursued the presidency. It was the first campaign that featured mass rallies, personal appearances by the candidate, and catchy campaign slogans like "Tippecanoe and Tyler, Too." Harrison's victory marked the coming-of-age of a new political system, and its impact is still felt in American politics today. It may have been only a one-month administration, but we're still feeling the effects.

America in 1857: A Nation on the Brink
America in 1857
A Nation on the Brink
Paperback      ISBN: 0195074815

It was a year packed with unsettling events. The Panic of 1857 closed every bank in New York City, ruined thousands of businesses, and caused widespread unemployment among industrial workers. The Mormons in Utah Territory threatened rebellion when federal troops approached with a non-Mormon governor to replace Brigham Young. The Supreme Court outraged northern Republicans and abolitionists with the Dred Scott decision ("a breathtaking example of judicial activism"). And when a proslavery minority in Kansas Territory tried to foist a proslavery constitution on a large antislavery majority, President Buchanan reneged on a crucial commitment and supported the minority, a disastrous miscalculation which ultimately split the Democratic party in two.
In America in 1857, eminent American historian Kenneth Stampp offers a sweeping narrative of this eventful year, covering all the major crises while providing readers with a vivid portrait of America at mid-century. Stampp gives us a fascinating account of the attempt by William Walker and his band of filibusters to conquer Nicaragua and make it a slave state, of crime and corruption, and of street riots by urban gangs such as New York's Dead Rabbits and Bowery Boys and Baltimore's Plug Uglies and Blood Tubs. But the focus continually returns to Kansas. He examines the outrageous political frauds perpetrated by proslavery Kansans, Buchanan's calamitous response and Stephen Douglas's break with the President (a rare event in American politics, a major party leader repudiating the president he helped elect), and the whirl of congressional votes and dramatic debates that led to a settlement humiliating to Buchanan--and devastating to the Democrats.
1857 marked a turning point, at which sectional conflict spun out of control and the country moved rapidly toward the final violent resolution in the Civil War. Stampp's intensely focused look at this pivotal year illuminates the forces at work and the mood of the nation as it plummeted toward disaster.