Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Disgraced after the war, the Copperheads melted into the shadows of history. Here, Jennifer L. Weber illuminates their dramatic story. Packed with sharp observation and fresh interpretations, Copperheads is a gripping account of the fierce dissent that Lincoln called "the fire in the rear."
A well reviewed book.
Giving close consideration to previously neglected debates, Matthew Mason challenges the common contention that slavery held little political significance in America until the Missouri Crisis of 1819. Mason demonstrates that slavery and politics were enmeshed in the creation of the nation, and in fact there was never a time between the Revolution and the Civil War in which slavery went uncontested.
The American Revolution set in motion the split between slave states and free states, but Mason explains that the divide took on greater importance in the early nineteenth century. He examines the partisan and geopolitical uses of slavery, the conflicts between free states and their slaveholding neighbors, and the political impact of African Americans across the country.
UNC Press also has The Transformation of American Abolitionism by Richard S. Newman covering a similar time period.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Nixonland by Rick Perlstein, although this review suggests his book on Goldwater is better.
The Ascent of George Washington by John Ferling
American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House by Jon Meacham
Alexis de Tocqueville: A Life by Hugh Brogan
Renegade: The Making of a President by Richard Wolffe
feel free to suggest your own titles.
Until well into the Civil War, Lincoln was not an advocate of immediate abolition. But he was well aware of the abolitionists' significance in creating public sentiment hostile to slavery. Every schoolboy, Lincoln noted in 1858, recognized the names of William Wilberforce and Granville Sharpe, leaders of the earlier struggle to outlaw the Atlantic slave trade, "but who can now name a single man who labored to retard it?" On issue after issue--abolition in the nation's capital, wartime emancipation, enlisting black soldiers, amending the Constitution to abolish slavery, allowing some blacks to vote--Lincoln came to occupy positions the abolitionists had first staked out. The destruction of slavery during the war offers an example, as relevant today as in Lincoln's time, of how the combination of an engaged social movement and an enlightened leader can produce progressive social change.
You can visit Foner's site here. Nice essay on Obama as well.
Friday, June 26, 2009
The sad part is seeing Juan Williams (who provides a review of this book) attached to so many conservative rags and news programs these days, as I had thought of him as a more liberal voice until some of the comments he made on the O'Reilly Factor.
As Eric Foner noted in his book Who Owns History, there appears to be a redemption taking place in the wake of the Civil Rights legislation of the 60's. He notes the way the Republicans have tried to invert and re-interpret so much of the legislation and the rise of "original intent" in determining the degree of constitutional authority. Seems Napolitano comes from this ideological bent.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
I think it was William Lee Miller who noted that one of Lincoln's treasured books was Mason Locke Weems's The Life of Washington. The brief description of Ferling's new biography would appear to indicate that Lincoln modeled his administration to a large degree on that of Washington, who likewise found himself having to balance a "team of rivals."
Monday, June 22, 2009
My father has just home from the fair and brought home your picture and Mr. Hamlin's. I am a little girl only 11 years old, but want you should be President of the United States very much so I hope you wont think me very bold to write to such a great man as you are. Have you any little girls about as large as I am if so give them my love and tell her to write to me if you cannot answer this letter. I have got 4 brother's and part of them will vote for you any way and if you let your whiskers grow I will try and get the rest of them to vote for you you would look a great deal better for your face is so thin. All the ladies like whiskers and they would tease their husband's to vote for you and then you would be President. My father is going to vote for you and if I was a man I would vote for you to but I will try to get every one to vote for you that I can I think that rail fence around your picture makes it look very pretty I have got a little baby sister she is nine weeks old and is just as cunning as can be. When you direct your letter direct to Grace Bedell Westfield Chatauque County New York
I must not write any more answer this letter right off Good bye
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Lincoln's "framed timbers" analogy
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
The records displayed in this exhibit document the Scotts' early struggle to gain their freedom through litigation and are the only extant records of this significant case as it was heard in the St. Louis Circuit Court. The original Dred Scott case file is located in the Office of the St. Louis Circuit Clerk.
This collection is an expanded and updated version of the original Dred Scott Case Collection. The collection, was expanded from eighty-five to one hundred and eleven documents, over 400 pages of text. In addition, the collection is now a full-text, searchable resource that represents the full case history of the Dred Scott Case. Please visit the About the Collection page for a complete project history.
Nice site on the famous case, with plenty of links.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
To the pessimists evidence that the field of diplomatic history is on the decline is everywhere. Job openings on the nation’s college campuses are scarce, while bread-and-butter courses like the Origins of War and American Foreign Policy are dropping from history department postings. And now, in what seems an almost gratuitous insult, Diplomatic History, the sole journal devoted to the subject, has proposed changing its title.For many in the field this latest suggestion is emblematic of a broader problem: the shrinking importance not only of diplomatic history but also of traditional specialties like economic, military and constitutional history.....
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Friday, June 5, 2009
Sarah Palin will be in Auburn NY on sat to participate in a celebration of Alaska's 50th year as a state.There will be a parade and then reception at the Seward Mansion historical site.The date has no significance for Auburn or Alaska but there it is.The Seward Mansion is now smack in the middle of Auburn surrounded by buildings and streets but it is still an interesting visit.I'm hoping that she states she can see"Mexico" from there on a clear day.Mexico is a small burg up near Lake Ontario near Oswego.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Monday, June 1, 2009
''Team of Rivals" is also an America ''coming-of-age" saga. Lincoln, Seward, Chase et al. are sketched as being part of a ''restless generation," born when Founding Fathers occupied the White House and the Louisiana Purchase netted nearly 530 million new acres to be explored. The Western Expansion motto of this burgeoning generation, in fact, was cleverly captured in two lines of Stephen Vincent Benet's verse: ''The stream uncrossed, the promise still untried / The metal sleeping in the mountainside." None of the protagonists in ''Team of Rivals" hailed from the Deep South or Great Plains.
From a review by Douglas Brinkley, 2005