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Congress at War

How Republican Reformers Fought the Civil War, Defied Lincoln, Ended Slavery, and Remade America...

Fergus M. Bordewich



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Knopf Publishing Group
18 February 2020
The story of how Congress helped win the Civil War--a new perspective that puts the House and Senate, rather than Lincoln, at the center of the conflict.

This brilliantly argued new perspective on the Civil War overturns the popular conception that Abraham Lincoln single-handedly led the Union to victory and gives us a vivid account of the essential role Congress played in winning the war Building a riveting narrative around four influential members of Congress--Thaddeus Stevens, Pitt Fessenden, Ben Wade, and the pro-slavery Clement Vallandigham--Fergus Bordewich shows us how a newly empowered Republican party shaped one of the most dynamic and consequential periods in American history. From reinventing the nation's financial system to pushing President Lincoln to emancipate the slaves to the planning for Reconstruction, Congress undertook drastic measures to defeat the Confederacy, in the process laying the foundation for a strong central government that came fully into being in the twentieth century. Brimming with drama and outsized characters, Congress at War is also one of the most original books about the Civil War to appear in years and will change the way we understand the conflict.
Imprint:   Knopf Publishing Group
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 242mm,  Width: 167mm,  Spine: 39mm
Weight:   805g
ISBN:   9780451494443
ISBN 10:   045149444X
Pages:   480
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

FERGUS M. BORDEWICH is the author of seven previous nonfiction books, including The First Congress: How James Madison, George Washington, and a Group of Extraordinary Men Invented the Government; America's Great Debate: Henry Clay, Stephen A. Douglas, and the Compromise that Preserved the Union; Bound for Canaan: The Underground Railroad and the War for the Soul of America; and Washington: The Making of the American Capital. He lives in San Francisco with his wife, Jean Parvin Bordewich, who works in philanthropy and writes plays.

Reviews for Congress at War: How Republican Reformers Fought the Civil War, Defied Lincoln, Ended Slavery, and Remade America

A page-turner... ma[kes] a complex story understandable and compelling. --Don Ritchie, Historian Emeritus of the United States Senate Although the subject of the book is specific, its implications are universal... This is popular history of a high order--Bordewich has a terrific eye and ear for the details of his chosen time--and it thoroughly reflects the larger revisionism of our day. --Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker Fergus Bordewich has done it again. This well-researched and pace setting narrative recovers the lasting achievements of the Civil War Congress through the lens of some of its most influential members. In this timely history of American democracy, Bordewich reminds us, there is room for its many champions. --Manisha Sinha, author of The Slave's Cause: A History of Abolition Bordewich contributes an entertaining, fresh perspective to our ever-evolving understanding and discussion of the Civil War. An important addition for both general readers of American history and scholars of the growing interpretations of Civil War studies. --Library Journal Carefully documented... Bordewich offers a unique and colorful perspective on the Civil War, and regularly manages to make congressional minutiae entertaining. Readers seeking fresh insight into the era will be satisfied. --Publisher's Weekly Abraham Lincoln led the nation, but Congress actually directed the Civil War; this fine history describes how... A skilled storyteller... Colorful... A riveting history of the Civil War that argues convincingly that Congress got it right. --Kirkus Reviews (starred)

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