Days of Defiance: Sumter, Secession, and the Coming of the Civil War

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9780679768821: Days of Defiance: Sumter, Secession, and the Coming of the Civil War
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“Illuminating and well-written. . . . Deserves a place in the highest ranks of Civil War scholarship.”—The Cleveland Plain Dealer 

In November 1860, telegraph lines carried the news that Abraham Lincoln had been elected president. Over the next five months the United States drifted, stumbled, and finally plunged into the most destructive war this country has ever faced. With a masterful eye for telling detail, Maury Klein provides fascinating new insights into the period from the election of Abraham Lincoln to the shelling of Fort Sumter.

Klein brings the key players in the tragedy unforgettably to life: from the vacillating lame-duck President Buchanan, to the taciturn, elusive, and relatively unknown Abraham Lincoln; from Secretary of State Seward carrying on his own private negotiations with the South, to Major Robert Anderson sitting in his island fortress awaiting reinforcements. Never has this immensely significant moment in our national story been so intelligently of so spellbindingly related.

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Review:

Maury Klein's knack for words shows up on the first page of this book: "How could the oldest, deadliest, most divisive conflict of a proud nation come down, after decades of bitter strife, to a dispute over an insignificant fort squatting on a hunk of rock in the harbor of the South's oldest and most defiant city?" Klein, a history professor at the University of Rhode Island, goes on to answer this question in lively prose. The Fort Sumter saga, of course, has been told well by others, but Klein makes the tale worth reading again.

About the Author:

Maury Klein is renowned as one of the finest historians of American business and economy. He is the author of many books, including A Call to Arms: Mobilizing America for World War II; The Power Makers: Steam, Electricity, and the Men Who Invented Modern America; and Rainbow's End: The Crash of 1929. He is Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Rhode Island. Klein lives in Saunderstown, Rhode Island.

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9780679447474: Days of Defiance: Sumter, Secession, and the Coming of the Civil War

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ISBN 10:  0679447474 ISBN 13:  9780679447474
Publisher: Knopf, 1997
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