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For five days in July 1863, at the height of the Civil War, New York City was under siege. Angry rioters burned draft offices, closed factories, destroyed railroad tracks and telegraph lines, and hunted policemen and soldiers. Before long, the rioters also turned their murderous wrath against the black community. In the end, at least 105 people were killed, making the draft riots the most violent insurrection in American history. Iver Bernstein tells the story of the New York City draft riots, detailing how what began as a demonstration against the first federal draft quickly expanded into a sweeping assault against local institutions and the personnel of Abraham Lincoln’s Republican Party as well as a grotesque race riot. In a tour de force of historical detection, Bernstein shows that to evaluate the significance of the riots we must enter the minds and experiences of a cast of characters: Irish and German immigrant workers, Wall Street businessmen who frantically debated whether to declare martial law, nervous politicians in Washington and at City Hall. An in-depth study of one of the most troubling and least understood crises in American history, The New York City Draft Riots is the first book to reveal the complex social, cultural, and political relations that made the bloody events of July 1863 possible.
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Iver Bernstein is Professor of History and African and African American Studies at Washington University in St. Louis.
“An original work in the historiography of Civil War America and labor history, and also synthesizes much of the current historical research. It stimulates and provokes. Most important, it recaptures much of the world we have lost.”—New York Times Book Review (New York Times Book Review)
“When Bernstein crosses historical genres, it’s an almost synesthetic pleasure. . . . The New York City Draft Riots establishes a world as it was lived in. Its outline shows clearly against the backdrop of our own populist racism, in what is still the unreconstructed North.”—Village Voice (Village Voice)
“An outstanding piece of social, economic, and political history, suggesting the benefits of integrating new and older historiography. . . . An excellent, revelatory book. . . . [Bernstein’s] writing is clear and his immense research shines on every page.”—Reviews in American History (Reviews in American History)
“Not since David Montgomery’s Beyond Equality (1967) has the relationship between Civil War politics and the social history of the urban-industrial North been explored so successfully as in this study.”—Journal of American History (Journal of American History)
“Bernstein has written not just a book about the New York City riots but a major analysis of the political and social structure of the mid-century metropolis in the midst of dynamic change as well. . . . This superb book will surely reshape the parameters of mid-century urban and social history.”—American Historical Review (American Historical Review)
"Bernstein has done a masterful job of researching and writing about complex events in New York over a period of three decades to describe the antecedents and consequences of the riots."—Russell K. Brown, Journal of America’s Military Past (Russell K. Brown Journal of America's Military Past)
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Book Description Bison Books, 2010. Paperback. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110803234538
Book Description Bison Books, 2010. Paperback. Condition: New. Brand New!. Seller Inventory # VIB0803234538
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Book Description Bison Books, 2010. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0803234538
Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # STRM-0803234538