A Disease in the Public Mind: A New Understanding of Why We Fought the Civil War

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9781470897444: A Disease in the Public Mind: A New Understanding of Why We Fought the Civil War

[MP3CD audiobook format in Vinyl case.]

By the time his body hung from the gallows for his crimes at Harper's Ferry, abolitionists had made John Brown a ''holy martyr'' in the fight against Southern slave owners. But Northern hatred for Southerners had been long in the making. Northern rage was born of the conviction that New England, whose spokesmen and militia had begun the American Revolution, should have been the leader of the new nation. Instead, they had been displaced by Southern ''slavocrats'' like Thomas Jefferson. And Northern envy only exacerbated the South's greatest fear: race war. In the sixty years preceding the outbreak of civil war, Northern and Southern fanatics ramped up the struggle over slavery. By the time they had become intractable enemies, only the tragedy of a bloody civil war could save the Union.

In this riveting and character-driven history, one of America's most respected historians traces the ''disease in the public mind'' -distortions of reality that seized large numbers of Americans - in the decades-long run-up to the Civil War.

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About the Author:

THOMAS FLEMING is the author of more than fifty books of historical fiction and nonfiction, including the New York Times bestseller The Officers' Wives. A distinguished historian, he has received numerous awards and honors, most recently the 2012 Gomez Mill House Pioneer Award.


Praise for A Disease in the Public Mind

"Lincoln would have liked this brilliant book. It lights a path through history to his great goal: an America united by understanding and forgiveness." Charles Bracelen Flood, author of 1864: Lincoln at the Gates of History

"For a different take on the Civil War...Thomas Fleming is a delightful and provocative historian." Washington Times

"A sweeping work" Civil War Book Review

Kirkus Reviews, March 2013
[A] thesis-driven tour.”

Booklist, 4/1
The prolific Fleming, for decades a fixture among American historians, pinpoints public opinion as the proximate origin of the war Making a plausible presentation of antebellum attitudes and illusions, Fleming is sure to spark lively discussion about the Civil War.”

Publishers Weekly, 3/18
[Fleming is] always a quirky, contrarian writer-historian.”

What Would the Founders Think?, 4/10/13
An interesting and readable book. In the course of Fleming's narrative he casts light on some little discussed related events.”

ForeWard, Summer 2013
Extremely captivating Ties together disparate people and events in revealing ways Fascinating and entertaining.”

Philadelphia Tribune, 5/23/13
Makes a convincing case that the polarization that divided the North and South and led to the Civil War began decades earlier than most historians are willing to admit A Disease in the Public Mind is an attempt to offer understanding and forgiveness for both sides of a war the continues to challenge the country's founding principles of liberty and equality.”

Garden Grove Journal, 5/23/13
[Fleming's] research is excellent This book presents an interesting perspective on the Civil War and its causes that is a clear departure from most of the literature on that subject.”

Huffington Post, 8/27/2013
With myth destroying zeal and careful research Fleming contends that a fanatical sense of moral superiority on the part of the abolitionists, an irrational fear of a race war by Southerners abetted by sinister political posturing, and a deeply biased media were the prime motivating factors in a war that by far surpassed the casualties of all wars combined since America was founded Fleming delves deeply into the hate and alarm engendered by both sides.”

New York Journal of Books, 5/7/13
Do we really need another book about the Civil War? Mr. Fleming makes a solid, compelling case in the affirmative. His narrative weaves new threads through this seminal event in American history. Through his exposition of largely ignored events he affords us a clearer, much more succinct picture of antebellum America Fleming's scholarship digs further into the prevailing Southern and Northern attitudes and mores of the period to draw into sharper relief the more widespread concerns, political and public, behind the Civil War Certainly this book will provoke controversy of some manner, but we can ill afford to take as gospel truth what has typically been passed off as general history A Disease in the Public Mind is not simply a thoughtful read, it is another call never to forget our sordid past, to face and conquer our fears.”

Wall Street Journal, 5/25/13
A great deal of fine scholarship Mr. Fleming more than supports his arguments Well-researched and well-written [A] superbly revisionist book.”

American History, August 2013
Thoughtful and provocative The prewar arc of divisive national self-destruction he describes looks eerily, unhappily familiar today.”
Roanoke Times, 4/26/13
A thoughtful examination of the root cause of that costly conflagration that interrupted the lives of the entire nation Fleming's trademark as an historian is his ability to tell a story without interjecting his bias or his own opinions, unless they are supported by facts. In this book, Fleming continues that tradition of professional observation Fleming's story about our disease in the public mind' is the very essence of good history.”

Library Journal, 5/1/13

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Thomas Fleming
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Fleming, Thomas/ To Be Announced (Narrator)
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ISBN 10: 147089744X ISBN 13: 9781470897444
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