Taking a Stand: Portraits from the Southern Secession Movement

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9781572492103: Taking a Stand: Portraits from the Southern Secession Movement
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Stories of how five Southerners came to their own decisions to abandon the Union.

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Occasionally, straight narrative history seems heaven-sent. Case in point: Cisco's unpretentious chronicle of the Old South's argument for secession, presented in successive profiles of early proponent Thomas Cooper, major agitator Barnwell Rhett, and the reluctant secessionists James Henley Thornwell (a religious apologist for slavery), ex-president John Tyler, and North Carolina congressman John A. Gilmer. Thornwell foresaw how calamitous secession would prove, Tyler strove heroically to keep the Upper South in the Union, and ardent unionist Gilmer, whom Lincoln offered a cabinet post, agreed to secession only after Lincoln called for troops. Cisco tells each man's story until the next comes to the fore, and he enlivens each big profile with brief sketches of other major figures, such as John Randolph and John C. Calhoun. Secession's transformation from a reaction primarily against high tariffs to one primarily for slavery appears all too plainly, without any authorial underlining. Just as obvious are the virtues and strengths of the five main subjects and the rationality, in the abstract, of secession. Top-drawer popular history. Ray Olson

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9781572491571: Taking a Stand: Portraits from the Southern Secession Movement

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ISBN 10:  1572491574 ISBN 13:  9781572491571
Publisher: White Mane Pub, 1998
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