xxix, 543 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
9780812998368 hardcover 0812998367 hardcover 9780812998375 electronic book
Other Standard Identifiers
"When Abraham Lincoln was assassinated and Vice-President Andrew Johnson became 'the Accidental President,' it was a dangerous time in America. Congress was divided over how the Union should be reunited: when and how the secessionist South should regain full status, whether former Confederates should be punished, and when and whether black men should be given the vote. Devastated by war and resorting to violence, many white Southerners hoped to restore a pre-Civil War society, if without slavery, and the pugnacious Andrew Johnson seemed to share their goals. With the unchecked power of executive orders, Johnson ignored Congress, pardoned rebel leaders, promoted white supremacy, opposed civil rights, and called Reconstruction unnecessary. It fell to Congress to stop the American president who acted like a king. With profound insights and making use of extensive research, Brenda Wineapple dramatically evokes this pivotal period in American history, when the country was rocked by the first-ever impeachment of a sitting American president. And she brings to vivid life the extraordinary characters who brought that impeachment forward: the willful Johnson and his retinue of advocates--including complicated men like Secretary of State William Seward--as well as the equally complicated visionaries committed to justice and equality for all, like Thaddeus Stevens, Charles Sumner, Frederick Douglass, and Ulysses S. Grant. Theirs was a last-ditch, patriotic, and Constitutional effort to render the goals of the Civil War into reality and to make the Union free, fair, and whole."--Dust jacket. When Lincoln was assassinated and Andrew Johnson became President, a fraught time in America became perilous. Congress was divided over how Reconstruction should be accomplished, and the question of black suffrage. The South roiled with violence, lawlessness, and efforts to preserve the pre-Civil War society. Johnson had no interest in following Lincoln's agenda. With the unchecked power of executive orders, Johnson pardoned the rebel states and their leaders, opposed black suffrage, and called Reconstruction unnecessary. Wineapple examines Johnson's impeachment-- the first in American history-- and shows that it was a last-ditch, patriotic effort make the goals of the Civil War a reality, and to make the Union one again. -- adapted from jacket
Bibliography, etc. Note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 501-514) and index.
Formatted Contents Note
Part one: Battle lines of peace. Mars ; Magnificent intentions ; The accidental president ; Moses ; The South victorious ; Not a "white man's government" ; Reconciliation ; Civil rights ; Mutual concessions, mutual hostilities ; Andy's swing around the circle ; Resistance Part two: Impeachment. Tenure of office ; A revolutionary period ; The Rubicon is crossed ; The president's message ; A blundering, roaring Lear ; Striking at a king ; Impeachment ; The high court of impeachment ; All the president's men ; The trial, first rounds ; The trial ; The beginning of the end Part three: Verdict. Cankered and crude ; Point-blank lying ; The crowning struggle ; The cease of majesty ; Let us have peace Part four: Denouement. Human rights.