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The Trial of Andrew Johnson and the Dream of a Just Nation
by Brenda Wineapple
- ISBN: 9780812998368 (0812998367)
- Format: hardcover, 576 pages
- Characters: Abraham Lincoln, Walt Whitman, Mark Twain, Frederick Douglass, William H. Seward
- Language: english
- Author: Brenda Wineapple
- Publisher: Random House
- Release date: May 21, 2019
- Genres: history, politics, presidents, biography, historical
About The Book
America’s first presidential impeachment: A prize-winning author tells the story of the efforts by heroic citizens to preserve the victories of the Civil War by removing a bigoted president who ruled as if he were king.
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, just without slavery, and the pugnacious Andrew Johnson, who was no Lincoln, 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. Congress had to stop the American president who acted like a king.
With her extensive research and profound insights, Brenda Wineapple dramatically restores this pivotal period in American history, when the country, on the heels of a brutal war, 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.
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