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1858: Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant and the War They Failed to See

by Bruce Chadwick

1858 explores the events and personalities of the year that would send the America's North and South on a collision course culminating in the slaughter of 630,000 of the nation's young men, a greater number than died in any other American conflict. The record of that year is told in seven separate stories, each participant, though unaware, is linked to the oncoming tragedy by the central, though ineffective, figure of that time, the man in the White House, President James Buchanan. The seven figures who suddenly leap onto history's stage and shape the great moments to come are: Jefferson Davis, who lived a life out of a Romantic novel, and who almost died from herpes simplex of the eye; the disgruntled Col. Robert E. Lee, who had to decide whether he would stay in the military or return to Virginia to run his family's plantation; William Tecumseh Sherman, one of the great Union generals, who had been reduced to running a roadside food stand in Kansas; the uprising of eight abolitionists in Oberlin, Ohio, who freed a slave apprehended by slave catchers, and set off a fiery debate across America; a dramatic speech by New York Senator William Seward in Rochester, which foreshadowed the civil war and which seemed to solidify his hold on the 1860 Republican Presidential nomination; John Brown's raid on a plantation in Missouri, where he freed several slaves, and marched them eleven hundred miles to Canada, to be followed a year later by his catastrophic attack on Harper's Ferry; and finally, Illinois Senator Steven Douglas' seven historic debates with little-known Abraham Lincoln in the Illinois Senate race, that would help bring the ambitious and determined Lincoln to the Presidency of the United States. As these stories unfold, the reader learns how the country reluctantly stumbled towards that moment in April 1861 when the Southern army opened fire on Fort Sumter.

The First American Army: The Untold Story of George Washington and the Men Behind America's First Fight for Freedom

by Bruce Chadwick

This is the first book that offers a you-are-there look at the American Revolution through the eyes of the enlisted men. Through searing portraits of individual soldiers, Bruce Chadwick, author of George Washington's War, brings alive what it was like to serve then in the American army. With interlocking stories of ordinary Americans, he evokes what it meant to face brutal winters, starvation, terrible homesickness and to go into battle against the much-vaunted British regulars and their deadly Hessian mercenaries. The reader lives through the experiences of those terrible and heroic times when a fifteen-year-old fifer survived the Battle of Bunker Hill, when Private Josiah Atkins escaped unscathed from the bloody battles in New York and when a doctor and a minister shared the misery of the wounded and dying. These intertwining stories are drawn from their letters and never-before-quoted journals found in the libraries belonging to the camps where Washington quartered his troops during those desperate years.

The General and Mrs. Washington: The Untold Story of a Marriage and a Revolution

by Bruce Chadwick

A biography of the George and Martha Washington that establishes their place in history and captures their personalities and the deep love they had for each other. The stunning impact of their marriage on the Revolution is greater than you could have ever imagined. No biography of George Washington and his life together with his wife Martha has ever been published, and this is one of the great love stories. It tells their personal story, one often filled with tragedy. Martha had four children, George none. He became the stepfather to her offspring. Her daughter, an epileptic, died in his arms as he tried to save her. Their son Jackie, 28, a soldier, died at Yorktown from malaria. Several times in their life together, Martha saved George's life when he became mortally ill. She joined him in his winter camps to bring him comfort and grace. Every morning they would have breakfast together for one hour and the order was given that no one could interrupt them, no matter what the reason. Though the richest woman in Virginia, Martha joined her husband in his revolutionary cause. The book will also explain why these twopeople of considerable privilege committed acts of treason and rebelled against the King and England.

The General & Mrs. Washington

by Bruce Chadwick

Until now the story of the American Revolution has been incomplete. Many have told the stories of blood and battle, of heroes and traitors, but no one has told the tale of the union that helped form the Union. The history of America's First Family is inexorably tied to the workings of the revolution. Martha's son Jackie (she had four children and George had none) was 28 when he died at Yorktown. George's own life would have been lost on multiple occasions if not for Martha. Only she could bring comfort and grace to the winter camps and it was in this manner that the revolutionaries came to see Martha not only as a kindred spirit, but as a beloved heroine. Here is the story of the fateful marriage of the richest woman in Virginia and the man who could have been king. In telling their story, Chadwick explains not only their remarkable devotion to each other, but also why the wealthiest couple in Virginia became revolutionaries who risked the loss of not only their vast estates, but also their very lives.

George Washington's War: The Forging of a Revolutionary Leader and the American Presidency

by Bruce Chadwick

Drawing on archival and other sources, Chadwick (American history, Rutgers U.) offers a new perspective on the well-known story of the plight of General Washington and his men at Valley Forge. He argues that the future president developed a model of leadership for dealing with national emergencies when he campaigned to secure emergency supplies for his troops. Includes period illustrations. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

"I Am Murdered": George Wythe, Thomas Jefferson, and the Killing That Shocked a New Nation

by Bruce Chadwick

He signed the Declaration of Independence, represented Virginia at the Constitutional Convention, and became America's first professor of law. With his close friend and former pupil Thomas Jefferson, who once described him as a "second father," he wrote an entire new legal code for the State of Virginia. At the age of eighty in 1806, George Wythe was loved, admired, and respected by all who knew him--all but one, that is. In I Am Murdered, celebrated historian Bruce Chadwick tells the grisly, fascinating, and often astounding tale of Wythe's murder and America's very first "trial of the century." Brimming with fascinating details of early nineteenth-century medicine, forensic science, and legal issues, this fast-moving account features compelling portraits of all major players in the case and asks penetrating questions about the many controversies that swirled around the trial. George Wythe lived long enough to accuse his grandnephew George Wythe Sweeney of poisoning him and two other members of his household. Why did three prominent doctors, all friends of Wythe, insist that he hadn't been poisoned at all? Why did Wythe repeatedly refuse to press charges against Sweeney, who had forged Wythe's name on checks and stolen and sold many of his rare and precious books? Wythe's maid, Lydia Broadnax, the sole survivor of the poisoning, was also the only eyewitness to the crime. Her account was entirely credible, and she was widely recognized as an honest, reliable, and honorable woman. Why was she forbidden to testify at the trial? The answers to these questions and many more become lenses through which to view a city and a nation at a crucial and formative period of their history. Among the many distinctive figures you'll meet in this strange and chilling true story are the two attorneys who came to Sweeney's defense. Both had been good friends of Wythe and were certain of the young man's guilt, but each man had a powerful personal motive to work tirelessly for Sweeney's acquittal. One was a former attorney general of the United States, and the other was destined to become the longest-sewing attorney general in American history: Complete with a satisfying account of Wythe's ultimate revenge and a poignant depiction of his deep and abiding friendship with Jefferson, I Am Murdered is part American tragedy, part CSI circa 1806, and all intriguing examination of the unjust death of a Founding Father.

James and Dolley Madison

by Bruce Chadwick

This revealing new portrait of James and Dolley Madison introduces the reader to America's first power couple. Using recently uncovered troves of letters at the University of Virginia, among other sources, historian Bruce Chadwick has been able to reconstruct the details of the Madisons' personal and political lives. Chadwick argues that Madison was not a boring, average president, as other historians have characterized him, but a vibrant, tough leader--and a very successful commander in chief in the War of 1812. He contends that Madison, the architect of the Constitution, owed much of his success to the political savvy of his charismatic, much younger wife, whose parties and backdoor politicking make for remarkable stories. And Dolley, through her many social skills, created the dynamic role of First Lady that we know today. Despite their glamorous lifestyle, behind the scenes, the Madisons struggled with family drama: James and Dolley's constant funding of their charming but sociopathic son's misadventures ultimately led to their own financial ruin. Blending the personal and the political, this is a fascinating profile of a couple whose life together contributed so much to the future course of our nation.From the Hardcover edition.

Lincoln For President

by Bruce Chadwick

The untold story of the drama, controversy, and incredible political genius of Lincoln's first presidential campaignIn May of 1860, Republican delegates gathered in Chicago for their second-ever convention, with the full expectation of electing William Seward their next presidential candidate. But waiting in the wings was a dark horse no one suspected, putting the final touches on a plan that would not only result in a most unexpected candidacy, but the most brilliant, innovative, and daring presidential campaign in American history. He went by the name of Lincoln. Lincoln for President is the incredible story of how Lincoln overcame overwhelming odds to not only capture his party's nomination but win the presidency. His amazingly modern strategy included the first media campaign blitz, convention tactics that originated the concept of "Chicago politics," and a deft manipulation of the electoral college. His bold tactics changed forever the way presidential campaigns are won...not to mention the course of American history. PRAISE FOR BRUCE CHADWICKTriumvirate:"Dr. Chadwick tells an exciting story... His analysis will provoke further debate about this momentous period in American history. " Dr. Paul Clemens, Chairman of the Rutgers University Department of History"In this remarkable new book, Bruce Chadwick reminds us of the three extraordinary men who worked state by state, individual by individual, to ensure passage of the Constitution. It's a fascinating tale, well told. " Terry Golway, author of Washington's General and Ronald Reagan's America 1858:"This book is a gem. " Curled Up With a Good Book "A gripping narrative. " Kurt Piehler, author of Remembering War the American Way The First American Army:"To understand the Revolutionary War, really understand it, read this book. " Dave R. Palmer, Lieutenant General, U. S. Army (Ret); author of The Way of the Fox George Washington's War:"Chadwick pierces the fog of myth that has always surrounded our nation's father. " Michael Aaron Rockland, professor, Rutgers University

The Reel Civil War: Mythmaking in American Film

by Bruce Chadwick

Arguing that film consistently distorts and sanitizes the past, Chadwick (history and film, Rutgers U.) details the distortions and myths purveyed by film from the KKK to the 1993 film in which actor Richard Gere plays a former slave-owner who is miraculously transformed into a populist who heroically drives off the KKK from a racially integrated community. For the bulk of film's history, myths have portrayed a myth of the underdog Southerner and demeaned African Americans, but new "politically correct," yet still sanitized, versions have begun to crop up in Hollywood productions. In the end, Chadwick seems to believe, despite changes in the treatment of the Civil war on screen, the "reel" still fails to be "real." Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Triumvirate: The Story of the Unlikely Alliance That Saved the Constitution and United the Nation

by Bruce Chadwick

Triumvirate is the dramatic story of the uniting of the American nation and the unlikely alliance at the heart of it all.

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