The Impeachers by Brenda Wineapple

Staff Pick

The challenge of reuniting the nation after the Civil War was as fraught as the confl ict itself. As Brenda Wineapple, award-winning author of Ecstatic Nation, shows in her detailed history, The Impeachers (Random House, $32), Congress was divided over questions including restoring the South to its ante-bellum status, punishing former Confederates, and granting the vote to freed Blacks. President Andrew Johnson, however, felt that Reconstruction was unnecessary, opposed civil rights, and, flouting Congress, invoked executive orders to swiftly pardon the rebel soldiers. In response, the House of Representatives voted to impeach him—a decision not taken lightly. Retracing this unprecedented event step-by-step, Wineapple examines questions of the separation of powers and the meaning of the nation’s core values, as well as bringing to life a host of fascinating and complex figures such as William Seward, Thaddeus Stevens, Charles Sumner, Frederick Douglass, and
Ulysses S. Grant.

The Impeachers: The Trial of Andrew Johnson and the Dream of a Just Nation By Brenda Wineapple Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812998368
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Random House - May 21st, 2019

The Second Founding by Eric Foner

Staff Pick

For all the faults of the Reconstruction period, which failed in its post-Civil War attempt to put America on a racially egalitarian footing, it did produce three very significant amendments to the Constitution, the full promise of which has yet to be realized. That’s the basic argument made by Eric Foner, a Bancroft- and Pulitzer Prize-winning scholar, in his compelling and deeply researched The Second Founding: How the Civil War and Reconstruction Remade the Constitution (W.W. Norton, $26.95). The 13th Amendment abolished slavery, the 14th constitutionalized the principle of birthright citizenship and equality before the law, and the 15th aimed to secure Black male suffrage. But as pivotal as these measures were in incorporating the principle of equality in the Constitution, they were subsequently undermined by Supreme Court decisions and state actions. The Jim Crow system followed, and only decades later, well into the 20th century, did the U.S. make renewed strides toward realizing the concepts of racial equality, due process, and individual rights reflected in the Reconstruction amendments. Foner argues that even more potential remains in these Constitutional provisions to realize the promise of equal citizenship for all.

The Second Founding: How the Civil War and Reconstruction Remade the Constitution By Eric Foner Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393652574
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 17th, 2019

The British Are Coming by Rick Atkinson

Staff Pick

As he did in his trilogy about the Allied triumph in Europe during World War II, Rick Atkinson brings extensive research, keen attention to detail, and narrative elegance to the telling of yet another
grand conflict—this time, the American Revolution. The British Are Coming: The War for America, Lexington to Princeton, 1775-1777 (Holt, $40) is the first of three volumes that Atkinson plans to write about the war for America, and it’s another magnifi cent history, vividly and commandingly narrated, weaving together the perspectives of many characters high and low along with meaningful assessments of the action. Although much has been written about the American Revolution, no one had done a start-to-finish battle history for some time, and the actual experience of the war hadn’t
been made real to readers for many years—until now.

The British Are Coming: The War for America, Lexington to Princeton, 1775-1777 (The Revolution Trilogy #1) By Rick Atkinson, John Sterling (Editor) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781627790437
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Henry Holt and Co. - May 14th, 2019