This program is read by the author.
The previously untold story of the violence in Congress that helped spark the Civil War
In The Field of Blood, Joanne B. Freeman recovers the long-lost story of physical violence on the floor of the U.S. Congress. Drawing on an extraordinary range of sources, she shows that the Capitol was rife with conflict in the decades before the Civil War. Legislative sessions were often punctuated by mortal threats, canings, flipped desks, and all-out slugfests. When debate broke down, congressmen drew pistols and waved Bowie knives. One representative even killed another in a duel. Many were beaten and bullied in an attempt to intimidate them into compliance, particularly on the issue of slavery.
These fights didn't happen in a vacuum. Freeman's dramatic accounts of brawls and thrashings tell a larger story of how fisticuffs and journalism, and the powerful emotions they elicited, raised tensions between North and South and led toward war. In the process, she brings the antebellum Congress to life, revealing its rough realities—the feel, sense, and sound of it—as well as its nation-shaping import.
Funny, tragic, and rivetingly told, The Field of Blood offers a front-row view of congressional mayhem and sheds new light on the careers of John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay, and other luminaries, as well as introducing a host of lesser-known but no less fascinating men. The result is a fresh understanding of the workings of American democracy and the bonds of Union on the eve of their greatest peril.
by Joshua Kaplan
by Joshua B. Freeman
by Robert B. Reich
by Professor Timothy B. Shutt
"If you think the country is divided now, then this entertaining audiobook might give you pause. It tells the story of the violence that erupted on the floor of Congress in the run-up to the Civil War. Joanne B. Freeman, Yale professor and noted lecturer, narrates her own book using her classroom experience to accentuate what's important. Freeman's voice is clear and accessible, and she occasionally smiles, laughs at her own jokes, and varies her pitch and tone to propel the story forward. At times she does sound as though she's giving a lecture, but she quickly moves back into being a storyteller. She also swallows some words or drops the ends of sentences, but these are minor concerns. R.I.G. © AudioFile 2018, Portland, Maine"
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