By the time his body hung from the gallows for his crimes at Harper's Ferry, abolitionists had made John Brown a "holy martyr" in the fight against Southern slave owners. But Northern hatred for Southerners had been long in the making. Northern rage was born of the conviction that New England, whose spokesmen and militia had begun the American Revolution, should have been the leader of the new nation. Instead, they had been displaced by Southern "slavocrats" like Thomas Jefferson. And Northern envy only exacerbated the South's greatest fear: race war. In the sixty years preceding the outbreak of civil war, Northern and Southern fanatics ramped up the struggle over slavery. By the time they had become intractable enemies, only the tragedy of a bloody civil war could save the Union. In this riveting and character-driven history, one of America's most respected historians traces the "disease in the public mind"-distortions of reality that seized large numbers of Americans-in the decades-long run-up to the Civil War.
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by Thomas E. Ricks
by Glenda Elizabeth Gilmore, Thomas J. Sugrue
by Thomas E. Mann, Norman J. Ornstein
by Thomas Cahill
by Evan Thomas
by Peggy Thomas
by Scott Martelle
by William Rosen
by Ted Widmer
by Robert V. Remini
"Fleming gives a brief history of American slavery and the lead-up to the Civil War, which he argues could have been avoided but for the Southern dread of a slave revolt and the Abolitionists' intransigent hatred of Southerners. Narrator William Hughes has a genial voice, and he reads with expression and energy. But Fleming's book is a polemic, and some of his opinions may strike listeners as controversial, questionable, or even repugnant. Hughes seems so determined to make the narration lively that he runs the danger of making Fleming sound intemperate. A sloppiness in the reading doesn't help--Hughes pronounces all foreign words, and even some less common English words, awkwardly or incorrectly. It's a clear rendering of the text but not a helpful or distinguished one. W.M. (c) AudioFile 2013, Portland, Maine"
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