The Field of Blood: Violence in Congress and the Road to Civil War

trice

Lt. Colonel
Joined
May 2, 2006
Messages
11,445
#1
I just saw an interview with the author of this book:
The Field of Blood: Violence in Congress and the Road to Civil War by Joanne B. Freeman, 2018, Farrar, Straus and Giroux​

Freeman is a professor of history at Yale University (https://www.joannebfreeman.com/)

I have not read the book, but the interview made me think it would be an interesting and useful reference.
 

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Joshism

Sergeant Major
Joined
Apr 30, 2012
Messages
2,025
Location
Jupiter, FL
#5
I finished this book recently.

On the one hand I was kind of disappointed. There's far less traditional violence (beatings/duels/etc) than I expected. The author also makes extensive use of B. B. French's diaries as a source (which is excellent) but goes so far as to make him a major character in the narrative (which I thought was a bit tangential).

I think a more accurate description of the book would be the story of Southern bullying, with the threat of violence, in antebellum Congress and the impact of Southern's complicated code of honor. One of the most significant things about the Republican party, especially it's radicals, was their unwillingness to back down in the face of Southern bullying. And the Southern reaction to this was, quite hypocritically, to cry foul oppression. (Site note: Southern sympathizers will not like this book.)

I'd recommend it.
 



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