1861: The Civil War Awakening by Adam Goodheart.
A gripping and original account of how the Civil War began and a second American revolution unfolded, setting Abraham Lincoln on the path to greatness and millions of slaves on the road to freedom.
An epic of courage and heroism beyond the battlefields, 1861 introduces us to a heretofore little-known cast of Civil War heroes—among them an acrobatic militia colonel, an explorer’s wife, an idealistic band of German immigrants, a regiment of New York City firemen, a community of Virginia slaves, and a young college professor who would one day become president.
Their stories take us from the corridors of the White House to the slums of Manhattan, from the waters of the Chesapeake to the deserts of Nevada, from Boston Common to Alcatraz Island, vividly evoking the Union at its moment of ultimate crisis and decision. Hailed as “exhilarating….Inspiring…Irresistible…” by The New York Times Book Review, Adam Goodheart’s bestseller 1861 is an important addition to the Civil War canon.
Includes black-and-white photos and illustrations.
In the closing days of 1862, just three weeks before Emancipation, the administration of Abraham Lincoln commissioned a code setting forth the laws of war for US armies. It announced standards of conduct in wartime—concerning torture, prisoners of war, civilians, spies, and slaves—that shaped the course of the Civil War. By the twentieth century, Lincoln’s code would be incorporated into the Geneva Conventions and form the basis of a new international law of war.
In this deeply original book, John Fabian Witt tells the fascinating history of the laws of war and its eminent cast of characters—Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Madison, and Lincoln—as they crafted the articles that would change the course of world history.
Witt’s engrossing exploration of the dilemmas at the heart of the laws of war is a prehistory of our own era. Lincoln’s Code reveals that the heated controversies of twenty-first-century warfare have roots going back to the beginnings of American history. It is a compelling story of ideals under pressure and a landmark contribution to our understanding of the American experience.
From the acclaimed Civil War historian, a brilliant new history—the most intimate and richly readable account we have had—of the climactic three-day battle of Gettysburg (July 1–3, 1863), which draws the reader into the heat, smoke, and grime of Gettysburg alongside the ordinary soldier, and depicts the combination of personalities and circumstances that produced the greatest battle of the Civil War, and one of the greatest in human history.
Of the half-dozen full-length histories of the battle of Gettysburg written over the last century, none dives down so closely to the experience of the individual soldier, or looks so closely at the sway of politics over military decisions, or places the battle so firmly in the context of nineteenth-century military practice. Allen C. Guelzo shows us the face, the sights, and the sounds of nineteenth-century combat: the lay of the land, the fences and the stone walls, the gunpowder clouds that hampered movement and vision; the armies that caroused, foraged, kidnapped, sang, and were so filthy they could be smelled before they could be seen; the head-swimming difficulties of marshaling massive numbers of poorly trained soldiers, plus thousands of animals and wagons, with no better means of communication than those of Caesar and Alexander.
What emerges is an untold story, from the trapped and terrified civilians in Gettysburg’s cellars to the insolent attitude of artillerymen, from the taste of gunpowder cartridges torn with the teeth to the sounds of marching columns, their tin cups clanking like an anvil chorus. Guelzo depicts the battle with unprecedented clarity, evoking a world where disoriented soldiers and officers wheel nearly blindly through woods and fields toward their clash, even as poetry and hymns spring to their minds with ease in the midst of carnage. Rebel soldiers look to march on Philadelphia and even New York, while the Union struggles to repel what will be the final invasion of the North. One hundred and fifty years later, the cornerstone battle of the Civil War comes vividly to life as a national epic, inspiring both horror and admiration.
WINNER OF THE BANCROFT PRIZE
One morning in 1805, off a remote island in the South Pacific, Captain Amasa Delano, a New England seal hunter, climbed aboard a distressed Spanish ship carrying scores of West Africans he thought were slaves. They weren't. In fact, they were performing an elaborate ruse, having risen up earlier and slaughtered most of the crew and officers. When Delano, an idealistic, anti-slavery republican, finally realized the deception-that the men and women he thought were humble slaves were actually running the ship-he rallied his crew to respond with explosive violence.
Drawing on research on four continents, The Empire of Necessity is the untold history of this extraordinary event and its bloody aftermath. Delano's blindness that day has already inspired one masterpiece-Herman Melville's Benito Cereno. Now historian Greg Grandin returns to these dramatic events to paint an indelible portrait of a world in the throes of revolution, providing a new transnational history of slavery in the Americas-and capturing the clash of peoples, economies, and faiths that was the New World in the early 1800s.
In This Arab Time: The Pursuit of Deliverance by Fouad Ajami. With @samueltadros, Hudson Institute.
"In this collection of bold and wide-ranging essays, Fouad Ajami offers his views on the Middle East, commenting on the state of affairs in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Egypt and more. He brings into focus the current struggles of the region through detailed historical standpoints and a highly personal perspective.
The author discusses such landmark past events as the Algerian civil war, the state of the Arab world shortly after 9/11, and the pan-Arab awakening that began in 2011, as well as current events such as the Syrian rebellion and the repercussions of its brutal response from Bashar al-Assad. In addition, he sheds new light on some of the significant players in the Arab world, past and present, from Naguib Mahfouz, the Nobel laureate of the Arabs, to Ziad Jarrah—the terrorist who is thought to have been at the controls of the plane forced down by its heroic passengers in Shanksville, Pennsylvania on 9/11."
The Churchills: In Love and War by Mary S. Lovell.
The epic story of one of England's greatest families, focusing on the towering figure of Winston Churchill.
The first Duke of Marlborough (1650-1722) was a soldier of such genius that a lavish palace, Blenheim, was built to honor his triumphs. Succeeding generations of Churchills sometimes achieved distinction but also included profligates and womanizers, and were saddled with the ruinous upkeep of Blenheim. The family fortunes were revived in the nineteenth century by the huge dowries of New York society beauties Jennie Jerome (Winston's mother) and Consuelo Vanderbilt (wife to Winston's cousin).
Mary S. Lovell brilliantly recounts the triumphant political and military campaigns, the construction of great houses, the domestic tragedies, and the happy marriage of Winston to Clementine Hosier set against the disastrous unions of most of his family, which ended in venereal disease, papal annulment, clinical depression, and adultery.
The Churchills were an extraordinary family: ambitious, impecunious, impulsive, brave, and arrogant. Winston―recently voted "The Greatest Briton"―dominates them all. His failures and triumphs are revealed in the context of a poignant and sometimes tragic private life.
"...When Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809 there were fewer than 3,000 Jews in the United States. By the time he died there were 150,000. Many of Lincoln’s contemporaries were alarmed by this development. Anti-Semitism, like the plague, had spread from Christian Europe to the New World, but Lincoln, a staunch Christian Republican, stood up for the Jews, much in the same way he would for African-Americans.
Lincoln was a devote student of the Bible and often quoted from the Old Testament in his public speeches. Lincoln rejected the notion held by many Christians of the time that the Jews were responsible for killing the Son of God. He made it a point to treat the Jews with respect right from the beginning of his career. Lincoln boasted many Jewish friends, often represented them in his law practice, and even appointed Jews to offices in his administration. Many Jews served as President Lincoln’s personal advisors."
A number of Lincoln’s generals regarded the Jews as hostile intruders to the North American continent and tried to have them expelled. General Ulysses Grant tried to force them out by issuing an edict barring Jews from selling goods to Union soldiers. Lincoln would have none of it, and confronting his commanding general immediately rescinded the shameful order.
When the Union Army wanted to “appoint Christian Chaplains to care for the spiritual needs of our brave soldiers,” Lincoln insisted on also appointing Jews to serve as chaplains to the army, something that had never been done before. Lincoln then signed the act into law and Jewish chaplains have been serving in the US Armed Forces ever since.
It was Lincoln who was the first to acknowledge the need to recognize Judaism as an official religion of the United States. At the time it was common to call the United States a “Christian Nation.” In order to make sure that the growing Jewish population also be included, Lincoln insisted that America be called “a nation under God.”
In 1863 Lincoln delivered his Emancipation Proclamation declaring that “all slaves under the Confederacy were from then on forever free.” Shortly afterwards, Lincoln met with a Canadian Christian Zionist named Henry Wentworth Monk who explained to him that Jews who were being oppressed in Russia and Turkey also need to be emancipated "by restoring them to their national home in Palestine."..."
The Moral Superiority of Capitalism; Dr. Deirdre McCloskey on the Lie of the Left & Why The Deplorable's Win
The book explores the reputational rise of the bourgeoisie, that is, a Bourgeois Revaluation overtaking Holland and then Britain from Shakespeare’s time to Adam Smith. It made the modern world, by giving a reason for ordinary people to innovate.
The material changes—empire, trade—were shown in Bourgeois Dignity(2010) to be wholly inadequate to explain the explosion of incomes 1800 to the present. What pushed the world into frenetic innovation were the slowly changing ideas 1600–1848 about the urban middle class and about their material and institutional innovations.
A class long scorned by barons and bishops, and regulated into stagnation by its very own guilds and city councils and state-sponsored monopolies, came to be treasured—at least by the standard of earlier, implacable scorn—from 1600 to the present, first in Holland and then in Britain and then the wider world. And when the Amsterdamers after 1600 or so, and the Londoners and Bostonians after 1700 or so, commenced innovating, more people commenced admiring them.
The new valuation of the bourgeoisie, a new dignity and liberty for ordinary people was a change peculiar to northwestern Europe in how people applied to economic behavior the seven old words of virtue—prudence, justice, courage, temperance, faith, hope, and love. With more or less good grace the people around the North Sea began to accept the outcome of trade-tested betterment. Then people did so in Europe generally and its offshoots, and finally in our own day in China and India.
Most came for the first time to regard creative destruction as just, and were courageous about responding to it, and hopeful in promoting it. Most people, with the exception of the angry clerisy of artists and intellectuals (and even them only after 1848), stopped hating the bourgeoisie as much as their ancestors had for so very long before. Many started loving it.
In consequence during a century or two the northwest Europeans became shockingly richer in goods and in spirit. That is, not economics but “humanomics” explains our riches.