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Publisher's Summary

Biographer and historian Stephen B. Oates tells the story of the coming of the American Civil War through the voices and perspectives of 13 principal players in the drama, from Thomas Jefferson and Henry Clay in the Missouri crisis of 1820 down to Stephen A. Douglas, Jefferson Davis, and Abraham Lincoln in the final crisis of 1861. This innovative approach shows the crucial role that perception of events played in the sectional hostilities that pushed the United States irreversibly toward a national calamity.

Nat Turner, William Lloyd Garrison, John C. Calhoun, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Beecher Stowe, George Fitzhugh, John Brown, and Mary Boykin Chesnut also provide perspectives. Each character takes a turn onstage, narrating critical events in which he or she was a major participant or eyewitness. For the dramatic monologues, Oates draws on the actual words of his speakers - in letters, speeches, interviews, recollections, and other recorded utterances - and then simulates how, were they reminiscing aloud, they would describe these events in which they were the principal actors or witnesses. All the events and themes reflect the historical record.

©1997 Stephen B. Oates (P)2021 Tantor
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

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Straight From The Horse's Mouth

Hear all the major protagonists tell you what is going on from their own points of view. First person American history at its best. All the narration was spot on. These 41 years tell you what our country was all about. Unfortunately the legacy of the era holds many truths still for us today.

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Just buy it!

Excellent! I really enjoyed it. To be sure it’s an unusual format. The March towards the Civil War is told in the first person by 13 key players (Stephen Douglas is hysterical). I wasn’t sure I would like the format at first, but I must say I throughly enjoyed it. Actually, I would love to see this approach taken with other subjects.

Buy this book. You won’t regret it!

2 people found this helpful