A field of blood book

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a field of blood book

The Field of Blood | Joanne B. Freeman | Macmillan

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Published 17.01.2019

Book Review: The Field Of Blood

‘The Field of Blood’ Review: When Congress Came to Blows

Freeman Illustrated. Freeman uncovers the brawls, stabbings, pummelings and duel threats that occurred among United States congressmen during the three decades just before the Civil War. Freeman, a professor of history and American studies at Yale, mines a valuable document that gives us a front-row view of the action: the volume diary that the political observer Benjamin Brown French kept between and his death in A New Hampshirite who worked as a lawyer and journalist before turning to politics, French moved in to Washington, where he served as a congressional clerk for 14 years. After that, he stayed close to the political scene, working as a part-time clerk, a lobbyist and a buildings commissioner under three presidents. Originally a Jacksonian Democrat, French became an antislavery Republican loyal to Lincoln, whom he served as commissioner of public buildings.

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Violence in Congress and the Road to Civil War

The previously untold story of the violence in Congress that helped spark the Civil War. Freeman recovers the long-lost story of physical violence on the floor of the U. 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.



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  2. Freeman is a meticulous researcher and a vivid writer, and The Field of Blood makes for entertaining reading." ―Eric Foner, The London Review of Books.

  3. Historians of political culture illuminate the human realities of governing and legislating.

  4. Editorial Reviews. Review. A New York Times Notable Book of An NPR Best Book of One of Smithsonian's Best History Books of Finalist for.

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