By Brenda Wineapple

Brilliant in scope, Ecstatic Nation illuminates probably the most dramatic and momentous chapters in America's earlier, whilst the rustic dreamed immense, craved new lands and new freedom, and was once bitterly divided over its nice ethical unsuitable: slavery.
With a canvas of notable characters, akin to P. T. Barnum, Walt Whitman, Frederick Douglass, and L. C. Q. Lamar, Ecstatic Nation brilliantly balances cultural and political heritage: It's a riveting account of the sectional clash that preceded the Civil conflict, and it astutely chronicles the complicated aftermath of that conflict and Reconstruction, together with the promise that ladies might proportion in a new  definition of yankee citizenship. It takes us from photographic surveys of the Sierra Nevadas to the invention of gold within the South Dakota hills, and it signs the painful, exciting start of contemporary America.

An epic story through award-winning writer Brenda Wineapple, Ecstatic Nation lyrically and with actual originality captures the optimism, the disasters, and the tragic exuberance of a renewed Republic.

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Through 1886, the 12 months of his loss of life, he was once thought of a struggle felony by means of Southerners for his slash-and-burn Shenandoah crusade in Virginia in 1864—and, for that subject, for his radical abolitionism. Wounded within the neck at Bull Run, Hunter had served in short within the West, and in March 1862 he was once appointed commander of the Union’s division of the South, which consisted of sections of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, in addition to the tropical Sea Islands off the coast of South Carolina, which the Union forces had taken over. Treasury Secretary Chase dispatched govt brokers to extract the cotton plants (estimated at $2 million) and in addition appointed his buddy Edward Pierce to superintend the previous slaves. the rich white inhabitants had fled the Islands, abandoning, of their hurry, the cutlery at the desk, the linens within the cabinet, the pianos, the farm animals, the cotton plantation—and the slaves, approximately 10000 of them: extra contraband. Pierce, even though, refused to name these women and men “contraband. ” They have been freedmen and able to paintings, he stated. may they struggle? the subject of black volunteer regiments remained taboo. “Colored males have been more than enough to struggle less than Washington,” scoffed Frederick Douglass, “but they don't seem to be more than enough to struggle below McClellan. ” As early as November 1861, Secretary of struggle Cameron have been advocating the arming of freed slaves. Like Frémont, Cameron had attempted to avoid Lincoln by means of freeing a report back to the clicking prior to Lincoln might learn it. “It is as in actual fact a correct of the govt. to arm slaves, whilst it turns into priceless, because it is to exploit gunpowder taken from the enemy,” he wrote. “Whether it's expedient to take action is only an army query. ” Irate, Lincoln had ordered Cameron to retract the record, believing it to be untimely, as he had instructed the Frémonts, and politically destructive. It was once too overdue. Papers comparable to the Chicago Tribune stated that arming slaves will be impolitic in Kentucky—but now not arming them in Beaufort, South Carolina, used to be simply simple silly. And Henry James, Sr. , declared, “Every negro should be armed; it's a crying disgrace that the Govnt. doesn’t take the object in hand extra earnestly and dedicate itself to it. ” Cameron was once requested to go away the cupboard six weeks later; his tenure on the warfare division was once recognized for incompetence, mismanagement, and attainable corruption, yet his free up of the document performed its half within the dialogue of arming freed slaves. For all Lincoln’s seeming transparency, the tall guy with the prepared intelligence who occasionally appeared like an undertaker and wielded his down-home humor kindly—and like a club—was, as one observer famous, as “deep as a good. ” He was once in a thorny state of affairs concerning emancipation within the border states. And there has been the query of britain and France to think about: may emancipation lead them to much less prone to realize the Confederacy? Lincoln was once , in particular for the reason that lately there’d been a close to catastrophe in foreign relations—and the bad danger of a warfare among the Union and nice Britain—when accomplice brokers were arrested aboard a British send.

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