The Field of Blood: Violence in Congress and the Road to Civil War. Joanne B. Freeman.

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

Picador, September 2019. First Thus. Paper Back. Used - Like New. Item #237850
ISBN: 1250234581

The previously untold story of the violence in Congress that helped spark the Civil War

In The Field of Blood, Joanne B. Freeman recovers the long-lost story of physical violence on the floor of the U.S. Congress. 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.

These fights didn't happen in a vacuum. Freeman's dramatic accounts of brawls and thrashings tell a larger story of how fisticuffs and journalism, and the powerful emotions they elicited, raised tensions between North and South and led toward war. In the process, she brings the antebellum Congress to life, revealing its rough realities--the feel, sense, and sound of it--as well as its nation-shaping import. Funny, tragic, and rivetingly told, The Field of Blood offers a front-row view of congressional mayhem and sheds new light on the careers of John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay, and other luminaries, as well as introducing a host of lesser-known but no less fascinating men. The result is a fresh understanding of the workings of American democracy and the bonds of Union on the eve of their greatest peril.


Stated, 'First Picador Edition: September, 2019' with complete number string: 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 . Clean, sound, mild wear to cover edges, curl. No markings or underlining within internal text. (450 pp.) Excellent U.S. history on pre-Civil War era congress. Written with intent to show parellel between 19th century political unrest of 1861 - 1865 and the current events we are living through, when trauma burns with anger, fear and fracture. This as usual subjective analysis in the guise of history will doubtless annoy those seeking that impossible thing, the truly objective historical account. It will find mistrust and shouts of 'fake history' in a world as divided as our own. For my tastes this is one of the best works of history from this decade that is thankfully reaching an ending. Perhaps the next one will be better, though I fear it might be even worse. It might mean wars. War obviously is what The Field of Blood attempts to warn us is coming. So, I wish you luck in the wars to come.

Used Book

Price: $10.00

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