Book cover of The Devil's Half Acre: The Untold Story of How One Woman Liberated the South's Most Notorious Slave Jail by Kristen Green
Biography & Autobiography

The Devil’s Half Acre: The Untold Story of How One Woman Liberated the South’s Most Notorious Slave Jail 

The inspiring true story of an enslaved woman who liberated an infamous slave jail and transformed it into one of the nation’s first HBCUs 

In The Devil’s Half Acre, New York Times bestselling author Kristen Green draws on years of research to tell the extraordinary and little-known story of young Mary Lumpkin, an enslaved woman who blazed a path of liberation for thousands. […Learn More]

Book cover of Lincoln and the Fight for Peace by John Avlon
Biography & Autobiography

Lincoln and the Fight for Peace

A groundbreaking, revelatory history of Abraham Lincoln’s plan to secure a just and lasting peace after the Civil War—a vision that inspired future presidents as well as the world’s most famous peacemakers, including Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr. It is a story of war and peace, race and reconciliation. […Learn More]

Book cover of The War Before the War: Fugitive Slaves and the Struggle for America's Soul from the Revolution to the Civil War by Andrew Delbanco
Civil War

The War Before the War: Fugitive Slaves and the Struggle for America’s Soul from the Revolution to the Civil War

For decades after its founding, America was really two nations—one slave, one free. There were many reasons why this composite nation ultimately broke apart, but the fact that enslaved black people repeatedly risked their lives to flee their masters in the South in search of freedom in the North proved that the “united” states was actually a lie. Fugitive slaves exposed the contradiction between the myth that slavery was a benign institution and the reality that a nation based on the principle of human equality was in fact a prison-house in which millions of Americans had no rights at all. […Learn More]

Book cover of The Saddest Words: William Faulkner's Civil War by Michael Edward Gorra
Biography & Autobiography

The Saddest Words: William Faulkner’s Civil War

How do we read William Faulkner in the twenty-first century? asks Michael Gorra, in this reconsideration of Faulkner’s life and legacy.

William Faulkner, one of America’s most iconic writers, is an author who defies easy interpretation. Born in 1897 in Mississippi, Faulkner wrote such classic novels as Absolom, Absolom! and The Sound and The Fury, creating in Yoknapatawpha county one of the most memorable gallery of characters ever assembled in American literature. […Learn More]

Book cover of Knights of the Golden Circle: Secret Empire, Southern Secession, Civil War by David C. Keehn

Knights of the Golden Circle: Secret Empire, Southern Secession, Civil War 

Based on years of exhaustive and meticulous research, David C. Keehn’s study provides the first comprehensive analysis of the Knights of the Golden Circle, a secret southern society that initially sought to establish a slave-holding empire in the “Golden Circle” region of Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America. Keehn reveals the origins, rituals, structure, and complex history of this mysterious group, including its later involvement in the secession movement. […Learn More]

Book cover of Heroines of Mercy Street: The Real Nurses of the Civil War by Pamela Toler
Biography & Autobiography

Heroines of Mercy Street: The Real Nurses of the Civil War

Heroines of Mercy Street tells the true stories of the nurses at Mansion House, the Alexandria, Virginia, mansion turned war-time hospital and setting for the PBS drama Mercy Street. Among the Union soldiers, doctors, wounded men from both sides, freed slaves, politicians, speculators, and spies who passed through the hospital in the crossroads of the Civil War, were nurses who gave their time freely and willingly to save lives and aid the wounded. […Learn More]

Book cover of Lincoln's Spies: Their Secret War to Save a Nation by Douglas Waller
Civil War

Lincoln’s Spies: Their Secret War to Save a Nation

This major addition to the history of the Civil War is a “fast-paced, fact-rich account” (The Wall Street Journal) offering a detailed look at President Abraham Lincoln’s use of clandestine services and the secret battles waged by Union spies and agents to save the nation—filled with espionage, sabotage, and intrigue. […Learn More]

Book cover of Ruin Nation: Destruction and the American Civil War by Megan Kate Nelson
Civil War

Ruin Nation: Destruction and the American Civil War

During the Civil War, cities, houses, forests, and soldiers’ bodies were transformed into “dead heaps of ruins,” novel sights in the southern landscape. How did this happen, and why? And what did Americans—northern and southern, black and white, male and female—make of this proliferation of ruins? Ruin Nation is the first book to bring together environmental and cultural histories to consider the evocative power of ruination as an imagined state, an act of destruction, and a process of change.
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Book covers of The Impeachers: The Trial of Andrew Johnson and the Dream of a Just Nation by Brenda Wineapple
Biography & Autobiography

The Impeachers: The Trial of Andrew Johnson and the Dream of a Just Nation

When Abraham Lincoln was assassinated and Vice-President Andrew Johnson became “the Accidental President,” it was a dangerous time in America. Congress was divided over how the Union should be reunited: when and how the secessionist South should regain full status, whether former Confederates should be punished, and when and whether black men should be given the vote. Devastated by war and resorting to violence, many white Southerners hoped to restore a pre–Civil War society, if without slavery, and the pugnacious Andrew Johnson seemed to share their goals. […Learn More]