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eBook The Reconstruction Presidents ePub

eBook The Reconstruction Presidents ePub

by Brooks D. Simpson

  • ISBN: 0700616888
  • Category: Leaders and Notable People
  • Subcategory: Biography
  • Author: Brooks D. Simpson
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas; 2 edition (July 28, 1998)
  • Pages: 288
  • ePub book: 1650 kb
  • Fb2 book: 1975 kb
  • Other: lrf docx rtf mobi
  • Rating: 4.2
  • Votes: 723

Description

The Reconstruction Presidents. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1998.

He is perhaps best known for his work on Ulysses S. Grant. Ulysses S. Grant: Triumph over Adversity, 1822-1865, published by Houghton Mifflin in 2000, was a New York Times Notable Book and a Choice Outstanding Academic Title for that year. He has appeared several times on C-SPAN, as well as on PBS's American Experience. The Reconstruction Presidents.

Voices from america’s. First great struggle. Library of america e-book classics. No part of this book may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without. the permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief.

The Reconstruction Presidents marks a return to understanding Reconstruction based upon .

The Reconstruction Presidents book. Brooks Donohue Simpson is an historian who is the ASU Foundation Professor of History at Arizona State University, specializing in studies of the American Civil War. Books by Brooks D. Simpson.

HIST 497 Reconstruction Presidents - FDR's Folly.

The Reconstruction Presidents. HIST 497 Reconstruction Presidents - FDR's Folly.

Simpson (Let Us Have Peace: Ulysses S. Grant and the Politics of War and Reconstruction, 1861-1868) uses carefully . Grant and the Politics of War and Reconstruction, 1861-1868) uses carefully excavated facts and anecdotes to reveal an individual far more complex than the caricature (drunken, barbarous in battle, corrupt when given opportunity) handed down to us by popular history.

Brooks Simpson examines the policies of each administration in depth and evaluates them in terms of their political .

Brooks Simpson examines the policies of each administration in depth and evaluates them in terms of their political, social, and institutional contexts. Florida Historical Quarterly ""A thoughtful and well-written book that deserves widespread attention.

Arizona State University. In this volume, Brooks. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas.

Claims to be the first book to collectively examine the Reconstruction policies of Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, Ulysses S. Grant, and Rutherford B. Hayes ISBN: 0700608966 (Presidents, Lincoln, Abraham, Johnson, Andrew, Grant, Ulysses . Hayes, Rutherford). Other Products from hartmannbooks (View All). Powaski, Ronald E. Lightning War: Blitzkrieg in the West, 1940.

During and after the Civil War, four presidents faced the challenge of reuniting the nation and of providing justice for black Americans—and of achieving a balance between those goals. This first book to collectively examine the Reconstruction policies of Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, Ulysses S. Grant, and Rutherford B. Hayes reveals how they confronted and responded to the complex issues presented during that contested era in American politics.Brooks Simpson examines the policies of each administration in depth and evaluates them in terms of their political, social, and institutional contexts. Simpson explains what was politically possible at a time when federal authority and presidential power were more limited than they are now. He compares these four leaders' handling of similar challenges—such as the retention of political support and the need to build a Southern base for their policies—in different ways and under different circumstances, and he discusses both their use of executive power and the impact of their personal beliefs on their actions.Although historians have disagreed on the extent to which these presidents were committed to helping blacks, Simpson's sharply drawn assessments of presidential performance shows that previous scholars have overemphasized how the personal racial views of each man shaped his approach to Reconstruction. Simpson counters much of the conventional wisdom about these leaders by persuasively demonstrating that considerable constraints to presidential power severely limited their efforts to achieve their ends.The Reconstruction Presidents marks a return to understanding Reconstruction based upon national politics and offers an approach to presidential policy making that emphasizes the environment in which a president governs and the nature of the challenges facing him. By showing that what these four leaders might have accomplished was limited by circumstances not easily altered, it allows us to assess them in the context of their times and better understand an era too often measured by inappropriate standards.

Comments

Lbe Lbe
Simpson makes us wonder what Lincoln's post-war policies would have been, had a carriage accident kept him from his appointment at Ford's Theatre on April 14, 1865. How would he have resolved the conflict between two of his goals, reconciling the (white) elites of North and South on the one hand, protecting the newly freed men and women on the other? What would "reconstruction" have meant to him? In his second inaugural address, Lincoln spoke of "malice toward none" and "charity for all." But that is an aspiration, not a program. Would it have been possible to act in a way that both the old plantation aristocracy and their former chattels would have regarded as charitable?! Simpson reminds us that by the end of 1865, President Johnson and the Republican Party had gone their separate ways. The leaders of the party, firmly in control of Congress, theorized that the states that had seceded had committed a sort of juridical 'suicide' and could only be restored to life when it, the Congress, thought they had proven their fitness. In the meantime, military occupation and control would continue. That was a difficult policy to pursue, though, if the commander in chief of that military thought reconstruction ought to end, the freedmen left to their fate in the face of the Klan. Congress tried to address this situation by ensuring that it had in the President's cabinet a friendly secretary of war, thus short-circuiting the chain of command. Johnson is in many ways the "heavy" of Simpson's reading of the period. Simpson is, accordingly, sympathetic to the difficulties faced by the leaders of that Congress and to their eventual decision to end those difficulties through the extraordinary process of impeachment and trial. All in all, this is not a perfect, but it is a fascinating, book.
Chilldweller Chilldweller
One of the most intriguing possibilities one can surrender to is the notion of how history may have differed if consequences were altered. The Reconstruction Presidents examines the lives of the 4 men faced with the challenge of tightening the newly formed knot of the once more Unified States. Beginning with Lincoln, who may have had the vision of the plan before a precise bullet wound dimmed it, Simpson ponders how reconstruction may have begun under Lincoln's reign. With the abrupt arrival of Andrew Johnson and his blatently racist views, reconstruction was lost during these formidable years. The torch passed to Ulysses Grant, who lives in infamy as one of the nation's least effective presidents. He was forced to clean up the damage and mistrust done by Johnson and unify not only blacks and whites, but political and demographic groups alike avoiding the chance of offending any particular group. Simpson poses the question, if Grant had not been in office, who would have and where would the country have gone? I enjoyed the notion of perhaps reanalyzing Grant's presidency. The least known, Rutherford B. Hayes, some would say was the benefactor of a nation willing to surrender and come together. Simpson presents a man who may not be remembered in history by the common citizen, but makes him no less important. An interesting viewpoint on a debated subject.
Light out of Fildon Light out of Fildon
I bought this book on the recommendation of a colleague who thought it might affect my over-simplistic, and Eric-Foner-derived, view of Reconstruction as a failure of northern will. It certainly did.

Like Foner, Simpson does view Reconstruction as a failure, a tragedy, and a lost opportunity. But he emphasizes two factors throughout his study of four presidents: original design flaws in congressional Reconstruction that made it unsustainable, and the changing strategy of the Republican Party for achieving a national majority, which gradually made Southern Republicans expendable.

In terms of the individual chapters, Simpson's impatience with those who dragoon Lincoln into one view or another of the path Reconstruction should have taken is palpable and compelling; we really don't know, he argues, the direction this highly improvisational politician might have taken had he lived through his second term.

The chapter on Johnson is probably the least interesting, if only because it reinforces earlier views of him as an obstinent racist committed to a view of constitutional restoration that made any real Reconstruction impossible. Simpson does add to the evidence that the effort to remove him from office was in many respects half-hearted and poorly executed.

For me, the biggest revelation offered by this book is its view of Grant (Simpson's speciality). He comes across as an exceptionally sincere and surprisingly flexible leader whose Reconstruction policies were eventually frustrated by both southern and northern political developments. He also never had the legal tools to conduct a genuine Reconstruction.

Simpson views Hayes as a man who was consistently wrong in his assessment of prospects for a biracial Republican Party in the South, but whose errors nicely coincided with what most northern Republicans wanted at that time: a purely non-southern GOP power base in which angry memories of "the Rebellion"--the so-called "bloody shirt"--replaced any real interest in Reconstruction.

In the end, Simpson suggests, hardly anyone other than Grant and the ineffectual, divided and often corrupt southern Republican leaders was willing to take the steps necessary to carry out an effective Reconstruction policy. In that sense his broad conclusions do parallel those of Foner, though he generally treats Reconstruction as doomed from the beginning.

As Simpson explains at the very beginning, this book focuses on presidential leadership rather than developments on the ground, and thus complements Foner's efforts nicely. It's also a very compact book, and easily readable in a few dedicated sittings. I recommend it highly, particularly at a time when the bicentennial of Lincoln's birth has drawn new attention to this era of American history.
Nargas Nargas
No study of Reconstruction has ever offered such a perceptive comparative analysis. The sole critic among these reviews appears to have something of an obsession with the author, as evidenced on the Yahoo Discussion Group "civilwarhistory2." That's unfortunate. Read and decide for yourself.
Timberahue Timberahue
Anyone who knows anything about Reconstruction would agree that it began during the Civil War: Lincoln himself spoke of his Reconstruction proposals. Setting aside tripe from neo-Confederate propaganists and KKK defenders, I'd read the book and judge for yourself.