Monday, April 6, 2015

Booknotes II (Apr '15)

New Arrivals:

1. Lincoln's Last Speech: Wartime Reconstruction and the Crisis of Reunion by Louis P. Masur (Oxford UP, 2015).

Part of Oxford's Pivotal Moments in American History series, Lincoln's Last Speech examines the April 11, 1865 address that outlined the president's thoughts on Reconstruction. "Delving into the language and arguments of Lincoln's last address, Masur traces the theme of reconstruction as it developed throughout his presidency, starting with the very earliest days of the war." The author "illuminates the evolution of Lincoln's thinking and the national debate around reconstruction, touching on key moments such as the Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction on December 8, 1863, and Lincoln's pocket veto of the Wade-Davis bill in July 1864. He also examines social reconstruction, including the plight of freedmen and the debate over the place of blacks in society; and considers the implications of Lincoln's speech after April 1865, when Andrew Johnson assumed office and the ground was laid for the most radical phases of the postwar policy."

2. Appomattox: Victory, Defeat, and Freedom at the End of the Civil War by Elizabeth Varon (Oxford UP, 2015).

Originally published in 2013, this is the paperback reprint of Varon's prizing-winning Appomattox study.

3. Mrs. Lee's Rose Garden: The True Story of the Founding of Arlington National Cemetery by Carlo DeVito (Cider Mill Pr, 2015).

This upcoming book weaves together the lives of three individuals (Mary Ann Randolph Custis Lee, Robert E. Lee, and Montgomery C. Meigs) to tell the story of Arlington National Cemetery.

4. The War Worth Fighting: Abraham Lincoln's Presidency and Civil War America edited by Stephen D. Engle (UP of Fla, 2015).

The nine essays in "this volume examine how Lincoln actively and consciously managed the war—diplomatically, militarily, and in the realm of what we might now call public relations—and in doing so, reshaped and redefined the fundamental role of the president."

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