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November 3, 2020 at 5:01 am #1661Carla ZafferGuest
Every Drop of Blood
The Momentous Second Inauguration of Abraham Lincoln
by Edward Achorn
- Release date: March 3, 2020
- Format: hardcover, 336 pages
- Genres: history, biography, politics, presidents, historical, race
- Author: Edward Achorn
- ISBN: 9780802148742 (0802148743)
- Language: english
- Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
About The Book
By March 4, 1865, the Civil War had slaughtered more than 700,000 Americans and left intractable wounds on the nation. After a morning of rain-drenched fury, tens of thousands crowded Washington’s Capitol grounds that day to see Abraham Lincoln take the oath for a second term. As the sun emerged, Lincoln rose to give perhaps the greatest inaugural address in American history, stunning the nation by arguing, in a brief 701 words, that both sides had been wrong, and that the war’s unimaginable horrors — every drop of blood spilled — might well have been God’s just verdict on the national sin of slavery. Edward Achorn reveals the nation’s capital on that momentous day — with its mud, sewage, and saloons, its prostitutes, spies, reporters, social-climbing spouses and power-hungry politicians — as a microcosm of all the opposing forces that had driven the country apart. A host of characters, unknown and famous, had converged on Washington — from grievously wounded Union colonel Selden Connor in a Washington hospital and the embarrassingly drunk new vice president, Andrew Johnson, to poet-journalist Walt Whitman; from soldiers’ advocate Clara Barton and African American leader and Lincoln critic-turned-admirer Frederick Douglass (who called the speech “a sacred effort”) to conflicted actor John Wilkes Booth — all swirling around the complex figure of Lincoln.
In indelible scenes, Achorn vividly captures the frenzy in the nation’s capital at this crucial moment in America’s history and the tension-filled hope and despair afflicting the country as a whole, soon to be heightened by Lincoln’s assassination. His story offers new understanding of our great national crisis, and echoes down the decades to resonate in our own time.
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