Sunday, March 1, 2009

Charles Sumner and the Coming of the Civil War

by David Herbert Donald

From the publisher:
Harvard Professor David Herbert Donald traces Sumner's life in this Pulitzer-Prize winning classic about a nation careening toward Civil War. In a period when senators often exercised more influence than presidents, Senator Charles Sumner was one of the most powerful forces in the American government. His uncompromising moral standards made him a lightning rod in an era fraught with conflict.

Sumner's fight to end slavery made him a hero in the North and stirred outrage in the South. In what was called the first blow of the Civil War, he was physically attacked by a colleague on the Senate floor. An advocate of international peace and a leader of educational and prison reform, Sumner refused to abandon the moral high ground, no matter what the cost. He used his office and influence to transform the United States during the most contentious and violent period in the nation's history.

David Herbert Donald is the Charles Warren Professor of American History at Harvard University. He has written over thirty books, including "Lincoln," (1996) which has sold well over 70,000 copies since 2002, and 9,078 copies in 2007 alone, and the Pulitzer-Prize winning "Look Homeward: A Life of Thomas Wolfe."