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James Buchanan and the Coming of the Civil War Hardcover – Mar 19 2013

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 289 pages
  • Publisher: Univ Pr of Florida (March 19 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081304426X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813044262
  • Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 2.3 x 23.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 567 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
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Review

"It's not an attempt to contradict the standard portrayal of Buchanan as one of the least effective presidents. . . . But it does try to get people to argue about him a bit more, and reassess what he did well and did badly."--"BBC News"


"An especially rewarding book. . . . The intellectual verve with which the writers dispute Buchanan's record make those essays especially tempting."--"Journal of American History"

"The impressive set of contributors . . . explore diverse aspects of Buchanan's presidency and offer different judgments of his performance."--"American Historical Review"


"This fine volume . . . demonstrates that Buchanan's presidency deserves more consideration."--"North Carolina Historical Review"

"A much-needed, and satisfyingly comprehensive, reassessment of the Buchanan presidency from a variety of informed perspectives. . . . [A] must-read."--"Civil War Books and Authors"

"A portrait of the fifteenth president that acknowledges his weaknesses and shortcomings, yet also recognizes that his failures were not universal."--"Civil War Book Review"

"The breadth of topics and the variability of analytical approaches . . . broaden an understanding of the many channels by which the Civil War came about."--"Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography"

"Buchanan's management of the secession crisis is at the heart of the book, and its bounty of informed views on his role during this seminal moment in American history is refreshingly diverse. The collection might very well come to be regarded as the most comprehensive and useful reconsideration of the Buchanan presidency."--"Civil War Monitor"


It s not an attempt to contradict the standard portrayal of Buchanan as one of the least effective presidents. . . . But it does try to get people to argue about him a bit more, and reassess what he did well and did badly. "BBC News"
"

An especially rewarding book. . . . The intellectual verve with which the writers dispute Buchanan s record make those essays especially tempting. "Journal of American History""

The impressive set of contributors . . . explore diverse aspects of Buchanan s presidency and offer different judgments of his performance. "American Historical Review"
"

This fine volume . . . demonstrates that Buchanan s presidency deserves more consideration. "North Carolina Historical Review""

A much-needed, and satisfyingly comprehensive, reassessment of the Buchanan presidency from a variety of informed perspectives. . . . [A] must-read. "Civil War Books and Authors""

A portrait of the fifteenth president that acknowledges his weaknesses and shortcomings, yet also recognizes that his failures were not universal. "Civil War Book Review""

The breadth of topics and the variability of analytical approaches . . . broaden an understanding of the many channels by which the Civil War came about. "Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography""

Buchanan s management of the secession crisis is at the heart of the book, and its bounty of informed views on his role during this seminal moment in American history is refreshingly diverse. The collection might very well come to be regarded as the most comprehensive and useful reconsideration of the Buchanan presidency. "Civil War Monitor"
" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

John W. Quist is professor of history at Shippensburg University and author of "Restless Visionaries." Michael J. Birkner is Franklin Professor of Liberal Arts, professor of history at Gettysburg College, and editor of "James Buchanan and the Political Crisis of the 1850s."

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
James Buchanan regularly ranks among the worst of the Presidents of the United States in ratings done by historians and scholars. He is criticized for his weak and ineffective response to the coming of the secessionist crisis, his obsequiousness to the southern slave-holding political powers, his ethical impropriety in seeking to influence the outcome of the Supreme Court decision of Dred Scott v. Sanford, his backing of the pro-slavery constitution in Kansas when a majority of Kansans opposed slavery in their territory, his inaction as southern cabinet members raided federal resources for their own cause on the eve of the civil war, his refusal to axe corrupt cabinet members, and the fact that he is the only president to leave office with fewer states then when he entered it. It's quite a shopping list of failings for which many argue that Buchanan has earned the title of "worst president ever."

In September of 2008, an all-star team of Buchanan scholars gathered at Buchanan's estate (and now his Presidential museum) called Wheatland in Lancaster, Pennsylvania for a symposium on the Buchanan Presidency. This delightful nerdfest of Buchanan historians produced this excellent work, a collection of essays on various aspects of the Buchanan Presidency leading up to the civil war, written by the great minds on the subject of all things James Buchanan.

This book has limited appeal and you have to be a real history geek to enjoy it as much as I did, but for anyone with an analytical mind and a love of antebellum US history, this is pure gold. Edited by respected historians John W. Quist and Michael J.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa479abdc) out of 5 stars 4 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa22703b4) out of 5 stars A Delightful Nerdfest for Antebellum History Buffs Feb. 23 2015
By Rule 62 Ken - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
James Buchanan regularly ranks among the worst of the Presidents of the United States in ratings done by historians and scholars. He is criticized for his weak and ineffective response to the coming of the secessionist crisis, his obsequiousness to the southern slave-holding political powers, his ethical impropriety in seeking to influence the outcome of the Supreme Court decision of Dred Scott v. Sanford, his backing of the pro-slavery constitution in Kansas when a majority of Kansans opposed slavery in their territory, his inaction as southern cabinet members raided federal resources for their own cause on the eve of the civil war, his refusal to axe corrupt cabinet members, and the fact that he is the only president to leave office with fewer states then when he entered it. It's quite a shopping list of failings for which many argue that Buchanan has earned the title of "worst president ever."

In September of 2008, an all-star team of Buchanan scholars gathered at Buchanan's estate (and now his Presidential museum) called Wheatland in Lancaster, Pennsylvania for a symposium on the Buchanan Presidency. This delightful nerdfest of Buchanan historians produced this excellent work, a collection of essays on various aspects of the Buchanan Presidency leading up to the civil war, written by the great minds on the subject of all things James Buchanan.

This book has limited appeal and you have to be a real history geek to enjoy it as much as I did, but for anyone with an analytical mind and a love of antebellum US history, this is pure gold. Edited by respected historians John W. Quist and Michael J. Birkner, the book covers many of the most interesting aspects of Buchanan's presidency, including the Dred Scott decision, the "Utah War" with Mormon leader Brigham Young, a comparison of the reactions of Andrew Jackson and Buchanan to the threat of southern secession, Buchanan's foreign policy, the Kansas Constitutional Crisis, a contrasting of Buchanan with contemporary political figures, and a look at Buchanan in retirement during the Civil War. My favorite chapter of the book is a verbatim transcript of a Q & A session with eminent historians William Freehling and Michael Holt, full of what ifs and Monday morning quarterbacking of the Buchanan Presidency.

This is a history geek's treasure trove. While this book's appeal is to a limited audience with a unique taste, if you find yourself among the subset of people who enjoy an in-depth analysis of the prelude to the civil war or antebellum US history, then you will love this book.
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2881eac) out of 5 stars Very interessting book on Buchanan April 26 2013
By NHK - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A very well done book on President Buchanan and his times. Chapters of various facets of Buchanan are examined by various historians. In short, an interesting work.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa7491a6c) out of 5 stars A book for history nuts July 15 2013
By michele - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A topic that does not receive much discussion. Interesting reading for Pennsylvanians about our only contribution to the Presidential pool.
2 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa253e4a4) out of 5 stars WOW, only obuma is worse than this maligned clown ! April 11 2014
By Gerald - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A series of essays on all things James Buchanan
each is different, erudite, brilliant at times and pithy
good photos and the times of struggle in the late 1850s highlight the book
buchanan? like obuma, in way over his head and too dogmatic to change


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