By Brenda Wineapple

Awesome in scope, Ecstatic Nation illuminates probably the most dramatic and momentous chapters in America's earlier, while the rustic dreamed enormous, craved new lands and new freedom, and was once bitterly divided over its nice ethical improper: slavery.
With a canvas of amazing characters, akin to P. T. Barnum, Walt Whitman, Frederick Douglass, and L. C. Q. Lamar, Ecstatic Nation brilliantly balances cultural and political heritage: It's a riveting account of the sectional clash that preceded the Civil conflict, and it astutely chronicles the advanced aftermath of that warfare and Reconstruction, together with the promise that girls may proportion in a new  definition of yankee citizenship. It takes us from photographic surveys of the Sierra Nevadas to the invention of gold within the South Dakota hills, and it signs the painful, exciting delivery of contemporary America.

An epic story through award-winning writer Brenda Wineapple, Ecstatic Nation lyrically and with precise originality captures the optimism, the disasters, and the tragic exuberance of a renewed Republic.

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Born in Tennessee, raised in Mississippi, and from a politically minded kinfolk, Hindman was once the son of Thomas, Sr. , a wealthy slaveholder who as soon as loved a profitable put up as agent to the Cherokee kingdom. the more youthful Hindman, a diminutive and dapper guy (five foot one), as soon as derided as “sweet-smelling,” used to be constantly able to brawl. After the guy who will be William Faulkner’s great-grandfather stabbed Hindman’s brother (albeit in self-defense), Hindman trailed this William Falkner (as the identify used to be then spelled), hoping to kill him, yet thankfully for either males, a pal intervened. And whilst the resolute Hindman desired to marry a girl whose father, in protest, had dispatched her to a convent, Hindman easily scaled the convent wall. None of that laden Hindman’s political fortunes; most likely his derring-do had helped him. Elected in 1853 to the Mississippi condominium because the protégé of John Quitman and Jefferson Davis, on the finish of his time period Hindman moved to Helena, Arkansas, a booming Mississippi River port and a greater theater for his ambition. A diehard Democrat, an competitive soldier in the course of the Mexican warfare, and a virulent opponent of the Compromise of 1850, Hindman used to be additionally a ferocious opponent of the Know-Nothings and their xenophobia (to say not anything in their place on slavery). And he was once enthralled through Quitman, who in 1855 had proposed all over again one other filibustering excursion to Cuba which he desired to employees, or no less than finance, with gents, no longer thugs. able to threat “reputation and existence within the enterprise,” as he declared with a flourish, Hindman rounded up 100 males in Helena for the venture. Hindman by no means boarded any of Quitman’s ships, which have been by no means introduced at least after Franklin Pierce close the operation down. through that point, Hindman used to be already out of the image. delivered to trial for a barroom brawl and a capturing, he needed to forgo the filibuster. If he had joined up, he defined, he will be “a fugitive from justice. ” the excellence among manslaughter and barging his means into Cuba (both unlawful acts) used to be misplaced on him. The court docket stumbled on him blameless. Borne at the tide of his eloquence—he was once considered as a super speaker—and on his campaign opposed to individuals of the Know-Nothing celebration, whom he thought of Northerners, Hindman was once elected to Congress from Arkansas in 1858. A secessionist, he loathed Hinton Helper, John Brown, and William Seward, whose “irrepressible clash” speech in Rochester were praised within the forthcoming obstacle. “Sewardism, Helperism, and Shermanism are identical,” railed Hindman. “The black mantle of Republicanism covers all of them. ” That intended that John Sherman used to be not likely to be elected Speaker of the home. Accused of endorsing Helper’s e-book, Sherman disingenuously claimed to not have in mind. simply as lamely, he stated he hadn’t even learn the ebook. After months of wrangling in which time residence participants all started arming themselves with revolvers and bowie knives—some congressmen stated they'd particularly wade in blood than seat consultant Sherman—Sherman withdrew his identify.

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