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The Demon of Unrest: A Saga of Hubris,…
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The Demon of Unrest: A Saga of Hubris, Heartbreak, and Heroism at the Dawn of the Civil War (utgåvan 2024)

av Erik Larson (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
5531744,564 (4.15)24
"On November 6, 1860, Abraham Lincoln became the fluky victor in a tight race for president. The country was bitterly at odds; Southern extremists were moving ever closer to destroying the Union, with one state after another seceding and Lincoln powerless to stop them. Slavery fueled the conflict, but somehow the passions of North and South came to focus on a lonely federal fortress in Charleston Harbor: Fort Sumter. Master storyteller Erik Larson offers a gripping account of the chaotic months between Lincoln's election and the Confederacy's shelling of Sumter-a period marked by tragic errors and miscommunications, enflamed egos and craven ambitions, personal tragedies and betrayals. Lincoln himself wrote that the trials of these five months were "so great that, could I have anticipated them, I would not have believed it possible to survive them." At the heart of this suspense-filled narrative are Major Robert Anderson, Sumter's commander and a former slave owner sympathetic to the South but loyal to the Union; Edmund Ruffin, a vain and bloodthirsty radical who stirs secessionist ardor at every opportunity; and Mary Boykin Chesnut, wife of a prominent planter, conflicted over both marriage and slavery and seeing parallels between them. In the middle of it all is the overwhelmed Lincoln, battling with his duplicitous secretary of state, William Seward, as he tries desperately to avert a war that he fears is inevitable-one that will eventually kill 750,000 Americans. Drawing on diaries, secret communiques, slave ledgers, and plantation records, Larson gives us a political horror story that captures the forces that led America to the brink-a dark reminder that we often don't see a cataclysm coming until it's too late"--… (mer)
Medlem:AshleyEggleston
Titel:The Demon of Unrest: A Saga of Hubris, Heartbreak, and Heroism at the Dawn of the Civil War
Författare:Erik Larson (Författare)
Info:Crown (2024), 592 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:
Taggar:Ingen/inga

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The Demon of Unrest: A Saga of Hubris, Heartbreak, and Heroism at the Dawn of the Civil War av Erik Larson

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Visa 1-5 av 16 (nästa | visa alla)
This is an excellent history of the unrest leading up to the civil war, because it's told by the wonderful storyteller Larson. Many events and characters from history I have never heard of or only heard bits about. A very prescient topic for our times. ( )
  KallieGrace | Jul 10, 2024 |
I was really unimpressed by [[Erik Larson]]'s nonfiction account of the attack on Fort Sumter that began the Civil War. It seemed that it would be interesting. I'm definitely intrigued by the time period and Larson focused on a diverse group of people to try to bring the time period to life. He draws from the experiences of Abraham Lincoln, Mary Chestnut (a Confederate diarist), Major Robert Anderson (the commanding officer at Fort Sumter), and Edmund Ruffin (a secessionist actively trying to make sure the south secedes from the union). Larson focuses on South Carolina, as the heart of the South, the location of Fort Sumter, and the first state to secede.

Interesting time period, great historical characters, a varied look at the competing opinions and forces of the time - so what went wrong?
To me, Larson flits around too much. He writes very short chapters (even as short as a page) and skips around from person to person. He loses momentum and focus. And no one persons' experience or contributions are fully fleshed out. There's no depth or continuity. Several of the people he talked about in detail at the beginning are nowhere to be found be the end of the book. I just didn't get any sort of narrative arc or propulsion to the start of the Civil War.

I'd give this a pass if you were considering it. ( )
1 rösta japaul22 | Jul 7, 2024 |
I listened to this book in audiobook format.

This work of non-fiction depicts the 6 months leading up to the start of the Civil War. The events surrounding Fort Sumter anchor the story though there are many side stories involving Lincoln, a few notable southern planters, and even some women diarists who detail not only political events, but everyday life. As always, Larson is meticulous in his research and exacting in his reference of sources. There are about a million characters and they were confusing as first but I eventually became familiar with the ones that mattered to the story. It was fascinating to hear how novice we were at military strategy and logistics compared to today's US forces. It was also much more in depth and nuanced than any history I learned in school. Both sides were full of egos, incompetence, and greed. The details of the "Chivalric Code of Honor" was also really interesting.

This book has been a huge best seller but was drawn much criticism from both sides of our current political divide. I think that probably just means he did an excellent job of telling the facts of history without bowing down to any particular current sentiment. It is as it should be. ( )
  technodiabla | Jul 3, 2024 |
As expected Erik Larsen has another winner here. His books are all thoroughly researched and verified so you know you’re getting the true story. This book covers the time from just before Abraham Lincoln’s election as President of the US. Until the fall of Ft. Sumter and the beginning of the American Civil War. As he states in his title, it was a time of unrest, hubris, treachery and tempers were high. It was all compounded by misinformation and delays in messages getting out to the correct people. Bad weather also compounded the many delays and misunderstandings as they affected the efficacy of governance and this also resulted in messages and orders not getting to the people concerned in time. The United States were bitterly at odds with each other and the division between the north and the south was the worst it had ever been. Larsen had researched diaries, journals, slave records, bank documents and all kinds of official communications while he was writing this book. He has truly captured the forces and occurrences that led America to this precipice. Erik Larsen’s books are worth the effort to read, especially if you enjoy historical non-fiction that reads like a novel, even though they are all packed with information. ( )
  Romonko | Jun 25, 2024 |
You will learn more about the immediate events leading up to the Civil War then you ever did in history class. But instead of a broad, general view of politics and economics, Larson focuses on the men behind the scenes. Featuring the passively frustrating President James Buchanan, his treasonous Secretary of War John Floyd (outsmarted by Unionist yinzers!), recently elected Abraham Lincoln, incestuous planter James Hammond, adamant secessionist Edmund Riffin, no-nonsense abolitionist Capt. Doubleday, and sympathizing but duty-first Major Anderson, the commander at Ft. Sumter. But despite the efforts of Northern compromisers and Unionists, war was inevitable. Problem was, the "petulant" gentlemen of the South all knew it was an awful, outdated institution. But the money was too good. Risking war and the deaths of hundreds of thousands was worth it to preserve their lifestyle. Out of the 169 South Carolina white slavers who decided on succession and the fate of an entire nation, 40% all went to the same college and the decision took eight minutes.

What I love most about this book is that Erik Larson gets right to the point: "The crux of the crisis was in fact slavery. This was obvious to all at the time, if not to [20th century revisionists] who sought to cast the conflict in the bloodless terms of states' rights." The Civil War occurred because a small, incredibly rich, white portion of the population wanted to preserve their "chivalrous" way of life, on the backs of millions of individuals. What's more, Larson quotes Southern planters and politicians directly, so there's no denying it. He cuts the rose-tinted, magnolia blooming, sweet tea drinking atmosphere with a knife and I'm here for it. I especially enjoyed reading of Anderson's rogue night mission to move all the men from Moultrie to Sumter. The tension in that bold move is palatable, and I thought it was particularly well written. Another fantastic work from Mr. Larson! ( )
  asukamaxwell | Jun 12, 2024 |
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» Lägg till fler författare (2 möjliga)

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Erik Larsonprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Collins, WilliamPublishermedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Larson, ErikBerättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
O'Brien, TimOmslagmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Patton, WillBerättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Subin, NinaFotografmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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"On November 6, 1860, Abraham Lincoln became the fluky victor in a tight race for president. The country was bitterly at odds; Southern extremists were moving ever closer to destroying the Union, with one state after another seceding and Lincoln powerless to stop them. Slavery fueled the conflict, but somehow the passions of North and South came to focus on a lonely federal fortress in Charleston Harbor: Fort Sumter. Master storyteller Erik Larson offers a gripping account of the chaotic months between Lincoln's election and the Confederacy's shelling of Sumter-a period marked by tragic errors and miscommunications, enflamed egos and craven ambitions, personal tragedies and betrayals. Lincoln himself wrote that the trials of these five months were "so great that, could I have anticipated them, I would not have believed it possible to survive them." At the heart of this suspense-filled narrative are Major Robert Anderson, Sumter's commander and a former slave owner sympathetic to the South but loyal to the Union; Edmund Ruffin, a vain and bloodthirsty radical who stirs secessionist ardor at every opportunity; and Mary Boykin Chesnut, wife of a prominent planter, conflicted over both marriage and slavery and seeing parallels between them. In the middle of it all is the overwhelmed Lincoln, battling with his duplicitous secretary of state, William Seward, as he tries desperately to avert a war that he fears is inevitable-one that will eventually kill 750,000 Americans. Drawing on diaries, secret communiques, slave ledgers, and plantation records, Larson gives us a political horror story that captures the forces that led America to the brink-a dark reminder that we often don't see a cataclysm coming until it's too late"--

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