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John's November 2012 pick
The Caning: the Assault That Drove America to Civil War by Stephen Puleo
Many regard politics today as being uniquely uncivil. This book is a reminder that things could be much worse.
On May 22, 1856, Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts was brutally beaten by pro-slavery Congressman Preston Brooks of South Carolina on the floor of the US Senate. Stephen Puleo (author of Dark Tide: the Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919) does a fine job of narrating this incident (a key turning point on the path to Civil War) and its aftermath.
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