The Presidents' War

The Presidents' War

Six American Presidents and the Civil War That Divided Them

Book - 2014
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Baker & Taylor
Tells the story of how five ex-presidents—for and against Abraham Lincoln (but mostly against)—maneuvered, seceded, plotted, advised and aided during the Civil War while Lincoln navigated the minefield they created.

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A New York Times Bestseller!

The story of the Civil War's record number of living former and current presidents, and how the ex-Presidents’ Club--for and against Abraham Lincoln (but mostly against)--maneuvered, seceded, plotted, advised, and aided during the Civil War while Lincoln navigated the minefield they created

Globe Fearon Co

For the first time, readers will experience America’s gravest crisis through the eyes of the five former presidents who lived it. Author and historian Chris DeRose chronicles history’s most epic Presidential Royal Rumble, which culminated in a multi-front effort against Lincoln’s reelection bid, but not before:
* John Tyler engaged in shuttle diplomacy between President Buchanan and the new Confederate Government. He chaired the Peace Convention of 1861, the last great hope for a political resolution to the crisis. When it failed, Tyler joined the Virginia Secession Convention, voted to leave the Union, and won election to the Confederate Congress.
* Van Buren, who had schemed to deny Lincoln the presidency, supported him in his efforts after Fort Sumter, and thwarted Franklin Pierce's attempt at a meeting of the ex-Presidents to undermine Lincoln.
* Millard Fillmore hosted Lincoln and Mary Todd on their way to Washington, initially supported the war effort, offered critical advice to keep Britain at bay, but turned on Lincoln over emancipation.
* Franklin Pierce, talked about as a Democratic candidate in 1860 and ’64, was openly hostile to Lincoln and supportive of the South, an outspoken critic of Lincoln especially on civil liberties. After Vicksburg, when Jefferson Davis’s home was raided, a secret correspondence between Pierce and the Confederate President was revealed.
* James Buchanan, who had left office as seven states had broken away from the Union, engaged in a frantic attempt to vindicate his administration, in part by tying himself to Lincoln and supporting the war, arguing that his successor had simply followed his policies.
How Abraham Lincoln battled against his predecessors to preserve the Union and later to put an end to slavery is a thrilling tale of war waged at the top level of power.


The story of the Civil War's record number of living former and current presidents, and how the ex-Presidents’ Club--for and against Abraham Lincoln (but mostly against)--maneuvered, seceded, plotted, advised, and aided during the Civil War while Lincoln navigated the minefield they created



Baker
& Taylor

Discusses the opposition Abraham Lincoln faced from former Presidents Tyler, Van Buren, Buchanan, Fillmore, and Pierce concerning the Civil War.

Publisher: Guilford, Connecticut : Lyons Press, an imprint of Globe Pequot Press, [2014]
ISBN: 9780762796649
0762796642
Branch Call Number: 973.7092 D4477p 2014
Characteristics: xii, 379 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm

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rpavlacic
Oct 11, 2014

The group known as the ex-Presidents of the United States are sometimes called the Fourth Branch of government, wise men who normally stay out of politics but will offer sage advice during times of crisis. This book details how the five living Presidents who preceded Abraham Lincoln - John Tyler, Martin Van Buren, Millard Filmore, Franklin Pierce and James Buchanan - could not help but getting involved in the quagmire that led to the Civil War, as well as during the war itself. Tyler plainly put his lot in with the South, while the others did everything they could to make Lincoln's life even more miserable than it already was. What the book ultimately says is that the former chief executives were trying to fight for the old America where slavery was tolerated in some states and prohibited in others. What emerged was Lincoln's vision of no slavery, period; although it is made clear he certainly did not support equal rights for blacks. I enjoyed reading this book from front to back. (Sidebar: Some light is made about Harriet Lane, the only niece to serve as First Lady; her uncle was the never married Buchanan.)

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