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BookBrowse Reviews The Demon of Unrest by Erik Larson

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The Demon of Unrest

A Saga of Hubris, Heartbreak, and Heroism at the Dawn of the Civil War

by Erik Larson

The Demon of Unrest by Erik Larson X
The Demon of Unrest by Erik Larson
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  • Published:
    Apr 2024, 592 pages


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Book Reviewed by:
Peggy Kurkowski
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About this Book



A master of popular history explores the fraught six months between Lincoln's election in November 1860 and the April 1861 Confederate bombardment of Fort Sumter, revealing the depths of sectional differences and their eerie parallels to today.

In the aftermath of the 1860 presidential election, the divided United States began to collapse as South Carolina seceded from the Union, followed by another six Southern states. Among the countless contentious points between the Union and the fledgling Confederacy was the existence of a 75-man Federal garrison in Charleston Harbor that would become the flashpoint for civil war. In The Demon of Unrest, Erik Larson weaves a gripping tale of America's slow-motion lurch toward war, placing the reader inside events as they unfold.

In seeking to answer what "malignant magic" could lead Americans to consider the unthinkable—a bloody civil war—Larson prefaces his narrative with the parallels between the "national dread" felt during the run-up to the certification of the Electoral College and the presidential inauguration in 1861 with that during the ...

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Beyond the Book:
  Fort Sumter Today


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