Reveille in Washington: 1860-1885

Reveille in Washington: 1860-1885

Paperback New York Review Books Classics

By (author) Margaret Leech, Introduction by James M. McPherson

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  • Publisher: NYRB Classics
  • Format: Paperback | 624 pages
  • Dimensions: 135mm x 203mm x 36mm | 703g
  • Publication date: 13 September 2011
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 1590174461
  • ISBN 13: 9781590174463
  • Sales rank: 728,624

Product description

1860: The American capital is sprawling, fractured, squalid, colored by patriotism and treason, and deeply divided along the political lines that will soon embroil the nation in bloody conflict. Chaotic and corrupt, the young city is populated by bellicose congressmen, Confederate conspirators, and enterprising prostitutes. Soldiers of a volunteer army swing from the dome of the Capitol, assassins stalk the avenues, and Abraham Lincoln struggles to justify his presidency as the Union heads to war. "Reveille in Washington" focuses on the everyday politics and preoccupations of Washington during the Civil War. From the stench of corpse-littered streets to the plunging lace on Mary Lincoln's evening gowns, Margaret Leech illuminates the city and its familiar figures--among them Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, William Seward, and Mary Surratt--in intimate and fascinating detail. Leech's book remains widely recognized as both an impressive feat of scholarship and an uncommonly engrossing work of history.

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Author information

Margaret Leech (1893-1974) was an American historian, novelist and dramatist. She twice received the Pulitzer Prize in history, for "Reveille in Washington" (1942) and "In the Days of McKinley" (1960); with the former she became the first woman to receive a Pulitzer in that category. James McPherson was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1989 for "Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era." His other bestselling books include "For Cause and Comrades, Drawn with the Sword, What They Fought For; Gettysburg"; and "Fields of Fury." A professor at Princeton University, he lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

Review quote

"In 1860, Washington was a raw country town, a symbol trying to be a city. By 1865 it had become the nation's capital. "Reveille in Washington" is packed and running over with the anecdotes, scandals, personalities, and tragi-comedies of the day. Here you will meet young Andy Carnegie organizing military transport; a Patent Office clerk named Clara Barton suddenly discovering she has a real vocation; Matthew Brady, obsessed with the idea that he could make a photographic record of a war; Louisa M. Alcott and Walt Whitman finding their great moments in hospitals. It's a wonderful story." --Clifton Fadiman, "The""New Yorker" " ""Published in 1941, this remains the best single popular account of Washington during the great convulsion of the civil War. Vividly written, with hundreds of cameo portraits, from president Lincoln to the humblest citizen." --"The Washington Post"