1831: Year of Eclipse
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1831: Year of Eclipse

3.26 of 5 stars 3.26  ·  rating details  ·  89 ratings  ·  9 reviews
1776, 1861, 1929. Any high-school student should know what these years meant to American history. But wars and economic disasters are not our only pivotal events, and other years have, in a quieter way, swayed the course of our nation. 1831 was one of them, and in this striking new work, Louis Masur shows us exactly how.

The year began with a solar eclipse, for many an omen...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published February 9th 2002 by Hill and Wang (first published February 2001)
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Nick Kratsas
Masur depicts 1831 as a year enveloped in uncertainty, radicalism, and a foreboding sense of change. The book illustrates the depth and variety of issues that were highly contended in the era of Jackson, such as slavery and nullification. Because the Civil War would not come for another thirty or so years, it is interesting, and even a bit shocking, that so many Americans were certain that an armed conflict between the North and South was unavoidable. The entire book is well researched. Multiple...more
Matt
Start with a solar eclipse, add Nat Turner's slave Rebellion, Charles Finney's revivals, de Tocqueville's travels, the Trail of Tears, nullification debates with John C. Calhoun, Andrew Jackson, and the octogenarian John Madison, Audobon's birds, a cholera epidemic, a pinch of Transcendentalism, then shake violently and you have the most important year in ante-bellum America.

Masur brings in Frances Trollop, Beaumont, Tocqueville, the British Hamilton, and a host of others to show us as a nation...more
Richard
Louis P. Masur has written a nice, interesting little book about what was going on in the United States in 1831. There's not much depth here; he covers a lot of topics in only 216 pages. There's the Nat Turner uprising, arguments about slavery and abolition, nullification, Andrew Jackson, religion, cholera, the early days of the railroads, John James Audubon, Frances Trollope, Alexis de Tocqueville, the Trail of Tears, and more, even including the opening of a new pastoral cemetery outside of Bo...more
Henry Rice
Awesome

loved the stories, descriptions and insight. Recommended for any students of history or persons interested in the American spirit and experience.
lisa jahnel
Aug 16, 2007 lisa jahnel rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: history buffs, african american studies students, virginians!
Shelves: history
I read this for an America 1790-1960 history class a couple of years ago. It is definately for the more literate reader...some of the vocabulary can be difficult for someone who doesn't read very often. This is the story of Nat Turner and his slave rebellion. It also gives insight into the political climate of North Hampton area of Virginia at that time at how it contributed to the rebellion. I think it also helps illustrate how media outlets can somewhat pervert the actual events and incited mo...more
Douglas Summers-Stay
I read this because most of my picture of that time period comes from stories about the early church and from the Alvin Maker series, and I wanted to see what it looked like from another point of view. I was struck by the contrast between the slavery, treatment of indians, and war on nature on the one hand and the pioneer spirit and energy of the country on the other hand. It was also interesting to read about the New York religious revival that set the stage for the restoration and about the fi...more
Chris Johnson
I actually didnt hate this book but found it be kinda boring. I wouldnt recommend it to many people but it is an easy read and decently quick. Overall I would give it a C- just because it is a bit boring but does have some good historical facts about a year that is overlooked within the historical timeline.

Travis Zuber
Masur does well when tackling political history but his thesis is unclear and he never adequately explains why the eclipse was central to the interpretation.
Mscout
A really good little read about a singular year in American history. Its amazing what all we can pack into 365 days...
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