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Days of Defiance: Sumter, Secession, and the Coming of the Civil War
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Days of Defiance: Sumter, Secession, and the Coming of the Civil War

4.07  ·  Rating Details  ·  55 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
With a masterful eye for the telling detail, Klein vividly recounts the period from the election of Abraham Lincoln to the shelling of Fort Sumter. of photos. 2 maps.
Paperback, 528 pages
Published May 4th 1999 by Vintage (first published 1997)
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(showing 1-30 of 148)
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Feb 03, 2013 Rich rated it it was amazing
Not just one of the best books you'll ever read about the complicated period leading up to the Civil War, but one of the best history books you'll ever read... period.
Jan 27, 2013 Greg rated it it was amazing
Shelves: civil-war-nf
Style of this very well researched book (with lots of details in the correspondence). Amazed at the intricate timelining that Klein used, keeping track of all the events and communications in this 4 month period. Reviews of this book as novel-like were accurate, as you did seem to get a sense of the historic characters and what made them tick. Interesting that the book seemed to be so harsh on Mary Chesnut, as though to intentionally debunk the image of her in Ken Burns documentary? Anyway, the ...more
Jan 15, 2014 Anniesotm rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
When I was an undergraduate at the University of Rhode Island, professor Klein assigned his own book for his Civil War class.... thus I was already turned off while going into the reading. However, the story was incredibly interesting and I loved the way he presented it. The academic historian in me was reluctant at first, for take heed: this is a popular history book. The whole thing read as an exciting novel that I could just not put down. Truth be told, I was entertained... and I loved it.
Jun 13, 2008 Dave rated it it was amazing
An excellent back-and-forth view of Southern and Northern personalities that led to the firing on Sumter. It covers the period between Lincoln's election and that event. I left once more persuaded that, although the immediate cause of the war was about a state's right to leave the union, the underlying cause was always slavery.
R.B. Nease
Jun 19, 2016 R.B. Nease rated it did not like it
I really thought I would like this book but I was left very disappointed. There is way too much explination and names thrown around that I was terribly bored with this book, and learned vertually nothing, as I tried to push myself through the chapters. There is a lot of period vocabulary that bores the reader with confusion. I would not recommend this book to anyone. There are clearly better books out there with the same material that are better written.
Alec Gray
Jun 21, 2014 Alec Gray rated it it was amazing
Great account of the outbreak of the civil war. The five months between Lincoln's election and the firing on Fort Sumter are often overshadowed by the war thAt followed, but the politics of secession are fascinating, and how both sides sought to deal with radical and treasonous actions by the southern states resonates today- how might we deal with a state seceeding today?
Woody Curran
Sep 24, 2011 Woody Curran rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: civil-war
Days of Defiance tells the story of the lead up to the Civil War, primarily in Washington D.C. and Charleston, South Carolina. The story is told from the perspective of many of the main participants of the political battles and last minute negotiations to prevent a war from starting at that point.

Klein's writing alternated from being fluid and readable to confusing and overblown with period vocabulary. The sheer volume of detailed names and anecdotes ended up overwhelming me with facts, and the
Dec 17, 2007 Sam rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: civil war enthusiasts
This book gives a surprisingly readable detail of the events leading up to Fort Sumter. From beatings in the halls of Congress to the riotous streets of Charleston, SC this book begins the journey which would ultimately lead to what I consider to be the one of the defining moments in our nation's history. I love the Civil War and I don't believe you can comprehend the American experience without an understanding of the Civil War.

"Verily, thus saith the Lord concerning the wars that will shortly
Jan 20, 2009 Mark rated it it was amazing
This book reviews the period between Lincoln's election to the attack on Fort Sumter in riveting detail, discussing the issues, the actions, the mistakes, the delusions, and the people involved in those events.

The story reads as smoothly as a novel and really makes you want to turn the page.

It provides the best explanation of why the Confederacy attacked at Sumter - and thereby started the Civil War - that I have ever read
Jerry Walsh
Apr 12, 2011 Jerry Walsh rated it really liked it
Great detail about Charleston, SC and the beginning of the Civil War. After reading I was able to understand the Southern view.
Dec 26, 2014 Jeff rated it it was amazing
Shelves: civil-war
Fantastic book about the lead up to the civil war. One of the best written and most informative I've read in a while!
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Maury Klein is renowned as one of the finest historians of American business and economy. He is the author of many books, including The Power Makers: Steam, Electricity, and the Men Who Invented Modern America; and Rainbow's End: The Crash of 1929. He is Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Rhode Island. He lives in Saunderstown, Rhode Island.
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