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Lincoln's Critics: The Copperheads of the North Hardcover – January, 1999

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Klement (1908^-94) was the premier historian of Lincoln's opponents in the North, dubbed Copperheads by Republicans to connote poisonousness and stealth. Klement corralled his major professional papers and some previously unpublished articles in this, his last book, to create "in essence, a Copperhead Bible." From delving in archives throughout Copperhead country--the Midwest, then called the Northwest--Klement came to see the Copperheads as victims of a bad rap. Virtually all Democrats, they had valid complaints about the war's devastating early effects on their region's economy and the Lincoln administration's abuse of Constitutional rights. Their fears about emancipation, though exacerbated by racism, were basically economic--workers, especially Irish and German immigrants, feared losing jobs to free blacks. Republican propaganda, backed up by military bullying, undermined the Copperheads' credibility, and their support dwindled when the Northwest economy changed from depression to boom as the war dragged on. Klement blamed nationalist mythologizing about Lincoln for obscuring the complicated truth about the Copperheads. Although not organized into a smooth, continuous narrative, these articles tell an utterly fascinating story. Ray Olson


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 261 pages
  • Publisher: White Mane Pub (January 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572491280
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572491281
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,784,534 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Todd E. Newman on November 3, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Not too many books cover the subjects of Copperheadism during the Civil War or how such a group of people ever evolved. Klement truly defines the persons or people who were Copperheads of the north that heavily favored democratic policy and beliefs during the 1850's to 1870's period of time. It was interesting to read how postwar northerners defined Copperheads as anyone who sympathized with the south during the war when truly some Copperheads favored anti-war policies and states rights. This book is very detailed about popular northern democrats and political figures who were at odds against the Lincoln administration. This book covers a lot. For example, details about economic strongholds on midwestern farmers helped define an anti-war sentiment as prices were being controlled by northeastern interest groups such as railroad companies and republican authority. Many midwestern political opinion and feelings about the war are covered while the mid-atlantic states fight the Lincoln administration in favor of the south succeeding. Klement brings a very detailed look at how Copperheadism evolved and fought to survive as an ideal way of life for some northerners who refused the war, Lincoln and a northern stronghold over the south. I simply can't recommend a better book for covering such a heavily defined and detailed topic that Klement presents.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 12, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I got this book for a research paper for my US Civil War class, topic was Copperhead (Peace) Democrats. This doesn't do a very good job explaining, also a more up to date book I found said that some of the conclusions from this book have been proven false since its publication.
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