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Peculiar Democracy: Southern Democrats in Peace and Civil War Hardcover – April 23, 2001

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Editorial Reviews


<p>Even though the study of antebellum politics has generated a sizeable historiography, Hettle brings a new approach to the subject by using the work of social historians to explain political culture and extending the critique of southern democracy into the Civil War period . . . Recommended for anyone studying the antebellum South and its social and political structure.</p> (North Carolina Historical Review)

<p>Hettle distinguishes his study from other fine analyses of mid-nineteenth-century Southern politics by extending his exploration. Hettle believes it is a mistake to conclude such a discussion with the secession crisis, a high-water mark of white solidarity. Instead, he pursues the answer to the question of how democratic the region's Democratic Party was into the war years . . . <i>The Peculiar Democracy</i> was written for specialists. But, the clarity of Hettle's argument and the quality of his prose make his book more than accessible for the interested general reader.</p> (History: Reviews of New Books)

<p>Hettle has delivered a well-researched and well-argued analysis of the southern Democracy. Furthermore, he has admirably demonstrated that institutional political analysis can be a powerful tool for understanding broader social issues.</p> (Craig Brashear <i>Alabama Review</i>)

<p>By connecting wartime politics with prewar politics, by illuminating the distinctive features of each state, and most importantly by focusing on the political stress created by slavery, Hettle adds to our understanding of southern politics and to the debate over why the South lost the war.</p> (Austin American-Statesman)

About the Author

Wallace Hettle, an associate professor of history at the University of Northern Iowa, is the author of <i>Inventing Stonewall Jackson: A Civil War Hero in History and Memory</i>.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: University of Georgia Press (April 23, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0820322822
  • ISBN-13: 978-0820322827
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,664,161 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Wallace Hettle is a Professor of History at the University of Northern Iowa, where he teaches the Civil War and Reconstruction, and courses on Mark Twain, slavery, and Abraham Lincoln. He is developing a primary source reader on the Confederacy.

Hettle lives in Cedar Falls, Iowa with his wife,their son, and their remarkably well-behaved cat. He is currently reading William Herndon's classic biography of Lincoln.

You can reach Wallace Hettle at wallace.hettle@uni.edu.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
It is a pleasure to recommend this book. The Peculiar Democracy is an interesting survey of Southern Democrats. It makes important distinctions between populist-minded Jacksonians and elite-minded Bourbons. It points out that Jeffersonian ideals associated with yeoman farmers and self-reliance were not fulfilled by the arrogant slothfulness of the plantation aristocracy.
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Peculiar Democracy: Southern Democrats in Peace and Civil War
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