THE GREAT HEART OF THE REPUBLIC and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy New
$34.30
Qty:1
  • List Price: $38.50
  • Save: $4.20 (11%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 3 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
Want it Tuesday, April 22? Order within and choose One-Day Shipping at checkout. Details
Trade in your item
Get a $6.66
Gift Card.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more

The Great Heart of the Republic: St. Louis and the Cultural Civil War Hardcover


See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from Collectible from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$34.30
$30.30 $32.49

Frequently Bought Together

The Great Heart of the Republic: St. Louis and the Cultural Civil War + Civil War St. Louis (Modern War Studies)
Price for both: $49.55

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Big Spring Books
Editors' Picks in Spring Releases
Ready for some fresh reads? Browse our picks for Big Spring Books to please all kinds of readers.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press; 1St Edition edition (February 2, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674052889
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674052888
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,062,667 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

An ambitious, innovative, and engaging look at the pivotal role St. Louis played in the cultural contest to determine the destiny of the United States. (Stephen Aron, author of American Confluence)

A sweeping, illuminating work that offers a fresh perspective on the period from the Mexican War to the post-Reconstruction era. Adding a western dimension to the sectional crisis of the Civil War era, Arenson's narrative is revelatory. (Michael A. Morrison, author of Slavery and the American West)

In compelling prose that balances brilliant analyses with rich narrative details and lively anecdotes, Arenson offers an important new argument about nineteenth-century U.S. history. His book combines the most thorough scholarship with the pleasures of a frontier romance. (Aaron Sachs, author of The Humboldt Current)

From the Great Fire of 1849 to the completion of the Eads Bridge in 1874, Arenson examines the cultural civil war through a city that aspired to be the unifying center of the American continental empire. St. Louis' successes and failures richly illuminate national travails as the promise of Manifest Destiny succumbed to the politics of slavery. (Louis S. Gerteis, author of Civil War St. Louis)

Arenson sets St. Louis at the center of nineteenth-century America's 'cultural civil wars' as dramas of competing visions of the nation played out on the city's streets and docks and in its courtrooms, churches, and classrooms. In this beautifully crafted book, the national stories we thought we knew take some surprising turns. (Ann Fabian, author of The Skull Collectors)

Arenson's beautifully told story of the rise and fall of St. Louis's efforts to invent itself as a center of American enlightenment and empire in the long Civil War era shows Manifest Destiny as a lived reality, with intoxicating and toxic implications for ordinary Americans. (Iver Bernstein, author of The New York City Draft Riots: Their Significance for American Society and Politics in the Age of the Civil War)

This is a superb book. Careful and bold all at once, it reminds us that the 'gateway to the West' played a major role not only in the coming of the Civil War but in the contests— cultural, social, and racial—it so tragically provoked. (William Deverell, Director, Huntington –USC Institute on California and the West)

Arenson's The Great Heart of the Republic...reveals the fresh and complex insights that close study of Missouri can yield for our understanding of nineteenth-century American history...Arenson's book offers a much broader interpretation of the Civil War than a typical work of local history. Rather than provide a comprehensive account of St. Louis's past, he uses the city's story to reveal a "nuanced, intimate history of the Civil War era from the heart of the republic." The result is a beautifully written and strikingly original interpretation of the causes, conduct, and consequences of the war. Like the authors of several recent works, Arenson wishes to reorient the discussion of sectionalism and the Civil War by emphasizing the West's importance in shaping the conflict. In Arenson's recounting, the war looks less like a fight between North and South over slavery, and more like a messy struggle between northerners, southerners, and westerners from a variety of ethnic, racial, and religious backgrounds...Arenson's work is wide ranging and ambitious, covering art, architecture, and historical memory as well as the history of politics and policy...Readers will discover a creative history of mid-nineteenth-century America in microcosm. (Andre M. Fleche History News Network 2011-06-01)

In the elegantly written, extensively researched The Great Heart of the Republic Adam Arenson looks at Civil War St. Louis and tells how it was unable to set aside sectional differences to transform itself into a truly national city. (Jane Henderson St. Louis Post-Dispatch 2011-12-04)

Arenson has something new to add to the literature of the Civil War, and he does so with a wonderfully nuanced argument and deft pen. Sure to have an enduring impact, this book delivers on its promise. (Stephen D. Engle American Historical Review 2011-12-01)

About the Author

Adam Arenson is Assistant Professor of History, University of Texas at El Paso.

More About the Author

Adam Arenson is a historian of nineteenth-century North America, investigating the cultural and political history of slavery, Civil War, and Reconstruction and tracing the development of American cities. His work focuses on the American West and its borderlands - from California to the Yukon Territory, from St. Louis to El Paso, where he teaches at the University of Texas at El Paso.

He has published a half-dozen articles and has won the 2009 Lewis E. Atherton Dissertation Prize from the State Historical Society of Missouri.

Originally from San Diego, Adam now lives with his family in Los Angeles. He is researching the history of African Americans returning from Canada, after the Underground Railroad, and the remarkable public art commissioned by Home Savings of America banks and produced by Millard Sheets's studio.

See further information on current research projects and classes taught at http://faculty.utep.edu/aiarenson

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
5 star
2
4 star
0
3 star
1
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 3 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mark_I on January 8, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I agree with the previous reviewers to say that the information Mr. Arenson has in this book is outstanding! It goes to show that the conflicts that led to the Civil War were very regional in nature and that war might have been avoided if the transcontinental railroad had been started sooner. It is also interesting for us in St. Louis to imagine what our city would be like now had somehow the nation's capital been relocated here. 5 STARS for the content.

HOWEVER - 1 star for the Kindle version. The Kindle version of this book omits ALL MAPS AND ILLUSTRATIONS! On the Kindle, you are politely advised "[To view this image, refer to the print version of this title.]" SERIOUSLY? If I need to refer to the print version every time I want to see a map or illustration, I would have bought the print version and not the Kindle version.

Given the fact that the maps and illustrations are no more complicated than others that are rendered very well in Kindle versions of other books, I can only assume that this is a publisher issue, not an Amazon issue.

Having seen both the Kindle and print versions of the book - I HIGHLY recommend the printed version.
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Howard Park on July 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you like history, St. Louis, or the Midwest, buy and read this book.

The Civil War was about a lot more than Lee and Grant in Virginia. St. Louis, then the most interesting city in the country, was a microcosim of the national struggle. "The Great Heart of the Republic" is vivid and well written as the author brings the past to life. This is what a history book should be.

I've read virtually every book about St. Louis history. This is simply the best. Arenson captures the national importance of mid-nineteenth century St. Louis, it's rise and slow decline and enduring greatness. The book also embodies a vision of how the nation might have been spared civil war if political giant Thomas Hart Benton had been able to broker a compromise and focused the nation on western growth rather than slavery.

This book is a real achievement and was a sublime pleasure to read.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Shirley on June 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In reading this book, I got my first understanding of what was really going on in America in the confusing years of 1815 to the Civil War. Arenson points out that the real war was between the north, the south, and the west. Expanding the nation to the west created a contest between the free states and the slave states to dominate the future of the country. The political struggle ended with a life-or-death struggle - the deadliest war in American history.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Product Images from Customers

Search
ARRAY(0xa2c51ccc)

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?