Customer Review

108 of 110 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have, a must read, November 15, 2006
This review is from: The Impending Crisis, 1848-1861 (Paperback)
If you are a Civil War buff or a student of American history, this book is a must have. It is a must read. Potter has written the definitive look at the years leading up to the Civil War, especially the 1850s. The book starts out dealing with the Wilmot Proviso in 1848 and goes right up to the firing on Fort Sumter in 1861. In between, Potter tells us of all the economic, social, and, especially, political causes of the sectional tensions.

The most brilliant thing about Potter's book seems rather simple--he tells the story as the people who lived it saw it. Too often, as Potter himself points out, historians have dealt with the 1850s as simply a precursor to the war or dealt with the issues and somewhat glossed over them because hindsight allowed them to know what was going to happen. Potter tries to leave hindsight out of it and just present the facts as they occurred in the years 1848-1861. What the reader gets is a great view of the people and events of the time as they happened and what their direct causes were.

The many other reviewers will probably do better than I can, but simply put, if you are interested in the antebellum history, the Civil War, American politics, or just looking for a good read, pick up this book. You won't be disappointed.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 6, 2008 10:03:25 AM PST
Well done. This book can not be overrated. This is a truly MUST READ.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 15, 2010 8:07:28 PM PST
Little Jay says:
Barrie, are you still writing a book on slavery and religion in North America?

Posted on Dec 21, 2012 12:30:17 PM PST
Tom Gunn says:
We will be using this book, "The Impending Crisis", for our American History Book Club. Are you aware of any discussion guide material for the book? As moderator of the book club this material would be helpful. Post any references, thank you.

Posted on Dec 21, 2012 12:31:04 PM PST
Tom Gunn says:
We will be using this book, "The Impending Crisis", for our American History Book Club. Are you aware of any discussion guide material for the book? As moderator of the book club this material would be helpful. Post any references, thank you.
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