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1831, year of eclipse / Louis P. Masur.

By: Masur, Louis P.
Material type: TextTextPublisher: New York : Hill and Wang, 2002, c2001Edition: 1st pbk. ed. 2002.Description: xvii, 247 p. : ill., map ; 22 cm.ISBN: 0809041197 (pbk.); 9780809041190 (pbk.).Other title: Eighteen thirty-one, year of eclipse.Subject(s): United States -- History -- 1815-1861 | United States -- Politics and government -- 1829-1837 | Eighteen thirty-one, A.DDDC classification: 973.5 LOC classification: E381 | .M37 2002
Eclipse -- Slavery and abolition -- Religion and politics -- State and nation -- Machines and nature.
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Book University of Texas At Tyler
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E381 .M37 2002 (Browse shelf) Available 0000001947480

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Eclipse -- Slavery and abolition -- Religion and politics -- State and nation -- Machines and nature.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Masur (history, CUNY) has done a superb job of creating a richly textured account of a portentous year in American history: 1831 marked the year that the Southern oligarchy quit discussing the possible abolition of slavery and William Lloyd Garrison began his strident demand for abolition of the peculiar institution. The Nullification Crisis and the Indian Removal Act further exacerbated sectional differences. North-South fissures of the body politic also found expression in the battles between the National Republicans and the Democrats. Yet Union sentiment remained strong, and all Americans seemed to share a common drive toward material prosperity. Sadly, sectionalism eventually eclipsed national commonalties and thus fostered the fraternal bloodbath that erupted 30 years later. It is the dichotomy between consensus and conflict that Masur captures through the skillful use of memoirs, letters, diaries, newspapers, and first-person accounts. This is a work of traditional history: a good story grounded in primary sources. Recommended for public and academic libraries.DJim Doyle, Sara Hightower Regional Lib., Rome, GA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Filled with anecdotes and thumbnail portraits, this brief but pithy look at a single, seminal year in early US history is an informative and readable cross-sectional introduction to antebellum America. Historian Masur selected a year of dramatic transitions--political, social, economic, and cultural--to emphasize the constellation of changes that impelled America headlong into civil war. Four chapters highlight slavery and the abolition movement, evangelical religion and political reform, nationalism and sectionalism, and industrialization and Americans' increasing interest in nature. Readers meet a parade of fascinating personalities who made their marks in 1831. Nat Turner led the largest slave rebellion in US history. William Lloyd Garrison ignited the abolition movement. Charles Finney continued his religious crusade as leader of the Second Great Awakening. President Andrew Jackson and Chief Justice John Marshall squared off over Cherokee removal. Black Hawk struggled to retain the Sac and Fox tribal home in Illinois. John James Audubon sketched wildlife for The Birds of America. And the list goes on. This intriguing cross-sectional approach to US history ably encapsulates the most important political, social, and cultural trends of the age. All collections. K. Winkle University of Nebraska--Lincoln

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Louis P.Masur, a professor of history at the City University of New York and the editor of Reviews in American History, is the author of Rites of Execution: Capital Punishment and the Transformation of American Culture, 1776-1865. He lives in New Jersey. <p> (Bowker Author Biography)

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