At the Edge of the Precipice by Robert V. Remini
Henry Clay and the Compromise That Saved the Union

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Synopsis

In 1850, America hovered on the brink of disunion. Tensions between slave-holders and abolitionists mounted, as the debate over slavery grew rancorous. An influx of new territory prompted Northern politicians to demand that new states remain free; in response, Southerners baldly threatened to secede from the Union. Only Henry Clay could keep the nation together.

At the Edge of the Precipice is historian Robert V. Remini’s fascinating recounting of the Compromise of 1850, a titanic act of political will that only a skillful statesman like Clay could broker. Although the Compromise would collapse ten years later, plunging the nation into civil war, Clay’s victory in 1850 ultimately saved the Union by giving the North an extra decade to industrialize and prepare.

A masterful narrative by an eminent historian, At the Edge of the Precipice also offers a timely reminder of the importance of bipartisanship in a bellicose age.

 

About Robert V. Remini

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Robert V. Remini is Professor Emeritus of History and the Humanities at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Called the foremost Jacksonian scholar of our time by The New York Times, he is the recipient of a National Book Award. His most recent book is Andrew Jackson and His Indian Wars. Series editor, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., is the preeminent historian of our time. For more than half a century, he has been a cornerstone figure in the intellectual life of the nation and a fixture on the political scene. He served as a special assistant to John F. Kennedy; won two Pulitzer Prizes for The Age of Jackson and A Thousand Days; and in 1998 received the National Humanities Medal. he published the first volume of his autobiography, A Life in the Twentieth Century, in 2000.
 
Published April 13, 2010 by Basic Books. 202 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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National Book Award winner and U.S. House of Representatives historian Remini (A Short History of the United States, 2008, etc.) revisits the Compromise of 1850 as an important, cautionary tale for today.

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The New York Times

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Two new books assess the career of Henry Clay, an architect of the Compromise of 1850.

Jul 02 2010 | Read Full Review of At the Edge of the Precipice:...

Bookmarks Magazine

Although the Compromise would collapse ten years later, plunging the nation into civil war, Clay’s victory in 1850 ultimately saved the Union by giving the North an extra decade to industrialize and prepare. A masterful narrative by an eminent historian, At the Edge of the Precipice als...

Jul 04 2010 | Read Full Review of At the Edge of the Precipice:...

Shelf Awareness

"In the end, meeting with people who have actually read your book is mostly like winning the lottery: I have never felt so lucky.

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California Literary Review

In the American political vocabulary, compromise is a word with a lot to answer for.

Jun 02 2010 | Read Full Review of At the Edge of the Precipice:...

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