Conceived in Liberty by Mark Perry
Joshua Chamberlin, William Oates, and the American Civil War

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In this compelling dual biography, Mark Perry narrates the parallel lives of Union Colonel Joshua Chamberlain and Confederate Colonel William Oates. Chamberlain's and Oates's troops clashed at Little Round Top in a legendary contest that decided the Battle of Gettysburg, opening the door to Northern victory in the Civil War. It also set each man on a path to national prominence and a lifetime of political service. Drawing on a vast mine of documents, including letters, wartime journals, and political speeches, Mark Perry brings these men and their times vividly to life. Tracking Oates, the maverick Alabama frontiersman, and the scholarly Chamberlain of Maine, Conceived in Liberty explores the inexorable drive toward war amidst the forces of Western expansion, the failing cotton economy, religious revivalism, abolitionism, and the growing differences between North and South. In the postwar years, their hard-won battle glory unexpectedly brought Oates and Chamberlain the moral authority and political influence to shape America's destiny: Reconstruction policy, the party system, and, not least of all, race relations. It is this story--of two ordinary men given an extraordinary chance to act on their beliefs at a crucial moment in the life of our country--that makes Conceived in Liberty not just a Civil War book, but a portrait of American possibility in a tumultuous century.

About Mark Perry

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MARK PERRY, writer, reporter, and foreign policy analyst, has published articles in dozens of magazines and newspapers, including "The Nation, "The Washington Post, "The Christian Science Monitor, the" Los Angeles Times, and "New York Newsday. His critically acclaimed books include "Four Stars: The Inside Story of the Forty-Year Battle Between the Joint Chiefs of Staff and America's Civilian Leaders; Eclipse: The Last Days of the CIA; Fire in Zion: The Israeli-Palestinian Search for Peace; and Lift Up Thy Voice: The Grimke Family's Journey from Slaveholders to Civil Rights Leaders." Perry lives in Arlington, Virginia. "From the Hardcover edition.
Published December 1, 1997 by Viking Adult. 480 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, War. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Perry examines deeply the prevailing trends that shaped the politics of Oates and Chamberlain before the war (a survey that describes the rise of charismatic religion, the beginning of abolitionism, the antebellum movements for women's rights and temperance) and the politics of Reconstruction, wh...

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Publishers Weekly

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Perry (Four Stars) links Chamberlain and Oates, the respective commanders of the Maine regiment that defended Little Round Top at Gettysburg, and the Alabama regiment that attacked it.

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Perry completely ignores Chamberlain's efforts at the Battle of White Oak Road and goes on to imply that the Battle of Five Forks occurred on April 2, not on April 1, 1865.

Aug 12 2001 | Read Full Review of Conceived in Liberty: Joshua ...

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