Dissonance by David Detzer
The Turbulent Days Between Fort Sumter and Bull Run

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For two weeks in 1861, Washington, D.C., was locked in a state of panic. Would the newly formed Confederate States of America launch its first attack on the Union by capturing the nation's capital? Would Lincoln's Union fall before it had a chance to fight?

Wedged between Virginia and Maryland-- two states bordering on secession--Washington was isolated; its communications lines were cut, its rail lines blocked. Newly recruited volunteers were too few and were unable to enter the city. A recently inaugurated Lincoln struggled to form a plan-- defense or attack? Intelligence rumors and incendiary headlines revealed Norfolk and Harpers Ferry fallen to rebels, and the notorious "mobtown" Baltimore ignited by riots.

David Detzer pulls the drama from this pivotal moment in American history straight from the pages of diaries, letters, and newspapers. With an eye for detail and an ear for the voices of average citizens, he beautifully captures the tense, miasmic atmosphere of these first chaotic days of war.


About David Detzer

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David Detzer is professor emeritus of history with Connecticut State University. He is the author of Donnybrook; Allegiance; The Brink: Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962; and Thunder of the Captains, about the Korean War. He lives in Connecticut.
Published May 1, 2006 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 400 pages
Genres: History, War. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Detzer details the political forces at work on both sides, the logistical problems of raising armies in a nation with a tiny military establishment and Virginia’s early successes at the Harper’s Ferry arsenal and at Gosport, the key naval installation at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay.

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Publishers Weekly

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This fast-paced popular history of the frantic days between the attack on Fort Sumter and the Battle of Bull Run completes Detzer's "trilogy on the first hundred days of the Civil War."

Jan 02 2006 | Read Full Review of Dissonance: The Turbulent Day...


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California Literary Review

Detzer focuses much of his new book on what was happening along the key corridor of the Northeast that runs from Richmond north through Washington to Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and New England.

Apr 11 2007 | Read Full Review of Dissonance: The Turbulent Day...

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