Jefferson Davis by Jefferson Davis & William J. Cooper
The Essential Writings (Modern Library Classics)

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 9 Critic Reviews

unrated

Synopsis

Jefferson Davis is one of the most complex and controversial figures in American political history (and the man whom Oscar Wilde wanted to meet more than anyone when he made his tour of the United States). Elected president of the Confederacy and later accused of participating in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, he is a source of ongoing dissension between northerners and southerners. This volume, the first of its kind, is a selected collection of his writings culled in large part from the authoritative Papers of Jefferson Davis, a multivolume edition of his letters and speeches published by the Louisiana State University Press, and includes thirteen documents from manuscript collections and one privately held document that have never before appeared in a modern scholarly edition. From letters as a college student to his sister, to major speeches on the Constitution, slavery, and sectional issues, to his farewell to the U.S. Senate, to his inaugural address as Confederate president, to letters from prison to his wife, these selected pieces present the many faces of the enigmatic Jefferson Davis.

As William J. Cooper, Jr., writes in his Introduction, “Davis’s notability does not come solely from his crucial role in the Civil War. Born on the Kentucky frontier in the first decade of the nineteenth century, he witnessed and participated in the epochal transformation of the United States from a fledgling country to a strong nation spanning the continent. In his earliest years his father moved farther south and west to Mississippi. As a young army officer just out of West Point, he served on the northwestern and southwestern frontiers in an army whose chief mission was to protect settlers surging westward. Then, in 1846 and 1847, as colonel of the First Mississippi Regiment, he fought in the Mexican War, which resulted in 1848 in the Mexican Cession, a massive addition to the United States of some 500,000 square miles, including California and the modern Southwest. As secretary of war and U.S. senator in the 1850s, he advocated government support for the building of a transcontinental railroad that he believed essential to bind the nation from ocean to ocean.”


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Jefferson Davis & William J. Cooper

See more books from this Author
Jefferson Davis (1808–1889) was the president of the Confederacy during the American Civil War, served in the House of Representatives and the Senate, and was secretary of war under Franklin Pierce.William J. Cooper, Jr., is Boyd Professor of History at Louisiana State University. His most recent book is Jefferson Davis, American, winner of the 2001 Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Biography and the Jefferson Davis Award. He lives in Baton Rouge.From the Hardcover edition.
 
Published August 10, 2004 by Modern Library. 496 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, War, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Jefferson Davis

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Documented but frankly biased in viewpoint, this second volume of a lengthy 3-volume biography of Jefferson Davis (also a history of the Confederacy) presents from the Southern point of view the years of the Civil War from March 4, 1861, the day of Lincoln's inauguration, to January 1, 1864.

| Read Full Review of Jefferson Davis: The Essentia...

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Yet, as early as his two courts-martial while a West Point cadet and army lieutenant, Davis manifested negative traits that proved fatal as a chief executive: anger, pedantry, vanity, indecision, and, as his future second wife noted after their very first meeting, an overbearing ``way of taking f...

| Read Full Review of Jefferson Davis: The Essentia...

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Rightly stating that Davis’s belief in the inferiority of blacks was universally shared in his time, Cooper begs the question of what the fuss over slavery was all about in the first place.

| Read Full Review of Jefferson Davis: The Essentia...

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

(Allen relies on a New Orleans newspaper, not exactly an objective source when it comes to slavery, for her description of the weeping.) In another passage, Allen sounds indistinguishable from an antebellum planter penning a defense of the paternalistic utopia that was the Southern plantation whe...

| Read Full Review of Jefferson Davis: The Essentia...

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

The Confederacy may have lost the Civil War, but its self-justifications remained influential for generations afterward, and this useful collection of writings by its leader and spokesman sums up its

May 01 2003 | Read Full Review of Jefferson Davis: The Essentia...

Book Reporter

JEFFERSON DAVIS, AMERICAN is a critical and sympathetic.

Jan 22 2011 | Read Full Review of Jefferson Davis: The Essentia...

Book Reporter

In this new effort, he sheds historical light on the flight and eventual capture of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and the elaborate funeral train that took Lincoln’s body on a 13-day, 1,600-mile journey to its final burial site in Springfield, Illinois.

Dec 22 2010 | Read Full Review of Jefferson Davis: The Essentia...

HistoryNet

Escott's After Secession: Jefferson Davis and the Failure of Confederate Nationalism, which portrays Davis as insensitive to civilian pleas for assistance, Cooper convincingly shows how Davis responded to substitution, hunger, desertion, and the crisis of the Twenty Negro Law, which exempted owne...

Aug 12 2001 | Read Full Review of Jefferson Davis: The Essentia...

ForeWord Reviews

Also, Davis repeatedly “failed to grasp the importance of unified command.” The two most intriguing chapters examine the effect of the war upon the relationships between the five generals and their wives and the public image of Jefferson Davis as commander in chief at different points during th...

Jun 15 1999 | Read Full Review of Jefferson Davis: The Essentia...

Reader Rating for Jefferson Davis
100%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 6 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×