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 Posted: Mon Jul 5th, 2010 11:58 am
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Barlow
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I would strongly suggest "Impeached.  The Trial of President Andrew Johnson and the Fight for Lincoln's Legacy"  by David O. Stewart.

It goes without saying that Andrew Johnson started off bad.  At Lincoln's Second Inaugeration, Johnson was very drunk and his speech incoherant.  Things went downhill from there.  Lincoln must have never considered his death in office just to pick this guy.  Worst VP since Spiro Agnew.  The book is a little short on good facts of how Johnson survived the assassination and what he was going when My American Cousin concluded, but I did not know that Johnson was the closest thing to a Confederate and tried to dismantle all that was won by the North's win in the Civil War.  Definitely a racist and ended up pardoning many rebel leaders.

This is a facinating book on the impeachment trial, why Johnson was impeached and how he escaped conviction by 1 vote!  I would strongly recommend it as an introduction to Reconstruction.  There arent enought books on Reconstruction.  Grant's role is interesting too.  Thad Stevens and Ben Butler are the major "playas" and Johnson's dream team defense is worth noting.

The author is an expert on impeachment and gives a good historical background to the what the framers meant.  I give it 5 stars

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