296 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 15 halftones, 2 tables, notes, bibl., index
eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-1086-3
Published: December 2013
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-2650-5
Published: August 2015
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Awards & distinctions
Honorable Mention, 2014 Wiley-Silver Prize, Center for Civil War Research
Shelden uses primary documents--from housing records to personal diaries--to reveal the ways in which this political sociability influenced how laws were made in the antebellum era. Ultimately, this Washington "bubble" explains why so many of these men were unprepared for secession and war when the winter of 1860-61 arrived.
About the Author
Rachel A. Shelden is assistant professor of history at the University of Oklahoma.
For more information about Rachel A. Shelden, visit the Author Page.
“Shelden does an admirable job in illustrating how what is said on the floor of the House or Senate might not always be the best guide for historians.”--Roll Call
"Thoroughly researched and richly detailed. . . . [An] interesting and colorful tale."--Washington Post
“A charming, superbly crafted examination of Washington, D.C., during the years when the slavery issue rose to prominence in American politics and then tore the country apart.”--America’s Civil War
“Shelden’s work offers valuable insight into a male-dominated culture that was almost purposefully concealed from the public, adds a vital ingredient to our understanding of why politicians seemed peculiarly unable to grasp the likely repercussions of their actions in the late antebellum era, and provides the reader with an engaging and not infrequently entertaining read.”--Civil War Book Review
“A fresh perspective. . . . Students of American political culture outside the antebellum era and those seeking historical support for either optimistic (the nation endured) or cynical (despite the bloodiest war in American history) interpretations of contemporary political conditions will likewise find much to engage their interest.”--North Carolina Historical Review
“A refreshing and fruitful approach to political history.”--Journal of American History