Year of Meteors: Stephen Douglas, Abraham Lincoln, and the Election that Brought on the Civil War - by Douglas R. Egerton
A noted scholar of African-American history examines the backroom deals, parliamentary brawling, and vitriolic political dialog (one Republican convention speaker called Southerners "the whole vassalage of hell") that preceded America's landmark 1860 presidential election. Year of Meteors
offers a "lucid, meticulous account" (Publishers Weekly
) of slavery's role in placing dark horse political hopeful Abraham Lincoln ahead of the Democratic party's favored candidate, Stephen Douglas, to win the presidency with a record-low 39.5% of the popular vote. Doris Kearns Goodwin's Team of Rivals
is another engaging portrait of the charismatic figures and historic events described here.