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0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Thomas Fleming Narrator: William Hughes Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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By the time his body hung from the gallows for his crimes at Harper’s Ferry, abolitionists had made John Brown a “holy martyr” in the fight against Southern slave owners. But Northern hatred for Southerners had been long in the making. Northern rage was born of the conviction that New England, whose spokesmen and militia had begun the American Revolution, should have been the leader of the new nation. Instead, they had been displaced by Southern “slavocrats” like Thomas Jefferson. And Northern envy only exacerbated the South’s greatest fear: race war. In the sixty years preceding the outbreak of civil war, Northern and Southern fanatics ramped up the struggle over slavery. By the time they had become intractable enemies, only the tragedy of a bloody civil war could save the Union.

In this riveting and character-driven history, one of America’s most respected historians traces the “disease in the public mind”—distortions of reality that seized large numbers of Americans—in the decades-long run-up to the Civil War.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Lincoln would have liked this brilliant book. It lights a path through history to his great goal: an America united by understanding and forgiveness.”

    Charles Bracelen Flood, New York Times bestselling author

  • “A great deal of fine scholarship…Mr. Fleming more than supports his arguments…Well-researched and well-written…[A] superbly revisionist book.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Do we really need another book about the Civil War? Mr. Fleming makes a solid, compelling case in the affirmative. His narrative weaves new threads through this seminal event in American history. Through his exposition of largely ignored events he affords us a clearer, much more succinct picture of antebellum America…Fleming’s scholarship digs further into the prevailing Southern and Northern attitudes and mores of the period to draw into sharper relief the more widespread concerns, political and public, behind the Civil War…Certainly this book will provoke controversy of some manner, but we can ill afford to take as gospel truth what has typically been passed off as general history…A Disease in the Public Mind is not simply a thoughtful read, it is another call never to forget our sordid past, to face and conquer our fears.”

    New York Journal of Books

  • “A thoughtful examination of the root cause of that costly conflagration that interrupted the lives of the entire nation…Fleming’s trademark as a historian is his ability to tell a story without interjecting his bias or his own opinions, unless they are supported by facts. In this book, Fleming continues that tradition of professional observation…Fleming’s story about our ‘disease in the public mind’ is the very essence of good history.”

    Roanoke Times

  • “The prolific Fleming, for decades a fixture among American historians, pinpoints public opinion as the proximate origin of the war…Making a plausible presentation of antebellum attitudes and illusions, Fleming is sure to spark lively discussion about the Civil War.”


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About the Author

Thomas Fleming is the author of more than fifty books of historical fiction and nonfiction, including the New York Times bestseller The Officers’ Wives. A distinguished historian, he has served as president of the Society of American Historians and the PEN American Center, spent ten years as chairman of the New York American Revolution Round Table, and is the senior scholar at the American Revolution Center at Valley Forge. He has received honors and awards from the Colonial Dames of America, National Catholic Press Association, New Jersey Historical Commission, and American Association for State and Local History. His awards include Boston University’s Burack Award for Lifetime Achievement in American History, the Union League Club of New York’s Abraham Lincoln Award for Outstanding Contributions to American Literature, and the 2012 Gomez Mill House Pioneer Award. In his honor, the American Revolution Round Table of Philadelphia has named its annual book prize the Thomas Fleming Award. A frequent guest on PBS, A&E, and the History Channel, he has contributed articles to American Heritage, MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History, and other magazines. He lives in New York.