Mississippi Senator Henry S. Foote draws his pistol on fellow Democrat Senator Thomas Hart Benton after his refusal to approve the expanded slave rights included in the Compromise of 1850.

Audiobook Review| Violence within Congress Spurs the Civil War

By Ryan Paul Winn
6/3/2019 • American History Magazine

The Field Of Blood: Violence in Congress and the Road to Civil War

Written by Joanne B. Freeman

Read by the author, with the recording produced by Macmillan Audio.

Reviewed by Ryan Paul Winn

From 1830 to 1860, members of the United States Congress committed more than 70 violent acts against one another. Joanne B. Freeman recounts how Southern Democrats’ attacks on critics of slavery spilled from the capitol building onto streets and dueling grounds.

Read with brisk enthusiasm by the author, this audiobook shows how interpersonal incivility presaged and hastened civil war.

Check out more at historynet.com/american-history

Ryan Paul Winn is a columnist and media critic who’s rarely without an audiobook or his earbuds. When not writing or teaching in the Liberal Studies department at College of Menominee Nation in Keshena, Wisconsin, he can be found researching overlooked history in local and national archives.

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