Brenda Wineapple

presents

The Impeachers:
The Trial of Andrew Johnson and the Dream of a Just Nation

This event includes a book signing

Date

Jul
9
Tuesday
July 9, 2019
7:00 PM

Location

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes renowned, award-winning historian Brenda Wineapple—author of Hawthorne: A Life—for a discussion of her latest book, The Impeachers: The Trial of Andrew Johnson and the Dream of a Just Nation. This event is co-sponsored by Mass Humanities.

About The Impeachers

When Abraham Lincoln was assassinated and Vice-President Andrew Johnson became “the Accidental President,” it was a dangerous time in America. Congress was divided over how the Union should be reunited: when and how the secessionist South should regain full status, whether former Confederates should be punished, and when and whether black men should be given the vote. Devastated by war and resorting to violence, many white Southerners hoped to restore a pre–Civil War society, if without slavery, and the pugnacious Andrew Johnson seemed to share their goals. With the unchecked power of executive orders, Johnson ignored Congress, pardoned rebel leaders, promoted white supremacy, opposed civil rights, and called Reconstruction unnecessary. It fell to Congress to stop the American president who acted like a king.

With profound insights and making use of extensive research, Brenda Wineapple dramatically evokes this pivotal period in American history, when the country was rocked by the first-ever impeachment of a sitting American president. And she brings to vivid life the extraordinary characters who brought that impeachment forward: the willful Johnson and his retinue of advocates—including complicated men like Secretary of State William Seward—as well as the equally complicated visionaries committed to justice and equality for all, like Thaddeus Stevens, Charles Sumner, Frederick Douglass, and Ulysses S. Grant. Theirs was a last-ditch, patriotic, and Constitutional effort to render the goals of the Civil War into reality and to make the Union free, fair, and whole.

Praise for The Impeachers

“In this superbly lyrical work, Brenda Wineapple has plugged a glaring hole in our historical memory through her vivid and sweeping portrayal of President Andrew Johnson’s 1868 impeachment. She serves up not simply food for thought but a veritable feast of observations on that most trying decision for a democracy: whether to oust a sitting president. Teeming with fiery passions and unforgettable characters, The Impeachers will be devoured by contemporary readers seeking enlightenment on this issue. . . . A landmark study.” —Ron Chernow, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Grant

“The past, as William Faulkner taught us, is never dead; it isn’t even past. In this absorbing and important book, Brenda Wineapple recounts the titanic struggle over the implications of the Civil War amid the impeachment of a defiant and temperamentally erratic American president: Andrew Johnson. Readers seeking to make sense of the perennial national tension between hope and fear will find much to ponder in these pages.” —Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Soul of America

“Her arguments are novel and her prose lively. . . . This book has much to offer enthusiasts of both historical and contemporary American politics.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

Brenda Wineapple
Brenda Wineapple

Brenda Wineapple

Brenda Wineapple is an acclaimed historian whose award-winning books include Ecstatic Nation: Confidence, Crisis, and Compromise, 1848-1877, White Heat: The Friendship of Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson, and Hawthorne: A Life. Her numerous other honors include a Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Pushcart Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, two National Endowment Fellowships in the Humanities, and, most recently, a National Endowment Public Scholars Award. She is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Society of American Historians, and regularly contributes to major publications such as The New York Times Book Review, The New York Review of Books, The Wall Street Journal, and The Nation.

Photo credit: Elena Seibert

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.

Unable to attend a Harvard Book Store author event? You can still pre-order a signed book by one of our visiting authors.

While we can't guarantee fulfillment of a signed book pre-order, our authors are almost always able to sign extra books to fulfill such orders.

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FAQ:

Can I request a personalized inscription?
Unless otherwise noted, we are happy to take requests for the author to sign your book to a specific person, but we can't guarantee it. If you do get a personalized inscription, the book will be non-returnable. We will require credit card information when you place the order.

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No need. We'll be selling books at the event, and nearly all of our events include a signing at the end of the talk.

More questions? Give us a call!

Co-Sponsored by Mass Humanities

Mass Humanities

Mass Humanities conducts and supports programs that use history, literature, philosophy, and the other humanities disciplines to enhance and improve civic life in Massachusetts. Learn more at masshumanities.org.

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