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Robert V. Remini
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American history
political science
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At the Edge of the Precipice: Henry Clay and the Compromise That Saved the Union
 
 
Author
Robert V. Remini.
Publisher Basic Books  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 8.5 x 5.75 x 0.7 inches
ISBN 9780465012886
Pages/Publication Date 184/2010
Daedalus Item Code 36261
List Price: $24.00
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In 1850, America hovered on the brink of disunion, as tensions between slaveholders and abolitionists mounted. The debate over slavery grew more rancorous when an influx of new territory prompted Northern politicians to demand that new states remain free, prompting Southerners to cry for secession. The National Book Award–winning biographer of Andrew Jackson and Henry Clay, as well as the historian of the U.S. House of Representatives, Robert Remini gives us this dramatic and fascinating condensed study of how Clay, ill and at the end of a long and distinguished career, engineered the Compromise of 1850 to save the United States.

"It was not the first deflection of civil war by Clay, who engineered the Missouri Compromise of 1820 and the resolution to the nullification crisis of 1832. But it may have been the Kentucky senator's most consequential compromise if, as Remini argues, it postponed for a decade a war the North could not have won in 1850.... Inaugurated with Clay's speech, soaring oratory by Daniel Webster, and a bitter rebuttal from the dying John Calhoun, the debate over Clay's compromise boiled until the death of President Taylor and the tactical talents of Stephen Douglas cooled down sectional acrimony and produced Clay's compromise.... Remini's account will captivate the American-history audience."—Booklist

 
 
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