Here constitutional historian David Stewart, author of The Summer of 1787, offers a dramatic re-creation of the impeachment trial of Andrew Johnson, who took over the presidency after Abraham Lincoln's assassination. Johnson not only failed to heal the nation's wounds, he rubbed them raw, and ignored the plight of newly freed African Americans. As Stewart relates, Congressman Thaddeus Stevens of Pennsylvania, an ardent foe of slavery who aimed to rebuild American society on principles of equality and fairness, led the Congress to pursue impeachment based on Johnson's supposedly illegal firing of his own Secretary of State.
"David O. Stewart's Impeached is the fullest recounting we have of the high politics of that immediate post–Civil War period. As the author astutely tells us, the Constitution's impeachment clauses provide a complex legal remedy for enmity between Congress and the president.... Stewart's graceful style and storytelling ability make for a good read. The author maintains interest by emphasizing the heavy drinking and hyperbolic oratory in an age of excess."—Washington Post