If you haven’t done so already make sure you pick up a copy of Joanne Freeman’s new book, The Field of Blood. It’s one of the best Civil War-era titles to be published this year. Eric Foner gave it a very positive review at the London Review of Books.
This passage in the review caught my attention:
Despite the many incidents Freeman describes, in the years before the Civil War the House and Senate were functioning institutions. They accomplished far more than they do today, when lawmakers are hard-pressed to keep the government functioning, much less address issues such as climate change and healthcare.
That is quite horrifying.