The Book Stall is delighted to welcome acclaimed author Ed Achorn for a virtual event. He'll be joined by bookseller Jon Grand as they discuss his brilliantly conceived and vividly drawn nonfiction title, Every Drop of Blood: The Momentous Second Inauguration of Abraham Lincoln, now available in paperback. This program is free and open to the public. Register HERE.
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About the Book: By March 4, 1865, the Civil War had slaughtered more than 700,000 Americans and left intractable wounds on the nation. After a morning of rain-drenched fury, tens of thousands crowded Washington's Capitol grounds that day to see Abraham Lincoln take the oath for a second term. As the sun emerged, Lincoln rose to give perhaps the greatest inaugural address in American history, stunning the nation by arguing, in a brief 701 words, that both sides had been wrong, and that the war's unimaginable horrors--every drop of blood spilled--might well have been God's just verdict on the national sin of slavery.
Edward Achorn reveals the nation's capital on that momentous day--with its mud, sewage, and saloons, its prostitutes, spies, reporters, social-climbing spouses and power-hungry politicians--as a microcosm of all the opposing forces that had driven the country apart. A host of characters, unknown and famous, had converged on Washington--from grievously wounded Union colonel Selden Connor in a Washington hospital and the embarrassingly drunk new vice president, Andrew Johnson, to poet-journalist Walt Whitman; from soldiers' advocate Clara Barton and African American leader and Lincoln critic-turned-admirer Frederick Douglass (who called the speech "a sacred effort") to conflicted actor John Wilkes Booth--all swirling around the complex figure of Lincoln.
In indelible scenes, Achorn vividly captures the frenzy in the nation's capital at this crucial moment in America's history and the tension-filled hope and despair afflicting the country as a whole, soon to be heightened by Lincoln's assassination. His story offers new understanding of our great national crisis and echoes down the decades to resonate in our own time.
"Its strength lies less in the events themselves than in the elaborate detail and rich historical context that he musters . . . By the end, as well as mourning Lincoln's fate, American readers might wish for another chance at politics without malice and with charity to all."--Economist
"Drawing on historical wizardry--diaries, accounts, and memoirs--Achorn has assembled a prismatic portrait of that fateful day which reads like one long rolling dolly shot of history."--Literary Hub
"Meticulously chronicles President Lincoln's March 1865 inauguration in this kaleidoscopic history. Drawing from diaries, letters, memoirs, and newspaper reports, Achorn frames a poignant yet familiar portrait of Lincoln with the accounts of several figures who converged in Washington, D.C., for the inaugural address . . . He skillfully plumbs his sources for colorful details and draws memorable character sketches. History buffs will savor this evocative narrative."--Publishers Weekly
About the Author: Edward Achorn, a Pulitzer Prize finalist for Commentary and winner of the Yankee Quill Award, is the author of two acclaimed books about nineteenth-century baseball and American culture, Fifty-nine in ’84 and The Summer of Beer and Whiskey. He lives in an 1840s farmhouse in Rehoboth, Massachusetts.
Conversation Partner Jon Grand is a longtime bookseller and frequent author interviewer for Book Stall programs. He's the store's resident guru on history titles and reads widely across many nonfiction topics in current events and the humanities.
A brilliantly conceived and vividly drawn story--Washington, D.C. on the eve of Abraham Lincoln's historic second inaugural address as the lens through which to understand all the complexities of the Civil War