Catalogue


Stephen A. Douglas and the dilemmas of democratic equality /
James L. Huston.
imprint
Lanham, Md. : Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, c2007.
description
xi, 221 p.
ISBN
0742534561 (cloth : alk. paper), 9780742534568 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
series title
imprint
Lanham, Md. : Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, c2007.
isbn
0742534561 (cloth : alk. paper)
9780742534568 (cloth : alk. paper)
contents note
Creating democracy, 1813-1840 -- Democracy, commerce, and manifest destiny -- The Compromise of 1850 -- The Kansas-Nebraska Act and its aftermath, 1851-56 -- Popular sovereignty fails : the LeCompton constitution battle, 1857-59 -- The election of 1860 -- Secession and the limits of democracy, 1860-61.
catalogue key
6077040
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Reviews
Review Quotes
James L. Huston's book presents an intriguing reinterpretation of the life of Illinois' famous antebellum senator.
Students tend to think that Stephen A. Douglas is famous because he lost his debates with Abraham Lincoln in 1858. Of course he won those debates and was reelected as Senator from Illinois. Indeed, Douglas was one of the most important and successful political figures of the 1850s. We have long needed a concise biography of Douglas and James Huston has now provided just that. We are in Huston's debt for his intelligent and well written assessment of Douglas, and for his clear analysis of the often misunderstood 'dilemmas of democratic equality.' Comprehensive and insightful, this book provides a perfect picture of Douglas and it should be used in classes on the coming of the Civil War.
Huston's scholarship is always interesting and provocative and is so here as he explores Douglas's life....This concise and informative work is a welcome addition to the literature about antebellum America.
James Huston's terrific new book brims with fresh and important insights about Douglas and the political world he inhabited. Historians will want it on their shelves of antebellum studies and in paper as soon as possible for use in their classrooms.
A pleasant surprise....Huston's book joins the Rowman & Littlefield series American Profiles, brief biographies of major figures that are accessible to scholars and general readers alike. He brings the Little Giant to contemporary readers.....
Huston has written an excellent biography of a critical figure in antebellum America. This book would be a fine addition to any undergraduate course and excellent reading for professional historians.
A pleasant surprise....Huston's book joins the Rowman & Littlefield series American Profiles, brief biographies of major figures that are accessible to scholars and general readers alike. He brings the Little Giant to contemporary readers.
This item was reviewed in:
Reference & Research Book News, May 2007
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Summaries
Unpaid Annotation
Perhaps best known for his debates with Lincoln and his role in introducing the controversial Kansas-Nebraska Act, Stephen Douglas was a central character in the political firestorm that culminated in the American Civil War. In this engaging new biography, James Huston explores the political life and ideology of America's "Little Giant." Born in 1813, Douglas came of age during the great democratization of American politics, the time when egalitarianism became a national creed. Huston examines the unfolding of the principles of democracy and equality in the U.S. through Douglas's battles over the meaning of democracy during one of the most turbulent eras in American history. By placing Douglas within the current historiographical controversies of the antebellum period, Huston updates our understanding of the role that he played in the creation of the Illinois Democratic party, his enthusiastic support of the ideals of Manifest Destiny, the struggle over slavery's extension into the West, the meaning of popular sovereignty and the legitimacy of peaceful secession. By analyzing Douglas's definition of democratic equality throughout his life, Huston boldly takes on the political complexities of Antebellum America.
Long Description
Perhaps best known for his debates with Abraham Lincoln and his role in introducing the controversial Kansas-Nebraska Act, Stephen A. Douglas was a central character in the political firestorm that culminated in the American Civil War. In this engaging new biography, James L. Huston explores the life, ideology, and historical importance of America's "Little Giant." Born in 1813, Douglas came of age during the great democratization of American life. This was a time when egalitarianism became the national creed and President Andrew Jackson stood forth as its champion. Huston sets Douglas in this social and political milieu, and examines the unfolding of the principles of democracy in and through his life. Douglas's political career as a state legislator, U.S. Congressman, and ultimately U.S. Senator from Illinois placed him at the center of the struggle over the meaning of democracy and equality at both the state and national level. The renown that his debates of 1858 with Lincoln of the Republican Party garnered is but an emblem of the status that Douglas had as a leader of the Democratic Party and as the representative of a specific interpretation of the Jacksonian legacy of democratic populism. Huston places Douglas's life within the current historiographical controversies regarding the antebellum period and updates our understanding of the role that Douglas played in the creation of the Illinois Democratic party, the development of the ideals of Manifest Destiny, the struggle over slavery's extension into the West, the meaning of popular sovereignty, and the legitimacy of peaceful secession. Extensively researched and carefully documented, the book guides readers to original archival materials via a detailed bibliography and a section on the sources of Douglas's more famous statements. Huston's impressive work is a novel and lively presentation that shows Douglas to be a figure paradigmatic of the political complexities of the United States during the antebellum era.
Long Description
Perhaps best known for his debates with Abraham Lincoln and his role in introducing the controversial Kansas-Nebraska Act, Stephen A. Douglas was a central character in the political firestorm that culminated in the American Civil War. In this engaging new biography, James Huston explores the life, ideology, and historical importance of America's 'Little Giant.' Born in 1813, Douglas came of age during the great democratization of American life. This was a time when egalitarianism became the national creed and President Andrew Jackson stood forth as its champion. Huston sets Douglas in this social and political milieu, and examines the unfolding of the principles of democracy in and through his life. Douglas's political career as a state legislator, U.S. Congressman, and ultimately U.S. Senator from Illinois placed him at the center of the struggle over the meaning of democracy and equality at both the state and national level. The renown that his debates of 1858 with Lincoln of the Republican Party garnered is but an emblem of the status that Douglas had as a leader of the Democratic Party and as the representative of a specific interpretation of the Jacksonian legacy of democratic populism. Huston places Douglas's life within the current historiographical controversies regarding the antebellum period and updates our understanding of the role that Douglas played in the creation of the Illinois Democratic party, the development of the ideals of Manifest Destiny, the struggle over slavery's extension into the West, the meaning of popular sovereignty, and the legitimacy of peaceful secession. Extensively researched and carefully documented, the book guides readers to original archival materials via a detailed bibliography and a section on the sources of Douglas's more famous statements. Huston's impressive work is a novel and lively presentation that shows Douglas to be a figure paradigmatic of the political complexities of the United States during the antebellum era.
Long Description
In this engaging new biography, James Huston explores the political life of Stephen A. Douglas and his definition and promotion of the ideal of democratic equality. By placing Douglas in the current historiographical controversies of the antebellum period, Huston updates our understanding of Douglas and the battles that he fought over the meaning democracy and its institutional framework in the building of the Democratic party, the struggle over slavery's extension into the West, the meaning of popular sovereignty and the legitimacy of peaceful secession from the Union.

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