Horace Greeley: Champion of American Freedom

NYU Press
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From his arrival in New York City in 1831 as a young printer from New Hampshire to his death in 1872 after losing the presidential election to General Ulysses S. Grant, Horace Greeley (b. 1811) was a quintessential New Yorker. He thrived on the city’s ceaseless energy, with his New York Tribune at the forefront of a national revolution in reporting and transmitting news. Greeley devoured ideas, books, fads, and current events as quickly as he developed his own interests and causes, all of which revolved around the concept of freedom. While he adored his work as a New York editor, Greeley’s lifelong quest for universal freedom took him to the edge of the American frontier and beyond to Europe. A major figure in nineteenth-century American politics and reform movements, Greeley was also a key actor in a worldwide debate about the meaning of freedom that involved progressive thinkers on both sides of the Atlantic, including Margaret Fuller, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Karl Marx.

Greeley was first and foremost an ardent nationalist who devoted his life to ensuring that America live up to its promises of liberty and freedom for all of its members. Robert C. Williams places Greeley’s relentless political ambitions, bold reform agenda, and complex personal life into the broader context of freedom. Horace Greeley is as rigorous and vast as Greeley himself, and as America itself in the long nineteenth century.

In the first comprehensive biography of Greeley to be published in nearly half a century, Williams captures Greeley from all sides: editor, reformer, political candidate, eccentric, and trans-Atlantic public intellectual; examining headlining news issues of the day, including slavery, westward expansion, European revolutions, the Civil War, the demise of the Whig and the birth of the Republican parties, transcendentalism, and other intellectual currents of the era.

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About the author

Robert C. Williams is Vail Professor of History Emeritus at Davidson College and lecturer in history at Bates College. His books include Klaus Fuchs: Atom Spy; Russian Art and American Money, 1900-1940; and The American Atom: A Documentary History of Nuclear Energy (with Philip Cantelon). He lives in Center Lovell, Maine.

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Additional Information

Publisher
NYU Press
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Published on
May 1, 2006
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Pages
440
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ISBN
9780814795392
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Historical
History / United States / 19th Century
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Written in an engaging and entertaining style, this widely-used how-to guide introduces readers to the theory, craft, and methods of history and provides a series of tools to help them research and understand the past.

Part I is a stimulating, philosophical introduction to the key elements of history--evidence, narrative, and judgment--that explores how the study and concepts of history have evolved over the centuries.

Part II guides readers through the workshop of history. Unlocking the historian's toolbox, the chapters here describe the tricks of the trade, with concrete examples of how to do history. The tools include documents, primary and secondary sources, maps, arguments, bibliographies, chronologies, and many others. This section also covers professional ethics and controversial issues, such as plagiarism, historical hoaxes, and conspiracy theories.

Part III addresses the relevance of the study of history in today's fast-paced world. The chapters here will resonate with a new generation of readers: on everyday history, oral history, material culture, public history, event analysis, and historical research on the Internet. This Part also includes two new chapters for this edition. GIS and CSI examines the use of geographic information systems and the science of forensics in discovering and seeing the patterns of the past. Too Much Information treats the issue of information overload, glut, fatigue, and anxiety, while giving the reader meaningful signals that can benefit the study and craft of history.

A new epilogue for this edition argues for the persistence of history as a useful and critically important way to understand the world despite the information deluge.

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Burnham overcame tremendous obstacles and tragedies as he organized the talents of Frederick Law Olmsted, Charles McKim, Louis Sullivan, and others to transform swampy Jackson Park into the White City, while Holmes used the attraction of the great fair and his own satanic charms to lure scores of young women to their deaths. What makes the story all the more chilling is that Holmes really lived, walking the grounds of that dream city by the lake.

The Devil in the White City draws the reader into a time of magic and majesty, made all the more appealing by a supporting cast of real-life characters, including Buffalo Bill, Theodore Dreiser, Susan B. Anthony, Thomas Edison, Archduke Francis Ferdinand, and others. Erik Larson’s gifts as a storyteller are magnificently displayed in this rich narrative of the master builder, the killer, and the great fair that obsessed them both.

To find out more about this book, go to http://www.DevilInTheWhiteCity.com.
Written in an engaging and entertaining style, this widely-used how-to guide introduces readers to the theory, craft, and methods of history and provides a series of tools to help them research and understand the past.

Part I is a stimulating, philosophical introduction to the key elements of history--evidence, narrative, and judgment--that explores how the study and concepts of history have evolved over the centuries.

Part II guides readers through the workshop of history. Unlocking the historian's toolbox, the chapters here describe the tricks of the trade, with concrete examples of how to do history. The tools include documents, primary and secondary sources, maps, arguments, bibliographies, chronologies, and many others. This section also covers professional ethics and controversial issues, such as plagiarism, historical hoaxes, and conspiracy theories.

Part III addresses the relevance of the study of history in today's fast-paced world. The chapters here will resonate with a new generation of readers: on everyday history, oral history, material culture, public history, event analysis, and historical research on the Internet. This Part also includes two new chapters for this edition. GIS and CSI examines the use of geographic information systems and the science of forensics in discovering and seeing the patterns of the past. Too Much Information treats the issue of information overload, glut, fatigue, and anxiety, while giving the reader meaningful signals that can benefit the study and craft of history.

A new epilogue for this edition argues for the persistence of history as a useful and critically important way to understand the world despite the information deluge.

From his arrival in New York City in 1831 as a young printer from New Hampshire to his death in 1872 after losing the presidential election to General Ulysses S. Grant, Horace Greeley (b. 1811) was a quintessential New Yorker. He thrived on the city’s ceaseless energy, with his New York Tribune at the forefront of a national revolution in reporting and transmitting news. Greeley devoured ideas, books, fads, and current events as quickly as he developed his own interests and causes, all of which revolved around the concept of freedom. While he adored his work as a New York editor, Greeley’s lifelong quest for universal freedom took him to the edge of the American frontier and beyond to Europe. A major figure in nineteenth-century American politics and reform movements, Greeley was also a key actor in a worldwide debate about the meaning of freedom that involved progressive thinkers on both sides of the Atlantic, including Margaret Fuller, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Karl Marx.

Greeley was first and foremost an ardent nationalist who devoted his life to ensuring that America live up to its promises of liberty and freedom for all of its members. Robert C. Williams places Greeley’s relentless political ambitions, bold reform agenda, and complex personal life into the broader context of freedom. Horace Greeley is as rigorous and vast as Greeley himself, and as America itself in the long nineteenth century.

In the first comprehensive biography of Greeley to be published in nearly half a century, Williams captures Greeley from all sides: editor, reformer, political candidate, eccentric, and trans-Atlantic public intellectual; examining headlining news issues of the day, including slavery, westward expansion, European revolutions, the Civil War, the demise of the Whig and the birth of the Republican parties, transcendentalism, and other intellectual currents of the era.

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