Review: CHARLES SUMNER AND THE COMING OF THE CIVIL WAR by David Herbert Donald

Some participants do not have blogs of their own, but we like to give them an opportunity to express their opinions about the books they read for the reading challenges.

Reva read Charles Sumner and the Coming of the Civil War by David Herbert Donald for the U.S. Civil War Reading Challenge 2011.  Here is her review:

I sought out this Pulitzer Prize Winner of 1961 because I’ve always enjoyed studying the Civil War for knowledge as well as the stories told. This biography is fairly reader-friendly. Mr. Sumner was an antislavery Senator from Mass. He was born into a large family with a father who wanted him out and earning as quickly as possible. Charles was intelligent, learned the law and many languages, but had little interest in anything. His one talent was as a loquacious (big talker) personality, so he kind of fell into politics as an orator. These were times of long, flowery speeches of many hours duration. He made friends and mostly enemies with his fiery abolition sermonizing. Sumner made his most famous mark on the world when an angry Southern man beat him so badly that he suffered all his life from the blows suffered on the floor of the Senate. His experience with this beating episode was also the earliest instance of PTSD being diagnosed, at least in my reading life.

**Attention participants: Remember to email us a link to your reviews, and we’ll post them here so we can see what everyone is reading!**

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