Jefferson Davis, Unconquerable Heart

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University of Missouri Press, 1999 - Biography & Autobiography - 809 pages
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Preeminent Civil War historian Frank Vandiver always longed to see an interpretive biography of Jefferson Davis. Finally, more than twenty years after Vandiver expressed that wish, publication of Jefferson Davis, Unconquerable Heart makes such an interpretive biography available. Felicity Allen begins this monumental work with Davis's political imprisonment at the end of the Civil War and masterfully flashes back to his earlier life, interweaving Davis's private life as a schoolboy, a Mississippi planter, a husband, a father, and a political leader. She follows him from West Point through army service on the frontier, his election to the U.S. House of Representatives, his regimental command in the Mexican War, his service as U.S. secretary of war and senator, and his term as president of the Confederate States of America. Although Davis's family is the nexus of this biography, friends and enemies also play major roles. Among his friends intimately met in this book are such stellar figures as Andrew Jackson, John C. Calhoun, Zachary Taylor, Franklin Pierce, Albert Sidney Johnston, and Robert E. Lee. With the use of contemporary accounts and Davis's own correspondence, Jefferson Davis, Unconquerable Heart casts new light upon this remarkable man, thawing the icy image of Davis in many previous accounts. Felicity Allen shows a strong, yet gentle man; a stern soldier who loved horses, guns, poetry, and children; a master of the English language, with a dry wit; a man of powerful feelings who held them in such tight control that he was considered cold; and a home-loving Mississippian who was drawn into a vortex of national events and eventual catastrophe. At all times, "duty, honor, country" ruled his mind. Davis's Christian view of life runs like a thread throughout the book, binding together his devotion to God, his family, and the land. Jefferson Davis, Unconquerable Heart brings Davis to life in a way that has never been done before. The variety of his experience, the breadth of his learning, and the consistency of his beliefs make this historical figure eminently worth knowing.
 

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JEFFERSON DAVIS, UNCONQUERABLE HEART

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

The author's dedication—to her grandmother, —a Confederate to the last——tells you everything you need to know. The Jefferson Davis here is chivalrous and honorable, pious and caring, the ... Read full review

Jefferson Davis, unconquerable heart

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

The subject of both laudatory and critical studies since the time of the American Civil War, Jefferson Davis remains a controversial and enigmatic figure. In this truly comprehensive volume, Allen, an ... Read full review

Contents

Capture
1
Home
31
School
45
Army
57
Marriage
83
Plantation and Politics
111
Fame
137
United States Senator
159
Prisoners
412
An Unseen Hand
434
Varina
461
Sad Wandering
488
The Cause
511
The Hero
534
Afterward
560
J E Johnston to J Davis on Rank
577

Victory in Defeat
184
War Department Days
202
Struggles for Health and the South
225
President
266
The Chief Executive
292
Commander in Chief
317
The Year of Our Lord 1863
344
Doublequick Downhill
372
Proclamations by Davis for Days of Prayer
582
Devotional Material Used by Davis in Prison
584
Preface to the Notes
587
Notes
593
Select Bibliography
733
Index
761
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