At the Edge of the Precipice: Henry Clay and the Compromise That Saved the Union

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Basic Books, May 11, 2010 - History - 208 pages
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In 1850, America hovered on the brink of disunion. Tensions between slave-holders and abolitionists mounted, as the debate over slavery grew rancorous. An influx of new territory prompted Northern politicians to demand that new states remain free; in response, Southerners baldly threatened to secede from the Union. Only Henry Clay could keep the nation together.

At the Edge of the Precipice is historian Robert V. Remini's fascinating recounting of the Compromise of 1850, a titanic act of political will that only a skillful statesman like Clay could broker. Although the Compromise would collapse ten years later, plunging the nation into civil war, Clay's victory in 1850 ultimately saved the Union by giving the North an extra decade to industrialize and prepare.

A masterful narrative by an eminent historian, At the Edge of the Precipice also offers a timely reminder of the importance of bipartisanship in a bellicose age.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - HistReader - LibraryThing

This book has been on my wishlist for some time; yesterday I found it, today I read it. As interesting and informative as it was, it was worth my wait. Robert V. Remini writes a thankfully focused ... Read full review

AT THE EDGE OF THE PRECIPICE: Henry Clay and the Compromise that Saved the Union

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

National Book Award winner and U.S. House of Representatives historian Remini (A Short History of the United States, 2008, etc.) revisits the Compromise of 1850 as an important, cautionary tale for ... Read full review


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About the author (2010)

Robert V. Remini, historian of the U.S. House of Representatives, has been teaching and writing about American history for more than half a century. He has written more than twenty books, including the definitive three volume biography The Life of Andrew Jackson, which won the National Book Award (1984). His other books include biographies of Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, John Quincy Adams, and Joseph Smith. His Andrew Jackson and His Indian Wars won the Spur Award for best western nonfiction from the Western Writers of America. He lives in Wilmette, Illinois.

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