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Giant's Causeway - Frederick Douglass's Irish Odyssey and the Making of an American Visionary (Paperback): Tom Chaffin Giant's Causeway - Frederick Douglass's Irish Odyssey and the Making of an American Visionary (Paperback)
Tom Chaffin
R614 R482 Discovery Miles 4 820 Save R132 (21%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

In 1845, seven years after fleeing bondage in Maryland, Frederick Douglass was in his late twenties and already a celebrated lecturer across the northern United States. The recent publication of his groundbreaking Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave had incited threats to his life, however, and to place himself out of harm's way he embarked on a lecture tour of the British Isles, a journey that would span seventeen months and change him as a man and a leader in the struggle for equality. In the first major narrative account of a transformational episode in the life of this extraordinary American, Tom Chaffin chronicles Douglass's 1845-47 lecture tour of Ireland, Scotland, and England. It was, however, the Emerald Isle, above all, that affected Douglass - from its wild landscape (""I have travelled almost from the hill of `Howth' to the Giant's Causeway"") to the plight of its people, with which he found parallels to that of African Americans. Writing in the San Francisco Chronicle, critic David Kipen has called Chaffin a ""thorough and uncommonly graceful historian."" Possessed of an epic, transatlantic scope, Chaffin's new book makes Douglass's historic journey vivid for the modern reader and reveals how the former slave's growing awareness of intersections between Irish, American, and African history shaped the rest of his life. The experience accelerated Douglass's transformation from a teller of his own life story into a commentator on contemporary issues - a transition discouraged during his early lecturing days by white colleagues at the American Anti-Slavery Society. (""Give us the facts,"" he had been instructed, ""we will take care of the philosophy."") As the tour progressed, newspaper coverage of his passage through Ireland and Great Britain enhanced his stature dramatically. When he finally returned to America he had the platform of an international celebrity. Drawn from hundreds of letters, diaries, and other primary-source documents - many heretofore unpublished - this far-reaching tale includes vivid portraits of personages who shaped Douglass and his world, including the Irish nationalists Daniel O'Connell and John Mitchel, British prime minister Robert Peel, abolitionist John Brown, and Abraham Lincoln. Giant's Causeway - which includes an account of Douglass's final, bittersweet, visit to Ireland in 1887 - shows how experiences under foreign skies helped him hone habits of independence, discretion, compromise, self-reliance, and political dexterity. Along the way, it chronicles Douglass's transformation from activist foot soldier to moral visionary.

Fatal Glory - Narciso Lopez and the First Clandestine U.S. War Against Cuba (Hardcover): Tom Chaffin Fatal Glory - Narciso Lopez and the First Clandestine U.S. War Against Cuba (Hardcover)
Tom Chaffin
R1,300 Discovery Miles 13 000 Ships in 7 - 11 working days

Until now, the story of Narciso Lopez's daring invasions of Cuba has remained one of the great lost sagas of American history. Wildly famous during the mid-nineteenth century as the leader of a filibuster, a clandestine army, Lopez led the first armed challenge to Spain's long dominion over Cuba. While U.S. historians have tended to view Lopez - with his ties to Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, John C. Calhoun, and other southerners - as an agent of pre-Civil War southern expansionism, Tom Chaffin reveals a broader, more complicated picture. Although many southerners did assist Lopez the web of intrigue that sustained his conspiracy also included New York City steamship magnates, penny press editors, Cuban industrialists, and northern Democratic urban bosses. Between 1848 and 1851 Lopez tried five times to dislodge Cuba's Spanish government. After fleeing to the United States in the wake of an aborted uprising within Cuba, Lopez organized four separate expeditionary forces. Federal intervention thwarted two before they could set sail. The other two reached Cuba and battled the Spanish army. Lopez's May 1850 expeditionary troops endured attempted mutinies, desertions, and harrowing Gulf storms before their steamer grounded on a sandbar off Cardenas, Cuba. Lopez and his ragtag army of five hundred battled the Spanish through the night, and by morning they controlled Cardenas. The arrival of Spanish reinforcements later that day forced the filibusters to make a hasty retreat to sea. With a Spanish man-of-war in hot pursuit, Lopez sailed for Key West, Florida. After exhausting their coal, the filibusters burned bacon, shirts, and everything else they could find to fuel their ship's engine.When they reached Key West, the Spanish brig was only a quarter mile behind them. The Cardenas expedition failed, but newspapers and speakers at pro-Lopez rallies quickly transformed the failed invaders into glorious heroes of U.S. republicanism. To crush Lopez, the federal government eventually used diplomacy, presidential proclamations, indictments - even the U.S. Navy. Drawn from archives in both the United States and Cuba and enlivened by first-person accounts and reports from federal "special agents" assigned to spy on Lopez, Fatal Glory holds appeal for both scholars and the general reader with an interest in Cuba, U.S. foreign policy, or the U.S. sectional crisis of the 1850s.

Pathfinder - John Charles Fremont and the Course of American Empire (Paperback): Tom Chaffin Pathfinder - John Charles Fremont and the Course of American Empire (Paperback)
Tom Chaffin
R743 Discovery Miles 7 430 Ships in 7 - 11 working days

"The most eloquent, understanding, and yet very candid biography of Fremont that has appeared to date"--Howard R. Lamar, Yale University
The career of John Charles Fremont (1813-90) ties together the full breadth of American expansionism from its eighteenth-century origins through its culmination in the Gilded Age. Tom Chaffin's biography demonstrates Fremont's vital importance to the history of American empire, and illuminates his role in shattering long-held myths about the ecology and habitability of the American West.
As the most celebrated American explorer and mapper of his time, Fremont stood at the center of the vast federal project of western exploration and conquest. His expeditions between 1838 and 1854 captured the public's imagination, inspired Americans to accept their nation's destiny as a vast continental empire, and earned him his enduring sobriquet, the Pathfinder.
But Fremont was more than an explorer. Chaffin's dramatic narrative includes Fremont's varied experiences as an entrepreneur, abolitionist, Civil War general, husband to the remarkable Jessie Benton Fremont, two-time Republican presidential candidate, and Gilded Age aristocrat.
This new paperback edition of Pathfinder features a new, additional, updated introduction by the author.

Giant's Causeway - Frederick Douglass's Irish Odyssey and the Making of an American Visionary (Hardcover): Tom Chaffin Giant's Causeway - Frederick Douglass's Irish Odyssey and the Making of an American Visionary (Hardcover)
Tom Chaffin
R860 R639 Discovery Miles 6 390 Save R221 (26%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

In 1845, seven years after fleeing bondage in Maryland, Frederick Douglass was in his late twenties and already a celebrated lecturer across the northern United States. The recent publication of his groundbreaking "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave" had incited threats to his life, however, and to place himself out of harm's way he embarked on a lecture tour of the British Isles, a journey that would span seventeen months and change him as a man and a leader in the struggle for equality.

In the first major narrative account of a transformational episode in the life of this extraordinary American, Tom Chaffin chronicles Douglass's 1845-47 lecture tour of Ireland, Scotland, and England. It was, however, the Emerald Isle, above all, that affected Douglass--from its wild landscape ("I have travelled almost from the hill of 'Howth' to the Giant's Causeway") to the plight of its people, with which he found parallels to that of African Americans. Writing in the "San Francisco Chronicle, " critic David Kipen has called Chaffin a "thorough and uncommonly graceful historian." Possessed of an epic, transatlantic scope, Chaffin's new book makes Douglass's historic journey vivid for the modern reader and reveals how the former slave's growing awareness of intersections between Irish, American, and African history shaped the rest of his life.

The experience accelerated Douglass's transformation from a teller of his own life story into a commentator on contemporary issues--a transition discouraged during his early lecturing days by white colleagues at the American Anti-Slavery Society. ("Give us the facts," he had been instructed, "we will take care of the philosophy.") As the tour progressed, newspaper coverage of his passage through Ireland and Great Britain enhanced his stature dramatically. When he finally returned to America he had the platform of an international celebrity.

Drawn from hundreds of letters, diaries, and other primary-source documents--many heretofore unpublished--this far-reaching tale includes vivid portraits of personages who shaped Douglass and his world, including the Irish nationalists Daniel O'Connell and John Mitchel, British prime minister Robert Peel, abolitionist John Brown, and Abraham Lincoln.

"Giant's Causeway"--which includes an account of Douglass's final, bittersweet, visit to Ireland in 1887--shows how experiences under foreign skies helped him hone habits of independence, discretion, compromise, self-reliance, and political dexterity. Along the way, it chronicles Douglass's transformation from activist foot soldier to moral visionary.

Revolutionary Brothers - Thomas Jefferson, the Marquis de Lafayette, and the Friendship That Helped Forge Two Nations (Standard... Revolutionary Brothers - Thomas Jefferson, the Marquis de Lafayette, and the Friendship That Helped Forge Two Nations (Standard format, CD)
Tom Chaffin; Read by Rick Adamson
R1,334 R1,165 Discovery Miles 11 650 Save R169 (13%) Ships in 7 - 11 working days
Met His Every Goal? - James K. Polk and the Legends of Manifest Destiny (Paperback): Tom Chaffin Met His Every Goal? - James K. Polk and the Legends of Manifest Destiny (Paperback)
Tom Chaffin
R553 R512 Discovery Miles 5 120 Save R41 (7%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Soon after winning the presidency in 1845, according to the oft-repeated anecdote, James K. Polk slapped his thigh and predicted what would be the ""four great measures"" of his administration: the acquisition of some or all of the Oregon Country, the acquisition of California, a reduction in tariffs, and the establishment of a permanent independent treasury. Over the next four years, the Tennessee Democrat achieved all four goals. And those milestones--along with his purported enunciation of them--have come to define his presidency. Indeed, repeated ad infinitum in U.S. history textbooks, Polk's bold listing of goals has become U.S. political history's equivalent of Babe Ruth's called home run of the 1932 World Series, in which the slugger allegedly gestured toward the outfield and, on the next pitch, slammed a home run. But then again, as Tom Chaffin reveals in this lively tour de force of historiographic sleuthing, like Ruth's alleged ""called shot"" of 1932, the ""four measures"" anecdote hangs by the thinnest of evidentiary threads. Indeed, not until the late 1880s, four decades after Polk's presidency, did the story first appear in print. In this eye-opening study, Tom Chaffin, author, historian, and, since 2008, editor of the multi-volume series Correspondence of James K. Polk, dispatches the thigh-slap anecdote and other misconceptions associated with Polk. In the process, Chaffin demonstrates how the ""four measures"" story has skewed our understanding of the eleventh U.S. president. As president, Polk enlarged his nation's area by a third--thus rendering it truly a coast-to-coast continental nation-state. Indeed, the anecdote does not record, and effectively obscures complex events, including notable failures--such as Polk's botched effort to purchase Cuba, as well as his inability to shape the terms of California's and the New Mexico territory's admission into the Union. Cuba would never enter the federal Union; and those other tasks would be left for successor presidents. Indeed, debates over the future of slavery in the United States--debates accelerated by Polk's territorial gains--eventually produced perhaps the central irony of his legacy: A president devoted to national unity further sectionalized the nation's politics, widening geopolitical fractures among the states that soon led to civil war. Engagingly written and lavishly illustrated, Met His Every Goal?--intended for general readers, students, and specialists--offers a primer on Polk and a revisionist view of much of the scholarship concerning him and his era. Drawing on published scholarship as well as contemporary documents--including heretofore unpublished materials--it presents a fresh portrait of an enigmatic autocrat. And in Chaffin's examination of an oft-repeated anecdote long accepted as fact, readers witness a case study in how historians use primary sources to explore--and in some cases, explode--received conceptions of the past.

Correspondence of James K. Polk - Volume X11, January-July 1847 (Hardcover): Tom Chaffin, Michael David Cohen Correspondence of James K. Polk - Volume X11, January-July 1847 (Hardcover)
Tom Chaffin, Michael David Cohen
R2,082 R1,833 Discovery Miles 18 330 Save R249 (12%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Volume 12 of the "Correspondence of James K. Polk" documents a critical seven months in one of America's most transformational presidencies. Polk was the eleventh U.S. president (1845-49). Many of this volume's letters chronicle the Tennessean's prosecution of the Mexican War, a conflict that, along with his 1846 acquisition of what is today's Pacific Northwest, increased by one-third the size of the United States. The letters, most of them until now unpublished, also lift the veil on the personal life and business affairs of one of the most private men ever to occupy the presidency.
Between January and July 1847, the Democratic president and his supporters celebrated American military triumphs at Buena Vista, Sacramento, Veracruz, and elsewhere. In July, the war's final engagements lay months away. The lines of authority between Polk and his generals and diplomats in Mexico were almost as muddled as those among officials of the rivalry-ridden Mexican state. Yet the administration, as the letters document, already was pondering the size of the war's territorial spoils for the United States.
The letters also reveal often-overlooked foreign-policy interests under Polk, including Hawaii and Cuba, as well as the administration's concern with European affairs. Polk took a personal interest in the famine ravaging Ireland and in March 1847 placed two naval ships into civilian hands to transport to Ireland foodstuffs donated by private charities.
The correspondence also documents Polk's concerns with domestic politics. He had arrived at the White House having forsworn a second presidential term. Even so, he and his Democratic supporters kept a wary eye on the party's fortunes--from the 1848 presidential race to elections for state houses and Congress. Political-patronage appointments also won his attention. The letters reveal a party leader determined to use the spoils of office to reward allies and deny political opponents berths in the federal bureaucracy.
Correspondence concerning business affairs of his Mississippi plantation documents Polk the businessman, intimately involved in the trading of slaves. Other letters, to family members and old schoolmates, reveal the publicly hard-nosed president as a doting husband, son, uncle, and friend.

Revolutionary Brothers - Thomas Jefferson, the Marquis de Lafayette, and the Friendship That Helped Forge Two Nations... Revolutionary Brothers - Thomas Jefferson, the Marquis de Lafayette, and the Friendship That Helped Forge Two Nations (Paperback)
Tom Chaffin
R483 R412 Discovery Miles 4 120 Save R71 (15%) Ships in 7 - 11 working days

In a narrative both panoramic and intimate, Tom Chaffin captures the four-decade friendship of Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette. Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette shared a singularly extraordinary friendship, one involved in the making of two revolutions--and two nations. Jefferson first met Lafayette in 1781, when the young French-born general was dispatched to Virginia to assist Jefferson, then the state's governor, in fighting off the British. The charismatic Lafayette, hungry for glory, could not have seemed more different from Jefferson, the reserved statesman. But when Jefferson, a newly-appointed diplomat, moved to Paris three years later, speaking little French and in need of a partner, their friendship began in earnest. As Lafayette opened doors in Paris and Versailles for Jefferson, so too did the Virginian stand by Lafayette as the Frenchman became inexorably drawn into the maelstrom of his country's revolution. Jefferson counseled Lafayette as he drafted The Declaration of the Rights of Man and remained a firm supporter of the French Revolution, even after he returned to America in 1789. By 1792, however, the upheaval had rendered Lafayette a man without a country, locked away in a succession of Austrian and Prussian prisons. The burden fell on Jefferson, along with Lafayette's other friends, to win his release. The two would not see each other again until 1824, in a powerful and emotional reunion at Jefferson's Monticello. Steeped in primary sources, Revolutionary Brothers casts fresh light on this remarkable, often complicated, friendship of two extraordinary men.

The H. L. Hunley - The Secret Hope of the Confederacy (Standard format, CD): Tom Chaffin The H. L. Hunley - The Secret Hope of the Confederacy (Standard format, CD)
Tom Chaffin; Read by Barrett Whitener
R1,371 R1,194 Discovery Miles 11 940 Save R177 (13%) Out of stock

Tom Chaffin dispels the legends and offers the fullest account ever of the fate of the Confederacys H. L. Hunley, which sank the Unions USS Housatonic and then disappeared into the cold Atlantic until it was finally excavated in 2000.

The H. L. Hunley - The Secret Hope of the Confederacy (Standard format, CD, Ubr): Tom Chaffin The H. L. Hunley - The Secret Hope of the Confederacy (Standard format, CD, Ubr)
Tom Chaffin; Read by Barrett Whitener
R596 R540 Discovery Miles 5 400 Save R56 (9%) Out of stock

In a tour-de-force of document-sleuthing and insights gleaned from the excavation of this remarkable vessel, distinguished Civil War-era historian Tom Chaffin presents the most thorough telling of the H. L. Hunleys creation and demise.

The H. L. Hunley - The Secret Hope of the Confederacy (MP3 format, CD, Ubr): Tom Chaffin The H. L. Hunley - The Secret Hope of the Confederacy (MP3 format, CD, Ubr)
Tom Chaffin; Read by Barrett Whitener
R584 R528 Discovery Miles 5 280 Save R56 (10%) Out of stock

Tom Chaffin dispels the legends and offers the fullest account ever of the fate of the Confederacys H. L. Hunley, which sank the Unions USS Housatonic and then disappeared into the cold Atlantic until it was finally excavated in 2000.

Sea of Gray - The Around-The-World Odyssey of the Confederate Raider Shenandoah (Paperback): Tom Chaffin Sea of Gray - The Around-The-World Odyssey of the Confederate Raider Shenandoah (Paperback)
Tom Chaffin
R380 Discovery Miles 3 800 Out of stock

The sleek, 222-foot, black auxiliary steamer "Sea King "left London on October 8, 1864, ostensibly bound for Bombay. The subterfuge was ended off the shores of Madeira, where the ship was outfitted for war. The newly christened CSS "Shenandoah" then commenced the last, most quixotic sea story of the Civil War: the 58,000-mile, around-the-world cruise of the Confederacy's second most successful commerce raider. Before its voyage was over, thirty-two Union merchant and whaling ships and their cargoes would be destroyed. But it was only after ship and crew embarked on the last leg of their journey that the excursion took its most fearful turn.
Four months after the Civil War was over, the "Shenandoah"'s Captain Waddell finally learned he was, and had been, fighting without cause or state. In the eyes of the world, he had gone from being an enemy combatant to being a pirate--a hangable offense. Now fearing capture and mutiny, with supplies quickly dwindling, Waddell elected to camouflage the ship, circumnavigate the globe, and attempt to surrender on English soil.

The H. L. Hunley - The Secret Hope of the Confederacy (Paperback): Tom Chaffin The H. L. Hunley - The Secret Hope of the Confederacy (Paperback)
Tom Chaffin
R380 Discovery Miles 3 800 Out of stock

On the evening of February 17, 1864, the Confederacy's "H. L. Hunley" sank the Union's formidable sloop of war the USS "Housatonic" and became the first submarine in world history to sink an enemy ship. But after accomplishing such a feat, the "Hunley" and her crew of eight also vanished beneath the cold Atlantic waters off Charleston, South Carolina. For generations, the legend of the "Hunley" grew as searchers prowled the harbor, looking for remains. Even after the submarine was definitively located in 1995 and recovered five years later, those legends have continued to flourish. In a tour de force of document-sleuthing and insights gleaned from the excavation of this remarkable vessel, the distinguished Civil War-era historian Tom Chaffin presents the most thorough telling of the "Hunley"'s story possible. Of panoramic breadth, this saga begins long before the submarine was even assembled and follows the tale into the boat's final hours and through its recovery in 2000. Engaging and groundbreaking, "The H. L. Hunley" provides the definitive account of a fabled craft.

Revolutionary Brothers - Thomas Jefferson, the Marquis De Lafayette, and the Friendship That Helped Forge Two Nations... Revolutionary Brothers - Thomas Jefferson, the Marquis De Lafayette, and the Friendship That Helped Forge Two Nations (Hardcover)
Tom Chaffin
R695 R639 Discovery Miles 6 390 Save R56 (8%) Out of stock

The bond linking Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette constituted a singularly extraordinary friendship, one which played a key role in the making of two revolutions - and two nations. The author of the Declaration of Independence first met Lafayette in 1781, when the young French-born general was dispatched to Virginia to assist Jefferson, then the governor, in fighting off the British. The charismatic Lafayette, hungry for glory on the battlefield, could not have seemed more different from Jefferson, the reserved and philosophical statesman. But when Jefferson, a newly-appointed diplomat, moved to Paris three years later, speaking little French and in need of a diplomatic partner, their friendship began in earnest. As Lafayette opened doors in Paris and Versailles for the neophyte emissary, so too did Jefferson stand by Lafayette as the Frenchman became inexorably drawn into the maelstrom of his country's revolution. The Virginian offered counsel to the young aristocrat as he drafted The Declaration of the Rights of Man and remained a firm supporter of the French Revolution, even after he returned to America in 1789. But Jefferson soon learned that the French Revolution's excesses had led to the persecution of Lafayette and his family. By 1792, the upheaval had rendered him a man without a country, locked away in a succession of Austrian and Prussian prisons. The burden fell on Jefferson - and Lafayette's other friends, including Alexander Hamilton's sister-in-law Angelica Schuyler Church - to win his release. The two would not see each other again until 1824, in a powerful and emotional reunion at Jefferson's Monticello. Steeped in primary sources, Revolutionary Brothers casts fresh light on this remarkable, often complicated, friendship of two extraordinary men.

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