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With elegant writing and an impressive depth of research, William J. Cooper, Jr. gives us a fully realized biography of this complex figure.
Jefferson Davis emerges as a man devoted to the ideals of America, as he understood them. The son a veteran of the American Revolution, a graduate of West Point, and a soldier in the Mexican war, Davis saw himself as a patriot. Cooper shows us how Davis’s initial reluctance to support secession turned into an absolute commitment to the Confederacy. We see the chaos that attended the formation of the Confederate government while the Civil War was being fought, and we witness Davis’s increasing desperation to save the Confederacy. Finally, we see Davis in defeat—imprisoned for two years and unrepentant, yet ulimately professing his faith in the restored Union. Engrossing and authoritative, Jefferson Davis, American, is the definitive life of one of the most enigmatic figures in our nation’s history.
"Thanks to Cooper’s rather awesome thoroughness of research and steady focus on his subject...his book seems likely to be the standard life from now on."—The New York Times Book Review
"Definitive... Bring[s] Davis back to life in all of his complexity and subtleties."—The Christian Science Monitor
"Biography on a grand scale, the most comprehensive treatment of Davis and his times yet to appear."—Los Angeles Times Book Review