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The State of Jones

The State of Jones

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Written by Sally JenkinsAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Sally Jenkins and John StaufferAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by John Stauffer

  • Format: Trade Paperback, 432 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor
  • On Sale: May 4, 2010
  • Price: $16.95
  • ISBN: 978-0-7679-2946-2 (0-7679-2946-2)
about this book

In 1863, after surviving the devastating Battle of Corinth, Newton Knight, a poor farmer from Mississippi, deserted the Confederate Army and began a guerrilla battle against the Confederacy. For two years he and other residents of Jones County engaged in an insurrection that would have repercussions far beyond the scope of the Civil War. In this dramatic account of an almost forgotten chapter of American history, Sally Jenkins and John Stauffer upend the traditional myth of the Confederacy as a heroic and unified Lost Cause, revealing the fractures within Civil-War era Southern society. No man better exemplified these complexities than Newton Knight, a pro-Union sympathizer in the deep South who refused to fight a rich man’s war for slavery and cotton.

“A little known but fascinating slice of American history. . . . Well written, well read, and well researched. The true South is revealed.” —The Boston Globe

“Moving and powerful. . . . An important story that personalizes what remains abstract and counterintuitive in much of our received history of the Civil War, even as we approach its 150th anniversary.” —The Washington Post

“Informed. . . . Impressive. . . . The saga is related in fascinating detail.” —The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“Just when you thought you had heard it all about the Civil War, along comes this astonishing tale of rebellion within the heart of rebel territory. This is a riveting and memorable read about resistance, courage, love and, most of all, the long trail of justice and injustice in the American South. I couldn’t put it down.” —Tom Brokaw

“Jenkins and Stauffer have brought fresh attention to a little-known and interesting sidebar of Civil War history.” —Wall Street Journal

“Fascinating. . . . The book fittingly combines crisp narrative with exhaustive historical context. . . . Jenkins and Stauffer succeed in telling the complex history of the Civil War, and its disastrous Reconstruction aftermath, through the steely eyes of this crusty old man.” —Minneapolis Star-Tribune

“A richly detailed, riveting and revealing account of this long-forgotten rebellion within a rebellion.” —Tulsa World

“Jenkins and Stauffer dug deep into state and military records to spin this fascinating yarn, and their bibliography is augmented by extensive (and intriguing) notes. . . . The State of Jones is a treasure. It’s a window into an obscure corner of Mississippi’s history and an account that further challenges myths of a South unified behind a ‘glorious’ cause.” —The Virginian-Pilot

“Jenkins and Stauffer tell the fascinating tale of an unforgettable figure. . . . They follow the Knight family’s extraordinary lives over the course of six decades and in the process open a window onto a forgotten corner of the American landscape.” —Philip B. Kunhardt III, co-author of Looking for Lincoln

“Jones and Stauffer tell this story with verve and insight, providing a richly detailed, dramatic narrative that is a valuable contribution to the historical literature.” —James Simon, author of Lincoln and Chief Justice Taney

“Gripping. . . . Lively. . . . [Knight’s] story is sad but fascinating, a little known chapter in the history of the Deep South. Jenkins and Stauffer tell it well.” —The Advocate (Baton Rouge)

“A marvelous story of loyalty and treason, race and blood, war and peace. The State of Jones is as compelling as it is unlikely, a tale of insurrection that illuminates the larger insurrection of our Civil War.” —Rick Atkinson, author of An Army at Dawn