Lincoln's Wrath: Fierce Mobs, Brilliant Scoundrels and a President's Mission to Destroy the Press

Jeffrey Manber, Author, Neil Dahlstrom, Author . Sourcebooks $22.95 (356p) ISBN 978-1-4022-0398-5

At the center of this overwrought Civil War account is the tiny town of West Chester, Pa., where John Hodgson ran a pro-Southern Democratic newspaper, the Jeffersonian . In August 1861, a mob destroyed his printing press and subscription lists, and tossed his printing type out a window. A few days later, two federal marshals came to finish the job—under the Confiscation Act, these marshals could seize the property of any citizen who supported the Confederacy. Manber and Dahlstrom speculate that the mobs may have been acting under the aegis of Lincoln's cabinet, and perhaps with the knowledge of Lincoln himself. The second half of the book is largely devoted to the ensuing court case, which in 1863 resulted in Hodgson recovering just over $500 in damages from the government. The authors are given to breathless prose ("It was John Hodgson's fight, and he stood alone"). The questions this book raises couldn't be more timely: how does one criticize a president in wartime, and how can we ensure the freedom of the press at those moments when we need it most? (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 10/24/2005
Release date: 11/01/2005
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 370 pages - 978-1-4022-2873-5
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-1-4022-0755-6
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