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We like to compartmentalize history, and the US civil war lends itself to the trope of Blue vs Gray from 1861 to 1865 But as serious students of the period know, the American civil war began on the prairies of Bleeding Kansas in 1856 John Brown s hanging only ended the first phase, as Lincoln s assassination ended the second, and opened the door to the third Reconstruction Who actually won the civil war after the dust settled and the blood dried remains as uncertain as on the day of Brow We like to compartmentalize history, and the US civil war lends itself to the trope of Blue vs Gray from 1861 to 1865 But as serious students of the period know, the American civil war began on the prairies of Bleeding Kansas in 1856 John Brown s hanging only ended the first phase, as Lincoln s assassination ended the second, and opened the door to the third Reconstruction Who actually won the civil war after the dust settled and the blood dried remains as uncertain as on the day of Brown s execution.This Kansas is not the nice Middle America of Dorothy and Toto nor the cozy Little House on the Prairie of TV fame Goodrich describes in detail a rough, hard bitten frontier society to whom violence came naturally even without divisive social issues The Kansas story as the first phase of civil war ends appropriately enough at Harper s Ferry Goodrich gives a nice summary account of this seemingly barren battle It s hard not to resist seeing John Brown s raid as parallel to Fidel Castro s assault on the Moncada Barracks nearly a century later both men were determined to drag their countries into a civil war few actually wanted John Brown s hanging brought about national civil war Castro s amnesty almost led to WW III Some might fault Goodrich for using so much contemporary documentation as a sign of scholarly laziness I don t It adds a nice period touch and makes the narrative come alive Some reviewers see this book as pro slavery With this I also do not agree, and I guarantee I mleftist than most readers What Goodrich does display is not all vice or virtue lay on one side Those readers who want a stirring tale of righteous free soilers striking for human liberty and the highest values of America will, naturally, be disappointed in the reality recounted here as they were at the time by the larger war afterward.Whatever Goodrich s negative feelings on Jews, Israel, slavery, or blacks, none of that is found in this book to my eye Racism was common to both sides most free soilers wanted a Kansas free of blacks as well as slavery By 1860 the diehards, like guerrilla chieftan Montgomery, seem to have forgotten what they were fighting for to others, like William Quantrill, it seemed not to matter.A good read on a largely bypassed chapter in 19th century US history Quotes from many original sources, mainly letters and diaries Good read, but the emphasis on fighting during the Territorial period leaves out the politics, which I think is just as important. Thomas Goodrich solidified his role as American historian with his first published book Bloody Dawn The Story of the Lawrence Massacre 1991 His straight forward prose and patriotic fervor has appeared through all of his documentations on historic events War to the Knife Bleeding Kansas 1854 1861 was published in 1998, contributing to the author s collection by providing a detailed account of territorial tension before the Civil War Bleeding Kansas was a term used by Horace Greeley durin Thomas Goodrich solidified his role as American historian with his first published book Bloody Dawn The Story of the Lawrence Massacre 1991 His straight forward prose and patriotic fervor has appeared through all of his documentations on historic events War to the Knife Bleeding Kansas 1854 1861 was published in 1998, contributing to the author s collection by providing a detailed account of territorial tension before the Civil War Bleeding Kansas was a term used by Horace Greeley during the violent riots which took place in Kansas during the 1850s Proslavery Missourians and antislavery free staters disputed over the slavery vote in Kansas Territory for a number of years The conflict did not cease until January of 1861 when Kansas officially became a Union state Unfortunately, territorial tensions did not die with the slavery question in Kansas Many feel that Bleeding Kansas was a primary cause of the Civil War Thomas Goodrich captures the whole bloody episode by piecing together various primary reports, letters, and diaries of those involved in the quarrel thus, revealing the motivations and agendas of both anti and proslavery sides From Benjamin Wade s declaration that the Kansas Nebraska Bill would bring an eclipse of the sun, p.5 to the first shot of the Civil War, Goodrich s book provides an exclusive and thorough account of events that led up to the Civil War His pages are filled with firsthand sources the work gives the readers a look into one of America s most infamous events While being a popular and accurate account of the Bleeding Kansas episode, the audience of Goodrich s volume is in argument over the partiality of the piece Some feel that War to the Knife is a particularly pernicious pro slavery account, all theshocking for having been written in 1998 Miles Hochstein , while others believe that readers will find his impartial examination a valuable asset Robert Collins The author does use passages from both proslavery and antislavery sides, yet his book feels flooded with quotes from slaveholding Missourians p.101 3 In addition, the only accounts from slaves in this book were of those blacks who were content with remaining in servitude War to the knife, knife to the hilt , in fact, was a popular slogan used by proslavery forces during the time of territorial rebellion Goodrich s tomb is fact filled, emphasizing the fighting and the guerilla tactics employed during this period In doing so however, the author omits important information such as the political motivation residing behind every decision Stephen Douglas, for instance, who played a pivotal role in the whole episode, is barely mentioned Buchanan s role in the Lecompton Constitution and other events such as the effect of Lincoln s election on territorial tension seem to have been deemed either unimportant by the author or irrelevant This is frustrating and likens the reader to the effect that they are only receiving half of the Bleeding Kansas story Though Goodrich s book consists largely of a series of varying articles and diary excerpts, his work never feels choppy Readers of a broad audience can follow along without feeling disrupted by the selections from proslavery Missourians or abolitionists Goodrich s piecing together of the many passages is impressive and the reader feels as if the assorted accounts are all in accordance sequentially However, I would not recommend this book to those with weak stomachs some accounts included in War to the Knife concerning the riots are very descriptive War to the Knife describes all events through the latter half of the 1850s in the new Kansas Territory Goodrich relays the facts and allows the reader to speculate the effect that Bleeding Kansas had on the American Civil War 1861 1865 The writer does not often interject and fills most of his pages with liable excerpts from newspapers and diaries, while also including maps and pictures The style is different and unique, yet manages not to detract from the audiences reading experience The author takes a brief moment in American history and expands it into good sized book which provides a thorough account of what happened in the Kansas Territory in the late 1850s Even so, a qualm that most readers might have is the racist overtones that can be found in some of Goodrich s writing Despite the arguments of abolitionists and their hypercriticism of slavery as cruel and inhuman, most Missourians could only smile p 101 Goodrich attempts to defend the institution of slavery and it is clear that he reveres former southern slaveholders The author uses a good bit of primary sources in his work, and therefore the index in the back is adequate A healthy bibliography is also accompanied by a series of notes showing that Goodrich is clearly well read He sets up his bibliography in chronological order inserting sources in the order in which they were used, allowing for easy navigation between the back of the book to any given position War to the Knife Bleeding Kansas 1854 1861 was published in 1998 Due to extensive research and time, Goodrich was able to recreate the circumstances of the Kansas Territory disputes by piecing together various parts of the episode Unfortunately, while informational, this volume contains many flaws one being the fact that Goodrich hardly mentions the political motivations during Bleeding Kansas, and another being his bias To address the issues, the author should dedicate a chapter to politics and meanwhile he should not describe slavery in Missouri as being benign p 101 Albeit, if at times biased, Goodrich s War to the Knife captures the essence of the pre Civil War territorial tensions by delivering the definitive Bleeding Kansas documentation The book was written for and perceived by a wide audience because of its straight forward prose and reporting style The manner in which Goodrich pieces together his composition is fascinating utilizing articles, reports, quotes, diaries, and letters from primary persons to tell the story Despite some of its flaws, racist overtones and omission of political activities, this volume is readable, informative, and allows for the audience to speculate Bleeding Kansas effect on the subsequent Civil War The book is OK and has a lot of interesting detail on the people of the time, but the version I read google books is missing the pages past 231 No notes or bibliography Buy another version if you need everything. |Download Book ♇ War to the Knife: Bleeding Kansas, 1854-1861 ♬ Long before the secession crisis at Fort Sumter ignited the War between the States, men fought and died on the prairies of Kansas over the incendiary issue of slavery War to the knife and knife to the hilt, cried the Atchison Squatter Sovereign Ina shooting war developed between proslavery men from Missouri and free staters in Kansas over control of the territory The prize was whether Kansas would become a slave or a free state when admitted to the Union, a question that could decide the balance of power in Washington War to the Knife is an absorbing account of a bloody episode in our nation s past, told in the unforgettable words of the men and women involved Robert E Lee, William Tecumseh Sherman, Sara Robinson, Jeb Stuart, Abraham Lincoln, William F Cody, and John Brown hailed as a prophet by some, denounced as a madman by othersBecause the conflict soon spread east, events in Bleeding Kansas have largely been forgotten But as historian Thomas Goodrich reveals in this compelling saga, what America s first civil war lacked in numbers, it than made up for in ferocity