From a distinguished historian of the American South comes this thoroughly human portrait of the complex man at the center of our nation's most epic struggle.
Jefferson Davis initially did not wish to leave the Unionas the son of a veteran of the American Revolution and as a soldier and senator, he considered himself a patriot. William J. Cooper shows us how Davis' initial reluctance turned into absolute commitment to the Confederacy. He provides a thorough account of Davis' life, both as the Confederate President and in the years before and after the war. Elegantly written and impeccably researched, Jefferson Davis, American is the definitive examination of one of the most enigmatic figures in our nation's history.
William J. Cooper, Jr., is Boyd Professor of History at Louisiana State University. In addition to numerous articles, essays, and reviews, he is the author of The Conservative Regime: South Carolina, 1877-1890; The South and the Politics of Slavery, 1828-1856; and Liberty and Slavery: Southern Politics to 1860, as well as coauthor of The American South: A History. He lives in Baton Rouge.
"Bill Cooper's marvelous book is unquestionably the finest biography of Jefferson Davis ever published. Superbly researched, elegantly written, exquisitely balancing the public and private dimensions of Davis's life, it provides an incisive and compelling analysis of his role as Confederate president, largely because it presents a brilliantly coherent interpretation of his entire career."
Michael F. Holt, author of The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party
"Jefferson Davis at last has a sympathetic yet critical biographer. William J. Cooper, Jr., has written a splendid life of one of the most complicated and controversial figures in American history. With consummate skill he narrates and analyzes the events and individuals who shaped Davis's life. This book will stand as a model for many other controversial figures in U.S. history."
Robert V. Remini, author of Andrew Jackson
From the Hardcover edition.