In Year of Meteors, Douglas R. Egerton recreates the tumultuous presidential election year of 1860, which upset every conventional expectation and split the American political system beyond repair. At the beginning of the year, Senator Stephen A. Douglas, leader of the Democrats, the only party with a large following in both North and South, seemed poised to win. By fall the Democratic Party had disintegrated, enabling the upstart Republicans to put an untried but canny dark horse candidate in the White House. Year of Meteors tells the story of Abraham Lincoln's rise to power and the series of events that led to secession and ultimately civil war. Dr. Egerton teaches history at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, N.Y. (vahistoricalsociety)
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