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The Prostrate State by James S. Pike

The Prostrate State

by James S. Pike

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Hardly history and of little interest except perhaps in understanding James S. Pike, a journalist for the New York Herald who worked for Horace Greeley. Pike had been a militant abolitionist before the Civil War, writing many articles for the abolition of slavery. He was a moderate republican, but disillusioned by the corruption under the first Grant administration and with the radical republicans. In 1872 he ran for Congress and campaigned for Horace Greeley as President. Greeley was a compromise candidate and badly lost the election. Pike was bitter, This book was based on Pikes notes while visiting Reconstruction South Carolina. He cherry-picked his notes to make the government seem as bad as possible. He used many racial epithets, most notably by referring to Black legislators as "Sambo." While he portrayed real events, he grossly exaggerated the problems in Columbia. Many people of the time considered it a history rather than the propagandistic jeremiad it truly was. One might say Horace Greeley did the decent thing and died two weeks after the election. This book is only interesting to those who wonder what ever happened to Pike.

This is one of the very few books I have ever read and rated with one star. ( )
  patito-de-hule | Sep 15, 2012 |
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