The Field of Blood - Joanne B. Freeman
Though today’s Congress seems combative, all the filibusters and name-calling are nothing compared to when Congressmen actually stabbed and shot one another. From the infamous caning of Charles Sumner to endless duel challenges, historian Joanne Freeman shows that these frayed tensions were practically destined to erupt into Civil War. Remembering the Congress of the past solely as hallowed halls and dignified men is dangerous, she argues, as the real history reveals uncomfortable yet necessary truths about a union on the brink of collapse. Written with wit, flair, and a hint of cheek, Freeman presents these Congressmen as petty, triumphant, stoic, and vengeful—or, as she puts it more simply, human.