The Republic of Violence: The Tormented Rise of Abolition in Andrew Jackson's America (Hardcover)

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New York Times bestselling author reveals the story of a nearly forgotten moment in American history, when mass violence was not an aberration, but a regular activity—and nearly extinguished the Abolition movement.

The 1830s were the most violent time in American history outside of war. Men battled each other in the streets in ethnic and religious conflicts, gangs of party henchmen rioted at the ballot box, and assault and murder were common enough as to seem unremarkable. The president who presided over the era, Andrew Jackson, was himself a duelist and carried lead in his body from previous gunfights. It all made for such a volatile atmosphere that a young Abraham Lincoln said “outrages committed by mobs form the every-day news of the times.”

The principal targets of mob violence were abolitionists and black citizens, who had begun to question the foundation of the U.S. economy — chattel slavery — and demand an end to it. Led by figures like William Lloyd Garrison and James Forten, the anti-slavery movement grew from a small band of committed activists to a growing social force that attracted new followers in the hundreds, and enemies in the thousands. Even in the North, abolitionists faced almost unimaginable hatred, with newspaper publishers, businessmen with a stake in the slave trade, and politicians of all stripes demanding they be suppressed, silenced or even executed.

Carrying bricks and torches, guns and knives, mobs created pandemonium, and forced the abolition movement to answer key questions as it began to grow: Could nonviolence work in the face of arson and attempted murder? Could its leaders stick together long enough to build a movement with staying power, or would they turn on each other first? And could it survive to last through the decade, and inspire a new generation of activists to fight for the cause? 

J.D. Dickey reveals the stories of these Black and white men and women persevered against such threats to demand that all citizens be given the chance for freedom and liberty embodied in the Declaration of Independence. Their sacrifices and strategies would set a precedent for the social movements to follow, and lead the nation toward war and emancipation, in the most turbulent era of our republic of violence.

About the Author

J. D. Dickey is the New York Times bestselling author of Empire of Mud, a history of the troubled rise of Washington, D.C., in the nineteenth century, Rising in Flames: Sherman’s March and the Fight for a New Nation and American Demagogue, both published by Pegasus Books.  

Praise For…

“A new history of the 1830s anti-slavery movement and the unprecedented violence with which it was met. Dickey focuses on several key abolitionist leaders, notably William Lloyd Garrison, easily the best-known figure of the movement’s early years. But as the author shows, Garrison was hardly alone. While he was a pioneering voice, he had a number of supporters and rivals for the leading role in the movement. A fascinating look at a slice of history that may be unfamiliar to many general readers.”
— Kirkus Reviews

“Renowned historian Dickey meticulously revisits one of the ugliest times in American history, when violence was commonplace during the early days of the abolition movement, 1833–38. Dickey’s fascinating history reminds readers how crucial social movements take extreme courage, persistence, and adaptability.”
— Booklist

Empire of Mud, J.D. Dickey’s history of early Washington, is a bracing and graceful read. Dickey’s sharp reporting allows unexpected heroes to peep through.”
— Washington Post

“No one interested in Sherman’s triumphant march should be deprived of his lively narrative [of Rising in Flames]. Absolutely spellbinding… a testament to the author’s prodigious research.”
— Wall Street Journal

“Dickey deftly portrays the tumult. Black abolitionists — who, Dickey hints, were never allowed to radicalize to the same degree as whites — drive the narrative.  This reader is hoping a future volume will see Dickey bring his lively prose to the 1840s abolitionist movement. The Republic of Violence is not your typical chronicle of abolition, and readers are the better for it.”
— Washington Independent Review of Books
Product Details
ISBN: 9781643139289
ISBN-10: 1643139282
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication Date: March 1st, 2022
Pages: 408
Language: English

How to read more
( Birmingham Museums Trust’s Digital Image Resource shares thousands of images that span decades of Birminghams vibrant past)

How To Read More

If you love reading, but for some reason you read less and less, know that everything is fine. It happens.
Our lives today have so many things that distract us - how can we not put books away when all these movies, TV shows, YouTube videos, social networks and endless surfing in online stores are around ...
Yes, it's really hard to resist, but you certainly can!

In this article, we want to share with you some tips to read more often and more successfully.
These are some notes and some practices that we have collected for our SUNDOG BOOKS readers club.
And maybe it will bring more books into your life!

Why do we want/need to read more?

To start reading more, you have to understand why you need it.
And you will be surprised, but your goals can be quite varied:

- for work
If you read a lot on duty, then you definitely need to speed up the process. The logic here is simple: read faster → work faster → more time for books for yourself.

- for education
you need this for your educational career or sometimes you just want to read to learn. And, with all the new alternative ways to gain knowledge (podcasts, online courses and videos), the book still does an excellent job of this task too.

- for self-development
all exercises for increasing speed, one way or another, improve cognition and memory.

- for fun
because good books always = fun!

Book lovers have an additional special goal for reading more often. If you love literature, you will understand what we mean: you want to catch everything - to follow modern literature, and not forget about the classics, look into non-fiction and children's publications. And there’s so much you want to reread! The goals are ambitious, but attainable if you read a lot.


And so - How to read more:
We will tell you about the methods that we use ourselves. Perhaps some will suit you as well.


15 minutes a day

You've probably already heard this rule: if you want to start a healthy habit, devote 15 minutes a day to it. Once upon a time, we all read irregularly, in jumps and starts. Sometimes we cannot open a book we have begun weeks ago. Therefore, you should decide to create a rule: devote at least 15 minutes a day to reading. Try reading before bed, or maybe during lunchtime, or even when you are having your morning coffee.

You will see progress immediately. You will notice that almost always your 15 minutes will grow into half an hour or more. But the most remarkable thing is that in three weeks your hands themselves will be looking for a book.


50 First Pages
This method advises - If the book hasn't hooked you from the first 50 pages, put it aside! Life is too short to read uninteresting books.

It is necessary to change the approach to books. At first it will be hard for you to stop and put the book down. Even if we put the book away, it will seem to reproach us from the shelf, mocking us as quitters. But in the end we should come to one simple thought: if it doesn’t hook your attention, you should not force yourself to read it.

***Fifty pages is not a bad test. Not the most objective, but definitely effective. It helps to determine whether it interests you or not, and whether to spend time on things that do not excite.


Reader's Diary

This should be used to improve the quality of reading - to make it more conscious. For starters, it can be a simple notebook with headings:

  • Author
  • Year of publication
  • Main characters
  • Scene
  • Plot
  • Theme
  • Quotes

And, yes, a reader's diary is not a thing about quantity, but about quality. But, it can also motivate. When you open your diary and start looking at quotes (especially quotes), you immediately really want to read.


Maybe a Book Bet?
Several people can participate. Members of the betting group can come from friends, family, and also your colleagues. And of course you can set your own rules for participation, but we'll give you a simple example:

Everyone in the group should read and review a book over the course of a month with weekly updates. Anyone who does not finish a review buys the book for all other participants for the next month.


Speed Reading

Another effective way to increase the amount you read is speed reading. The logic here is simple - the faster you read, the more books you can enjoy.

*There are many online courses on speed reading, and you can also study on your own using instructional books. But, it is worth noting that this is a serious learning process that will require some effort on your part.



Reading every day is quite attainable, the main thing is to try to make it a habit.
Sometimes, instead of heading for Facebook, try opening a book and soon you won’t even remember why you needed to wander around social media.
And also - don't forget about audiobooks. They are a cool way to take the load off your eyes sometimes and just immerse yourself in the story. Some books are really strong in voice acting.


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