Eager reader of history, mystery, classics, biographies, steampunk, lit fic, science, scifi, and etc. My reviews are mostly positive--I rarely finish or write about books I don't enjoy. My TBR is too high for that.
Ecstatic Nation caught me up completely with its a sweeping, exuberant, unflinching cultural and political history of the era surrounding the American Civil War, 1848--1877, years when the country was deeply divided by slavery, fiercely debating the rights of women, and bent on expanding westward into what was to have been lands set aside for Native Americans. Not just a series of events, Ecstatic Nation also tells the stories of the people of the time and their changing schemes, viewpoints, desires, values, moods, and circumstances.
Embedded in the narrative are incisive mini biographies of characters famous and not, including George Armstrong Custer, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Frederick Douglass, Lydia Maria Childs, Jefferson Davis, Walt Whitman, Red Cloud, P. T. Barnum, William T. Sherman, and Ralph Waldo Emerson among far too many others to note them all here. Fascinating and eye-opening, with almost 600 pages of text supported by over 100 pages of notes Ecstatic Nation still manages to rip along presenting a lively sometimes disturbing but almost always compelling back-story of today’s United States.
Ecstatic Nation used to have a cover image on BookLikes, but somehow lost it in the upgrade. Here's what it looks like: