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Congressional Violence And The Road To The Civil War

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
From cover, The Field of Blood

Historian Joanne Freeman joins us with stories of the routine bullying, fist fights, canings, and duels in Congress before the Civil War. If you think our country is fractured now, you should tune in.

RadioWest divider.

If you think our country is fractured now, Yale historian Joanne Freeman’s latest book will shock you. She’s chronicled the pandemonium that was Congress in the decades before the Civil War. And it wasn’t just rhetoric flying. There was bullying, fist fights and canings. In 1838, a Kentucky representative actually killed a Maine congressman in a duel. Freeman joins us Monday to talk about Congressional violence and the public’s demand for politicians who would literally fight for their rights.

Joanne Freeman is a Professor of History at Yale University, specializes in the politics and political culture of the revolutionary and early national periods of American History. She's also co-host of the history podcast BackStory. Her most recent book is called The Field of Blood: Violence in Congress and the Road to the Civil War. [Indie bookstores|Amazon|Audible]

Doug Fabrizio has been reporting for KUER News since 1987, and became News Director in 1993. In 2001, he became host and executive producer of KUER's RadioWest, a one hour conversation/call-in show on KUER 90.1 in Salt Lake City. He has gained a reputation for his thoughtful style. He has interviewed everyone from Isabel Allende to the Dalai Lama, and from Madeleine Albright to Desmond Tutu. His interview skills landed him a spot as a guest host of the national NPR program, "Talk of the Nation." He has won numerous awards for his reporting and for his work with RadioWest and KUED's Utah NOW from such organizations as the Society of Professional Journalists, the Utah Broadcasters Association, the Public Radio News Directors Association and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.