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Pursuit: The Chase, Capture, Persecution & Surprising Release of Jefferson Davis

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In the tradition of the New York Times-bestselling work Manhunt, by James Swanson, comes a compelling nonfiction narrative about the pursuit and capture of Confederate President Jefferson Davis at the end of the Civil War.


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In the tradition of the New York Times-bestselling work Manhunt, by James Swanson, comes a compelling nonfiction narrative about the pursuit and capture of Confederate President Jefferson Davis at the end of the Civil War.

30 review for Pursuit: The Chase, Capture, Persecution & Surprising Release of Jefferson Davis

  1. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    For the first hundred and fifty pages Mr. Johnson presents a compelling narrative of the days immediately following the dissolution of the Confederate government in Richmond. After the capture of ex-president Davis the book quickly loses momentum. Mr. Johnson embarks on a blistering critique of the US government that is so one-sided it strains the limits of credulity. While missteps were certainly made, Mr. Johnson never acknowledges or completely ignores historical context of a nation reeling f For the first hundred and fifty pages Mr. Johnson presents a compelling narrative of the days immediately following the dissolution of the Confederate government in Richmond. After the capture of ex-president Davis the book quickly loses momentum. Mr. Johnson embarks on a blistering critique of the US government that is so one-sided it strains the limits of credulity. While missteps were certainly made, Mr. Johnson never acknowledges or completely ignores historical context of a nation reeling from four years of civil war and the assassination of its commander in chief.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    I had high hopes for this book, but in hind sight, don't know how it ended up on my reading list. The footnotes are nearly non-existent and the author relies heavily on secondary and published primary sources. There isn't any serious engagement with said sources either. He takes Jefferson Davis's memoirs (and those of other Confederates) as truth without critically examining that they were written well after the war. His examination of contemporary sources and quotes is minimal at best. Most of I had high hopes for this book, but in hind sight, don't know how it ended up on my reading list. The footnotes are nearly non-existent and the author relies heavily on secondary and published primary sources. There isn't any serious engagement with said sources either. He takes Jefferson Davis's memoirs (and those of other Confederates) as truth without critically examining that they were written well after the war. His examination of contemporary sources and quotes is minimal at best. Most of his secondary sources are of an older nature and are outdated in light of more recent scholarship. Based on outdated studies, Johnson exaggerates alleged Union bombardments of civilians. Late in the book, he excessively rails against the government. He seemingly tries to defend, at one brief point, Henry Wirtz, the commandant of Andersonville. His use of quotes is periodically questionable (for example, one in the early chapters by Alexander Stephens about Davis's African Church speech) and sometimes contradict the point Johnson is trying to make. Then, it turns out, he's a Confederate reenactor (per the acknowledgements) rather than having any credentials on this topic. This is not an objective or serious study of an important and interesting topic.

  3. 4 out of 5

    George

    This was fascinating to read. Well worth reading, even if you're not generally interested in the subject of the Civil War. The legal considerations related to how to treat Davis and what to do with him were interesting to consider; the ramifications of Lincoln's murder were also highlighted. The content is presented in an accessible and fast-moving fashion; again, this would be a good one to pick up and read, even if you're not a Civil War history hound. That said, the treatment of the topics is This was fascinating to read. Well worth reading, even if you're not generally interested in the subject of the Civil War. The legal considerations related to how to treat Davis and what to do with him were interesting to consider; the ramifications of Lincoln's murder were also highlighted. The content is presented in an accessible and fast-moving fashion; again, this would be a good one to pick up and read, even if you're not a Civil War history hound. That said, the treatment of the topics is thorough and detailed, so if you are a Civil War history hound, this would polish up your understanding of Davis's capture, imprisonment, pseudo-trial, and release -- and the greater context surrounding those events.

  4. 5 out of 5

    James Simms

    A very interesting story of the Civil War from the side of the Confederacy. Intriguing that Jefferson Davis gave his slaves a certain degree of "rights" which antagonized some of the more conservative slave owners and that he and his wife literally adopted Jim Limber, a young black boy who Mrs. Davis witnessed being abused at the hands of a black man. Interesting views of Lincoln and the supposition that he probably wanted to see Jefferson Davis escape as a way of bringing closure and helping th A very interesting story of the Civil War from the side of the Confederacy. Intriguing that Jefferson Davis gave his slaves a certain degree of "rights" which antagonized some of the more conservative slave owners and that he and his wife literally adopted Jim Limber, a young black boy who Mrs. Davis witnessed being abused at the hands of a black man. Interesting views of Lincoln and the supposition that he probably wanted to see Jefferson Davis escape as a way of bringing closure and helping the South begin to heal. Makes me think back to President Ford's pardon of Nixon and whether in some ways that might have been similar to what Lincoln would have done had he lived.

  5. 4 out of 5

    John Yelverton

    This was a really well done and smart book that looks at the fall of the Confederacy and all of the drama that ensued. The author is extremely well versed in the history of the War Between the States, and his observations are extremely eye opening. This is a book that history buffs will love to read.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jean

    This book breathes life into Jefferson Davis, who is so often mentioned lightly in the telling of the Civil War story. His personality, his flight, his treatment after the war were all interesting and unusual stories. But that he was so long imprisoned, and then never convicted of anything is quite a revelation.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Fredrick Danysh

    After the surrender of General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox, Confederate President Jefferson Davis fled to escape capture by the Union army. When he surrendered an attempt was made to try him for treason and he was held in a dungeon in Florida.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Travis Jackson

  9. 4 out of 5

    Tony Y

  10. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

  11. 5 out of 5

    Fred

  12. 5 out of 5

    Gregg

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mary

  14. 4 out of 5

    Garrett

  15. 5 out of 5

    Trevor

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kurt A. Wold

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ronald Habermann

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jack

  19. 4 out of 5

    Exapno Mapcase

  20. 4 out of 5

    Don

  21. 5 out of 5

    James Stevens

  22. 5 out of 5

    James

  23. 4 out of 5

    Zach Glascock

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

  25. 4 out of 5

    John

  26. 4 out of 5

    Corey Hall

  27. 5 out of 5

    David Rudnick

  28. 4 out of 5

    Eva Buono

  29. 5 out of 5

    Michael Fitzpatrick

  30. 4 out of 5

    Rob

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