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Imperfect Union by Steve Inskeep

Imperfect Union

Best Seller
Imperfect Union by Steve Inskeep
Jan 14, 2020 | ISBN 9780735224353
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  • Hardcover $32.00

    Jan 14, 2020 | ISBN 9780735224353

  • Ebook $15.99

    Jan 14, 2020 | ISBN 9780735224360

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“Highly readable . . . A lively introduction to a pair of flawed yet extraordinary figures in the nation’s movement westward.”

Imperfect Union is a fascinating, complex love story, a riveting adventure, and an important, carefully researched history, told with incredible power and skill by one of the country’s best nonfiction writers.  What else could you want in a book?” 
—Candice Millard, author of Hero of the Empire
“A noteworthy journalist of present events, Steve Inskeep turns his talents to the nineteenth-century past in this dual biography of Jessie and John C. Frémont. The title, Imperfect Union, is a pun describing both the Union of slave and free states and the union between Jessie and John. The story is engagingly written, rich in new information, and brilliantly fair to the varied characters. Timely in its attention to race, gender, and diversity, this book should fascinate both historians and the general literate public. Inskeep’s account is particularly valuable in its presentation of Jessie Frémont, not only as a wife and mother but as ghostwriter and successful propagandist for her courageous, sometimes blundering, explorer husband.  He became the new Republican Party’s first presidential nominee, Abraham Lincoln’s predecessor.” 
—Daniel Walker Howe, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848

“Surprising and illuminating, Steve Inskeep’s Imperfect Union does what great history should do: it tells a story of consequence with verve and with an appreciation of the role of human agency in the broad affairs of a people. The story of the Frèmonts has helped shape our own story. Read this terrific book to find out how.” 
—Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Soul of America
“This captivating dual biography of John C. Frèmont and his wife Jessie Benton Frèmont portrays the rise and fall of the illegitimate son of an immigrant who became a famous explorer of the American West, a founding father of California as part of the United States, and ran for president as the first candidate of the fledgling Republican party in 1856. John’s career peaked in his early forties while Jesse emerged as the stronger partner in this famous marriage and earned a contemporary reputation as “the better man of the two,” an opinion that the reader will likely share.” 
—James McPherson, author of Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era
“Steve Inskeep’s Imperfect Union is a masterfully written dual biography of how Jessie and John Frémont won the American West. Action-packed stories about the Mexican War, the Oregon Trail, the California wilderness, and the Civil War are bountiful. And the political intrigue surrounding the birth of the Republican Party offered is marvelous. Highly recommended!” 
—Douglas Brinkley, Katherine Tsanoff Brown Chair in Humanities and Professor of History at Rice University and author of The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America

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