Record Details

Catalog Search

The demon of unrest : a saga of hubris, heartbreak, and heroism at the dawn of the Civil War / Erik Larson.

Larson, Erik, 1954- (author.).

On November 6, 1860, Abraham Lincoln became the fluky victor in a tight race for president. The country was bitterly at odds; Southern extremists were moving ever closer to destroying the Union, with one state after another seceding and Lincoln powerless to stop them. Slavery fueled the conflict, but somehow the passions of North and South came to focus on a lonely federal fortress in Charleston Harbor: Fort Sumter. Master storyteller Erik Larson offers a gripping account of the chaotic months between Lincoln's election and the Confederacy's shelling of Sumter-- a period marked by tragic errors and miscommunications, enflamed egos and craven ambitions, personal tragedies and betrayals. Lincoln himself wrote that the trials of these five months were "so great that, could I have anticipated them, I would not have believed it possible to survive them." At the heart of this suspense-filled narrative are Major Robert Anderson, Sumter's commander and a former slave owner sympathetic to the South but loyal to the Union; Edmund Ruffin, a vain and bloodthirsty radical who stirs secessionist ardor at every opportunity; and Mary Boykin Chesnut, wife of a prominent planter, conflicted over both marriage and slavery and seeing parallels between them. In the middle of it all is the overwhelmed Lincoln, battling with his duplicitous secretary of state, William Seward, as he tries desperately to avert a war that he fears is inevitable-- one that will eventually kill 750,000 Americans. Drawing on diaries, secret communiques, slave ledgers, and plantation records, Larson gives us a political horror story that captures the forces that led America to the brink-- a dark reminder that we often don't see a cataclysm coming until it's too late.

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780385348744 (hardcover)
  • ISBN: 0385348746 (hardcover)
  • ISBN: 9780593735176
  • Physical Description: xiv, 565 pages : illustration, map ; 25 cm
  • Edition: First edition.
  • Publisher: New York : Crown, [2024]

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references (pages 499-544) and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
Dark magic -- Map -- A boat in the dark -- Part 1: The best of all worlds -- Part 2: Treachery in the wind -- Part 3: Precipice -- Part 4: Journey -- Part 5: Coercion -- Part 6: Collision -- Part 7: Fire! -- Epilogue: A toast -- Coda: Blood among the tulip trees.
Subject: Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.
Presidents > United States > Election > 1860.
United States > History > Civil War, 1861-1865 > Causes.
Fort Sumter (Charleston, S.C.) > Siege, 1861.
United States > Politics and government > 1857-1861.

Available copies

  • 2 of 9 copies available at Lehigh Carbon Library Cooperative.


  • 17 current holds with 9 total copies.
Show Only Available Copies
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Emmaus Public Library 973.711 LARS (Text) 36446002109059 New Adult On Holds Shelf -
Lehighton Area Memorial Library 973.7 LAR (Text) 30445100223024 New Shelf Checked Out 05/31/2024
Lower Macungie Library 973.711 LAR (Text) 33400001610966 New Adult Nonfiction Checked Out 05/28/2024
Lower Macungie Library 973.711 LAR (Text) 33400001625576 New Adult Nonfiction Checked Out 05/29/2024
Palmerton Area Library 973.7 L32 (Text) 65000000078479 Adult Nonfiction Available -
Parkland Community Library 973.711 LAR (Text) 34422007419589 New Adult Nonfiction Checked Out 05/28/2024
Public Library of Catasauqua 973.7 LAR (Text) 70000000245550 Adult Non-Fiction Checked Out 06/01/2024
Whitehall Township Public Library 14 DAY 973.7 LARS (Text) 36305003015105 14 Day Book Checked Out 06/01/2024
Dimmick Main Library 973.711 LAR (Text) 304441003435887 Adult Nonfiction Available -

Additional Resources