Of course the North beat the South but Southern Values also won. Northern collusion with slavery, annexing Cuba, the 1% vs the 99%, and the wisdom of Phineas T. Barnum are all entertainingly discussed in Ecstatic Nation: Confidence Crisis and Compromise 1848-1877. Author Brenda Wineapple sheds light into little know areas, and you’ll find the past isn’t even the past. It’s all here today.

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