It’s not quite Happy Launch Day — the book’s been Officially Out for a week now — but I attended the Launch Party last night in Georgetown, so I’ll say it anyway: Happy Launch Day to David O. Stewart, whose Impeached: The Trial of President Andrew Johnson and the Fight for Lincoln’s Legacy is already burning up the shelves and earning great reviews. Here’s the feared Kirkus, for instance, which gave David one of those highly-coveted starred reviews:
“A riveting look at one of American history’s most dismal episodes. The [Johnson] impeachment spectacle qualifies as the last battle of the Civil War and the first act of the tawdry Gilded Age . . . Stewart demonstrates his legal acumen, explaining the constitutional bases for impeachment and teasing out “the tenacious opacity of the phrase ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ . . . Also an adept historian, Stewart stresses the political nature of impeachment, where developments and outcome depend as much on events and the character and convictions of the protagonists. The author also profiles Benjamin Butler, the prosecution’s headstrong manager, the surprisingly slippery president-in-waiting, Ulysses S. Grant, and Edmund G. Ross, whose deciding vote against impeachment was likely purchased . . . Stewart vibrantly renders these atmospherics, the poisonous politics, the personal animosities and the unbridled corruption that will leave readers rooting for both sides to lose. Likely to become the standard version of this historic clash between a president and Congress.”
Pretty nice, eh? But really, I expected no less from Mr. Stewart,who’s not only a smart guy and a great writer, but a true gent. Go get it.