Tag Archives: David O. Stewart

Impeached!

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.

Cold Hands, Good Company

It’s been a cold and windy week here in Maryland — made even colder by the little tease of Spring weather we’ve had over the past few weeks, where you can walk the dog, run to the store, or get the mail without needing your coat.  This week, though, just running from the house to the car makes your cheeks sting and your fingertips burn.  Each evening I build a fire in the living room fireplace and press my nose against the front window, staring at the dead flowerbeds and counting the weeks until I can go out and start playing in the mud again.

The crafty Aaron Burr.

The crafty Aaron Burr.

Meanwhile, I’m having lunch today with David O. Stewart, whose book The Summer of 1787 made the proceedings of the Constitutional Convention read like a great suspense novel.  David’s presently hard at work on a book about Aaron Burr and the comedy of errors that was the Burr Conspiracy, and he’s being either kind enough or crazy enough to ask me to blather on at length about Washington Irving and his relationship with Burr, and Irving’s observations as a semi-official correspondent at Burr’s trial in 1807.  Plus, David’s just plain good company, so it’s pretty much a double bonus for me.

Oh, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that David’s latest book, Impeached: The Trial of President Andrew Johnson and the Fight for Lincoln’s Legacy hits bookstores on May 12.  You can advance order a copy here.