Best 244 quotes in «civil war quotes» category

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    Indeed, women like Peterman who admitted they joined the army for adventure as opposed to patriotism or love were often viewed with skepticism and derision by the press because their actions and motivations failed to conform to accepted romantic and cultural ideals.

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    I never understand these "the south will rise again" people. Again? It never rose before. It tried to and Lincoln stomped its ass.

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    In the years preceding the Civil War in America, Christian ministers wrote nearly half of all defenses of slavery.

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    In the United States the continued influence of the old elite meant that southern politics fell under the domination of a Democratic Party that gloried the Confederacy, the Lost Cause, the Ku Klux Klan, and resistance to Reconstruction. White supremacy was made into the fundamental cause of the South, and racism became the tool to enforce white unity behind the Democratic Party whenever a political challenge arose. Another tactic used over and over again to maintain the Solid South was to warn against outside threats and outside agitators. The mentality of a defensive, isolated, but gallant South helped Democratic leaders to deflect attention from the problems of their society and the effects of their rule. These powerful social currents, aided by women’s groups such as the United Daughters of the Confederacy, shaped and inhibited the region’s culture. Conformity to white supremacy, segregation, and Democratic Party rule was a social imperative for generations of southerners who were indoctrinated in the belief that they had suffered grave injustice with the defeat of their glorious Lost Cause. Had the diverse political leaders of so-called Radical Reconstruction continued to exercise some power or influence, the South would have been a very different society [187].

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    Interpretations are usually tied in some way to the era in which they were written. It’s far from accidental that the generation that fought the war would come to view it in the North as a moral struggle over slavery, and in the South as a more defensible support of state’s rights. Similarly it is far from accidental that the economic interpretation gained great popularity during the 1930s, the years of the great depression. Nor is it surprising that interpretations emphasizing fanatics and incompetent politicians should arise as people in the 1930s began to see World War I as an avoidable conflict, and who were simultaneously witnessing the rise of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. Nor should we be surprised that all these alternative views to slavery as the cause of the war emerged in the decades of intense racism in the United States. Nor should we be surprised by the reemergence of slavery as a moral issue, and the question of race relations in the era of civil rights and in the years since World War II and the full revelation of Nazi racial atrocities. .... The emphasis of psychological interpretations in this same time period should not surprise us either. ... Nor should the emphasis on ideology that developed in the years of the cold war, which was an ideological conflict [be a surprise].... . It is important to realize that if one accepts the ideological approach then all the previous interpretations retain their validity. For even if there were no conspiracies in reality, no truly irreconcilable differences in economies and cultures, no basic disagreement over the nature of the Union, and no chance of slavery establishing itself in the territories; Americans North and South believed otherwise because of their ideology, and they acted on the basis of those beliefs. Furthermore, ideology and perceptions are themselves products of all the general factors previously cited as causes of the war--Economics, culture, politics, political theory, moral values. And the common denominator linking all of these previously sited causes is SLAVERY. It was the base of the southern economy, southern culture, the conspiracy theories north and south, the fanaticism, politics, moral arguments, racism, conflicting definitions north and south of rights, and ensuing ideological conflicts. It is therefore the basic cause of the war.

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    In the morning we shed our blue sheep’s clothing. Our border shirts came out of satchels and onto our backs. We preferred this means of dress for it was more flatout and honest. The shirts were large with pistol pockets, and usually colored red or dun. Many had been embroidered with ornate stitching by loving women some were blessed enough to have. Mine was plain, but well broken in. I can think of no more chilling a sight than that of myself all astride my big bay horse with six or eight pistols dangling from my saddle, my rebel locks aloft on the breeze and a whoopish yell on my lips. When my awful costume was multiplied by that of my comrades, we stopped feint hearts just by our mode of dread stylishness.

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    In the sixteenth century the unity of western European Christendom had been shattered by the rise of Protestantism in its various strands (Lutheran, Calvinist, and Anglican). While the state was regarded as part of the body of Christ, the concept of sharing a political community with those of differing doctrinal commitments was unthinkable. And so it remained at first. Protestant reformers and their Catholic adversaries all insisted that one of the main aims of government was to maintain "true religion." They disagreed, of course. as to which brand of Christianity was true. Thus European history in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries became a chronicle of civil war, of massacre, and of the expulsion of religious minorities. The notion of religious toleration grew less out of any particular brand of Christianity than out of the fear and frustration of protracted civil war. (p. 24)

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    I recollect once of having heard a gentleman from one of the northern States, of great power and ability, announce in the House of Representatives, with imposing effect, that we of the South would be compelled, ultimately, to yield upon this subject of slavery, that it was as impossible to war successfully against a principle in politics, as it was in physics or mechanics. That the principle would ultimately prevail. That we, in maintaining slavery as it exists with us, were warring against a principle, a principle founded in nature, the principle of the equality of men. The reply I made to him was, that upon his own grounds, we should, ultimately, succeed, and that he and his associates, in this crusade against our institutions, would ultimately fail. The truth announced, that it was as impossible to war successfully against a principle in politics as it was in physics and mechanics, I admitted; but told him that it was he, and those acting with him, who were warring against a principle. They were attempting to make things equal which the Creator had made unequal.

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    It was not an unusual site to see Negro tenant farmers crossing the intersection of Spring and Barbrick on the way to the cotton warehouse

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    It was the large number of outrages on women and the ever-present fear for the safety of their wives and daughters that drove Southern men to cold and trembling fury and caused the Ku Klux Klan to spring up overnight. And it was against this nocturnal organization that the newspapers of the North cried out most loudly, never realizing the tragic necessity that brought it into being. The North wanted every member of the Ku Klux hunted down and hanged, because they had dared take the punishment of crime into their own hands at a time when the ordinary processes of law and order had been overthrown by the invaders.

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    It wasn’t that Nell was weak. It was that the world was dangerous.

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    It was the lot of the Fifity-fourth to bear the brunt of the struggle against the bitter injustice of inferior pay to which black troops were subjected, and the further struggle to secure for the enlisted men who earned it by intelligence and bravery, the right to rise from the ranks and serve as officers.

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    I will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. It is not the Constitution as I would like to have it, but as it is, that is to be defended. The Constitution will not be preserved & defended until it is enforced & obeyed in every part of every one of the United States. It must be so respected, obeyed, enforced and defended, and let the grass grow where it may.

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    I've heard of more ways to die in this war than I knew there were corpses. I've heard there isn't a battle where both sides don't shoot their own men -- sometimes on purpose and sometimes for mercy, but most of the time by mistake. I've heard boys on both sides are killing themselves, so they don't burn or smother or drown or starve, or pass whatever they're dying of to others. I've heard about guerrillas and murders and firing squads. I've reached the point where I don't know if anyone ever just dies from the other side's bullets.

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    I wanted to leave the whole war behind me, and yet I was seeing something on that battlefield that demanded commemoration. It was unholy ground, but I wanted to thank God for showing it to me. I would never again look at a man without wondering what crimes he was capable of committing. That seemed important to know.

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    I was not much used to women except for mothers. Everything I did, they did different.

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    JAKE BAKER JOINING THE UNION ARMY IN NEW ORLEANS "I'd prefer to be back in Texas, taking aim at the Rebs..., but I just can't do that," said Jake. ..."So, I'll just do what I can do, I guess." "I suspect that goes for all of us," said the Colonel. "Maybe we should make that the unit's motto. 'The First Texas Cavalry of the United States of America: We'll just do what we can do, we guess.' It does have a ring to it, but I expect that we need somethin' a bit more inspirational and less true.

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    Jesse and Frank James were the most well-known military-trained gang members

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    Let us have peace." But there was the black man looming like a dark ghost on the horizon. He was the child of force and greed, and the father of wealth and war. His labor was indispensable, and the loss of it would have cost many times the cost of the war. If the Negro has been silent, his very presence would have announced his plight. He was not silence. He was in usual evidence. He was writing petitions, making speeches, parading with returned soldiers, reciting his adventures as slave and freeman. Even dumb and still, he must be noticed. His poverty has to be relieved, and emancipation in his case had to mean poverty. If he had to work, he had to have land and tools. If his labor was in reality to be free labor, he had to have legal freedom and civil rights. His ignorance could only be removed by that very education which the law of the South had long denied him and the custom of the North had made exceedingly difficult. Thus civil status and legal freedom, food, clothes and tools, access to land and help to education, were the minimum demands of four million laborers, and these demands no man could ignore, Northerner or Southerner, Abolitionist or Copperhead, laborer or captain of industry. How did the nation face this paradox and dilemma?

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    Lee replied: "Tell your friends it is unworthy of them as women, especially Christian women, to cherish feelings of resentment against the North. Tell them that it grieves me inexpressibly to know that such a state of thing exists, and that I implore them to do their part to heal our country's wounds.

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    Jones described what followed in his official report: All the oil, the tanks, barrels,engines for pumping, engine-houses, and wagons- in a word, everything used for rising, holding, or sending it off was burned. The smoke is very dense and jet black. The boats, filled with oil in bulk, burst with a report almost equaling artillery, and spread the burning fuel down the river. Before night huge columns of ebony smoke marked the meanderings of the stream as far as the eye could see. By dark the oil from the tanks on the burning creek had reached the river and the whole stream was a sheet of fire. A burning river, carrying destruction to our merciless enemy, was a scene of magnificence that might well carry joy to every patriotic heart.- General William E. " Grumble" Jones

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    Like Humpty Dumpty, in the old nursery rhyme, putting the country back together again would not be easy. This feeling of separation and alienation was not a passing thought but lived into the next century.

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    Like the magnolia tree, She bends with the wind, Trials and tribulation may weather her, Yet, after the storm her beauty blooms, See her standing there, like steel, With her roots forever buried, Deep in her Southern soil.

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    Lincoln’s liberal use of his pardoning power created the greatest tension between the two men (Lincoln and Edwin Stanton, Secretary of War). Stanton felt compelled to protect military discipline by exacting proper punishment for desertions or derelictions of duty, while Lincoln looked for any “good excuse for saving a man’s life.” When he found one, he said, “I go to bed happy as I think how joyous the signing of my name will make him and his family and his friends.” Stanton would not allow himself such leniency. A clerk recalled finding Stanton one night in his office, “the mother, wife, and children of a soldier who had been condemned to be shot as a deserter, on their knees before him pleading for the life of their loved one. He listened standing, in cold and austere silence, and at the end of their heart-breaking sobs and prayers answered briefly that the man must die. The crushed and despairing little family left and Mr. Stanton turned, apparently unmoved, and walked into his private room.” The clerk thought Stanton an unfeeling tyrant, until he discovered him moments later, “leaning over a desk, his face buried in his hands and his heavy frame shaking with sobs. ‘God help me to do my duty; God help me to do my duty!’ he was repeating in a low wail of anguish.” On such occasions, when Stanton felt he could not afford to set a precedent, he must have been secretly relieved that the president had the ultimate authority.

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    Lincoln replied:"There is a difference between secession against the Constitution and in favor of the Constitution.

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    Modifying Clausewitz’ aphorism—war is the continuation of diplomacy by other means—one could say that in ideologically divided countries civil war is but the continuation of parliamentarism with other means.

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    Lush, detailed, total-immersion storytelling.–Kirkus Review

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    Media was a battle ground. So was the internet. People began walking openly with their weapons, whether it was a gun or a camera. Drones were always skimming overhead, filming the violence of the second civil war of the United States.

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    Many governments have been founded upon the principle of the subordination and serfdom of certain classes of the same race; such were and are in violation of the laws of nature. Our system commits no such violation of nature’s laws. With us, all of the white race, however high or low, rich or poor, are equal in the eye of the law. Not so with the negro. Subordination is his place. He, by nature, or by the curse against Canaan, is fitted for that condition which he occupies in our system. The architect, in the construction of buildings, lays the foundation with the proper material-the granite; then comes the brick or the marble. The substratum of our society is made of the material fitted by nature for it, and by experience we know that it is best, not only for the superior, but for the inferior race, that it should be so. It is, indeed, in conformity with the ordinance of the Creator. It is not for us to inquire into the wisdom of His ordinances, or to question them.

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    Melanie is the gentlest of dreams and a part of my dreaming. And if the war had not come I would have lived out my life, happily buried at Twelve Oaks, contentedly watching life go by and never being a part of it. But when the war came, life as it really is thrust itself against me. The first time I went into action—it was at Bull Run, you remember—I saw my boyhood friends blown to bits and heard dying horses scream and learned the sickeningly horrible feeling of seeing men crumple up and spit blood when I shot them. But those weren't the worst things about the war, Scarlett. The worst thing about the war was the people I had to live with. I had sheltered myself from people all my life, I had carefully selected my few friends. But the war taught me I had created a world of my own with dream people in it. It taught me what people really are, but it didn't teach me how to live with them. And I'm afraid I'll never learn. Now, I know that in order to support my wife and child, I will have to make my way among a world of people with whom I have nothing in common.

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    None of this means of course that Robert E. Lee wasn't influenced by his father, or didn't inherit some of his better characteristics. Like Henry Lee, Robert was tall, physically strong, a born horseman and soldier, and so courageous that even his own soldiers often begged him to get back out of range, in vain of course. He had his father's gift for the sudden flank attack that would throw the enemy off balance, and also his father's ability to inspire loyalty--and in Robert's case, virtual worship--in his men. On the other hand, perhaps because of Henry Lee's quarrels with Jefferson and Madison, Robert had an ingrained distrust of politics and politicians, including those of the Confederacy. But the most important trait that influenced Robert was a negative one: his father had been voluble, imprudent, fond of gossip, hot-tempered, and quick to attack anybody who offended or disagreed with him. With Henry Lee, even minor differences of opinions escalated quickly into public feuds. Robert was, or forced himself to be, exactly the opposite. He kept the firmest possible rein on his temper, he avoided personal confrontations of every kind, and he disliked arguments. These characteristics, normally thought of as virtues, became in fact Robert E. Lee's Achilles' heel, the one weak point in his otherwise admirable personality, and a dangerous flaw for a commander, perhaps even a flaw that would, in the end, prove fatal for the Confederacy. Some of the most mistaken military decisions in the short history of the Confederacy can be attributed to Lee's reluctance to confront a subordinate and have it out with him on the spot, face to face.

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    No American is UnAmerican.

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    No, I went to the bar to ask for a mojito and that guy Johnny said he didn’t make mojitos. Then he offered to make me a mint julep, in one of those silver cups and everything.” “Did you know say the true cause of the Civil War was some Northerner adding nutmeg to a mint julep?” Lucy asked.

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    On the Penobscot River, on the opposite bank from the once-upon-a-time paper mill, stands Fort Knox, proudly named after the nation’s first Secretary of State Henry Knox, who lived in Thomaston, Maine. It was built between 1844 and 1869 to guard against the British in a border dispute with Canada. The fear was that if this part of Maine fell, the British would take over some of the best lumber-producing areas on the East Coast and this would cost the United States a most valued natural resource in the building of ships. Other than training recruits during the Civil War, the fort was never used and is now a scenic location overlooking the new bridge, crossing the Penobscot River.

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    Now, early in 1865, the war is over. The North does not especially want free Negroes, it wants trade and wealth. The South does not want a particular interpretation of the Constitution. It wants cheap Negro labor and the political and social power based on it. Had there been no Negroes, there would have been no war. Had no Negroes survived the war, peace would have been difficult because of hatred, loss and bitter fried. But its logical path would have been straight. The South would have returned to its place in congress with less than its former representation because of the growing North and West. These areas of growing manufacture and agriculture, railroad building and corporations, would have held the political power over the South until the South united with the new insurgency of the West or the Eastern democratic ideals. Industrialization might even have brought a third party representing labor and raised the proletariat to dominance.

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    On this night of the Harvest Moon. They tossed bones into the “Bone Fire” and asked the yellow moon to shine its protection over them. (Today we call it a "Bonfire")

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    Now, your Honor, I have spoken about the [Civil] war. I believed in it. I don’t know whether I was crazy or not. Sometimes I think perhaps I was. I approved of it; I joined in the general cry of madness and despair. I urged men to fight. I was safe because I was too old to go. I was like the rest. What did they do? Right or wrong, justifiable or unjustifiable -- which I need not discuss today -- it changed the world. For four long years the civilized world was engaged in killing men. Christian against Christian, barbarian uniting with Christians to kill Christians; anything to kill. It was taught in every school, aye in the Sunday schools. The little children played at war. The toddling children on the street. Do you suppose this world has ever been the same since? How long, your Honor, will it take for the world to get back the humane emotions that were slowly growing before the war? How long will it take the calloused hearts of men before the scars of hatred and cruelty shall be removed? We read of killing one hundred thousand men in a day. We read about it and we rejoiced in it -- if it was the other fellows who were killed. We were fed on flesh and drank blood. Even down to the prattling babe. I need not tell you how many upright, honorable young boys have come into this court charged with murder, some saved and some sent to their death, boys who fought in this war and learned to place a cheap value on human life. You know it and I know it. These boys were brought up in it. The tales of death were in their homes, their playgrounds, their schools; they were in the newspapers that they read; it was a part of the common frenzy -- what was a life? It was nothing. It was the least sacred thing in existence and these boys were trained to this cruelty.

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    One side is not braver than the other. Bullets fly, and men get swept away. They rush into the thick of fighting, and ‘kill’ is written on every face. In a battle the commander who has more men—not afraid to die–drives his opponent off the field and declares a victory.

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    On some issues, it will be an apparent insult to expect one not to be emotional about it, not to be prejudiced or side one's kit and kin. On issues as deep and as touchy as the Nigerian civil war and its consequences to the easterners, till this present day, to ask me not to cry, not to mourn, not to discuss it, is reduce me to a robot and ask of me a miracle, I am no TB Joshua. I may not discuss it often, but in truth, it was a regrettable and sorrowful experience, for any people at all!

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    Pick a side? You done picked the wrong side.

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    Preguntaréis por qué su poesía no nos habla del sueño, de las hojas, de los grandes volcanes de su país natal? Venid a ver la sangre por las calles, venid a ver la sangre por las calles, venid a ver la sangre por las calles!

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    Portland, Maine was the site of one of the northernmost skirmishes of the Civil War! Called the Battle of Portland Harbor, it happened in the waters off Portland harbor involving two ships flying the Confederate flag. On June 24, 1863, having been attacked by these ships, the Union Revenue Cutter Cushing was abandoned by her twenty-four crewmen. Captain Charles Reed a Confederate Navy Lieutenant Reed and the Captain of the Confederate raider, the CSS Tacony, ordered the Cushing torched, causing its munitions to explode. Late on June 26, 1863, Reed and an armed party came ashore dressed as fishermen and raided the city. Knowing that there was no chance of escaping, Captain Reed and his raiding party surrendered to Mayor McLellan and were held as prisoners of war at Fort Preble in South Portland. Because public sentiments were hostile against Reed and his men, they were taken to Boston and held at Fort Warren for the remainder of the Civil War.

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    Planters clung to their proslavery beliefs even when there were facts to the contrary because the stakes involved in abandoning them were too high. They could not reject or even compromise their central myths, for to do so would mean condemning a whole culture as a lie...Ideologies, once constructed, have lives of their own. Any evidence which might have contradicted the planters' basic beliefs faced an a priori denial.

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    quod defles, illud amasti.

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    Rarely do page-turners written for middle-school kids also ignite excitement in adults. (A notable exception is the series of Harry Potter books.) Fewer still explore the secret sorrows of children's lives in the mid-1800s, whether enslaved or free. Running Out of Night, a debut novel from Californian Sharon Lovejoy, a veteran author-illustrator known nationally for her prizewinning nonfiction books on gardening and nature, gives you both.–OpEd News

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    Readers will be swept up by the drama and fast pace of this powerful debut novel.” Reading Today Online, International Reading Association

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    Racism is a virus which can only be spread by us!

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    Richmond's newspaper questioned how a senior general could not even get two of his own generals to cooperate with him. They nicknamed him "Granny" Lee or "The King Of Spades," because he insisted that his men dig trenches on Sewell Mountain.

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    Rebel Number Four" is waiting patiently by the door. I named him "Rebel Number Four," for he is the fourth of his kind I have given the name "Rebel." To many he may be just a hound dog, but to me he is a champion and a friend to the end.

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    (Running out of Night) ...is a story that respects this pivotal era of American history, a story that reveals the pain, the courage, and the hope that eventually changed the world.–Middle Shelf : Cool Reads for Kids magazine