Law Professor and American historian Chris DeRose recently published a new book about Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War. DeRose will attend this year’s National Election Law Seminar in Las Vegas this weekend and will host a book signing. DeRose's work has been highlighted by POLITICO, the Washington Post, the New York Times, Human Events, and numerous other publications.
Entitled, "The Presidents' War: Six American Presidents and the Civil War That Divided Them" (Lyons Press 2014), the new book tells the “story of the Civil War’s record number of living former and current presidents, and now the ex-Presidents’ Club . . . maneuvered, seceded, plotted, advised, and aided during the Civil War while Lincoln navigated the minefield they created.”
Accomplished Civil War historian James M. McPhereson reviewed DeRose’s book and said, “When Abraham Lincoln became president in 1861, five former presidents were still alive—a fact unique in American history. In this discerning book, Chris DeRose shows that all of them had opposed Lincoln’s election, none supported his determination to resupply Fort Sumter, John Tyler became a Confederate and Franklin Pierce a Copperhead, Martin Van Buren’s and James Buchanan’s support for the Union war effort was lukewarm, and the three men still alive in 1864 (including Millard Fillmore) opposed the Emancipation Proclamation and Lincoln’s re-election. In effect, Lincoln presided over the preservation of the Union and abolition of slavery without the support of his predecessors in the presidency.”
Roll call writes, “When Abraham Lincoln took up residence in the White House in March 1861, he had five former occupants looking over his shoulder. No president ever had more. And what a motley crew they were…. While the Civil War is familiar ground to most readers, the story of how the living former presidents met the challenge — or didn’t — is a fresh and fascinating take.”
DeRose has been a political strategist for the past 19 years. He has worked for candidates in five states. He has also served as Director of Election Day Operations for a former Governor of Virginia. As a graduate of Pepperdine University School of Law, he is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Law at Arizona Summit Law School. He teaches Constitutional law, Election Law, and Voting Rights.