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Lincolns Greatest Case: The River, the Bridge, and the Making of America by Brian McGinty
Add to your Book Lists Lincolns Greatest Case by Brian McGinty As lawyer and Lincoln scholar Brian McGinty dramatically reveals in Lincoln's Greatest Case, no one was killed, but the question of who was at fault cried out for an answer. Re-creating the Effie Afton case from its unlikely inception to its controversial finale, McGinty brilliantly animates this legal cauldron of the late 1850s, which turned out to be the most consequential trial in Lincoln's nearly quarter century as a lawyer. About Brian McGinty See more books from this Author Brian McGinty is an attorney and writer who specializes in American history and law.
By Brian McGinty.
Illustrated, photos, maps, timeline, notes, bibliography, index, 272 pp., 2015, Liveright, www.wwnorton.com, $26.95. The case, as legal historian Brian McGinty demonstrates in this excellent study, was more than an ordinary suit to recover damages. It had profound implications for the future of railroad transportation and river navigation. In this well-written and -researched book, McGinty provides a highly readable account of the trial. He also explains its context in the clash of two 19th-century modes of transportation: rivers and canals versus railroads. The trial, testimony and legal arguments, especially Lincoln's closing statement, are presented by McGinty in riveting detail.
A Toast to Eclipse -- Arpad Haraszthy and the Sparkling Wine of Old San Francisco by Brian McGinty, Oklahoma UP '12, $29.95, 256 pages, ASIN #0806142480.
Those oenophiles among us who are still persuaded that California sparkling wines are a 20th century phenomenon may be surprised to learn that the the art of wine-making in that state dates to the mid to late 19th century, according to this delightful new book by attorney/historian Brian McGinty. The author has written what he considers to be "a definitive history of the wine, exploring California's winemaking past and two of the people who put the state's varietal wines on the map: Arpad and his father Agoston Haraszthy, the legendary 'father of California viticulture.'" Thickening the brew in this fascinating story is the author's use of San Francisco during its heyday as a backdrop, taking his readers back to the days of cable cars and horse-drawn trolleys. McGinty reveals "new information about California varietals and winemaking districts, and probes the controversy about whether Agoston Haraszthy introduced the Zinfandel grape to the Golden State." Author Brian McGinty is an attorney and historian who specializes in American history, wine, and law. He has written nine previous books.
By Brian McGinty
Unaccountably, as historian-attorney Brian McGinty observes in a new book, not one among Brown's many biographers has devoted more than a chapter to the trial itself. After summarizing the events at the arsenal, Brown's capture and his indictment, McGinty provides an account of the trial proceedings which is comprehensive and informative. Consistent with the uneven mid-19th-century practice regarding the use of court reporters, none was present at the Brown trial to generate a transcript. Instead, McGinty has thoroughly mined the contemporary daily newspaper accounts to produce a highly readable, illuminating narrative. He capably explains the complicated legal issues involved, including the unusual charge that Brown, who was not a resident of Virginia, had committed treason against that state, and the jurisdictional problem arising from the fact that by 1859 the Harpers Ferry arsenal was situated on federal, not state, land. McGinty also details Brown's active role in his own defense, even though by law he was barred from testifying. He analyzes Brown's compelling statement at sentencing which turned the defense into an attack on slavery. McGinty addresses larger matters, as well. He focuses on several controversial procedural aspects, including the Virginia court's appointment of local defense counsel (two of whom were witnesses to some of the underlying events), its refusal to allow Brown a continuance, Brown's debilitated physical condition as a consequence of his wounds, and the aberrant, cursory handling of Brown's appeal by the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. These facts grate harshly on the modern ear which is accustomed to zealous protection of an accused's rights. McGinty analyzes the resulting fairness question competently and appropriately, with an eye to the trial's 19th-century context.
By: Brian McGinty
In A Toast to Eclipse, Brian McGinty offers a definitive history of the wine, exploring Californiaâ€™s winemaking past and two of the people who put the stateâ€™s varietal wines on the map: Arpad and his father Agoston Haraszthy, the legendary â€œfather of California viticulture.â€ As McGinty shows, the story of the award-winning wine Haraszthy created is also the story of San Francisco during its heyday as the largest, most dynamic city in the American West. McGinty reveals new information about California varietals and winemaking districts, and probes the controversy about whether Agoston Haraszthy introduced the Zinfandel grape to the Golden State. Brian McGinty Brian McGinty is an independent scholar and writer specializing in American history and law. He resides in Scottsdale, Arizona.