Michael F. Holt teaches at the University of Virginia and is author of numerous books, including The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party and The Political Crisis of the 1850s, and the co-author of The Civil War and Reconstruction (3rd edition).
"Michael Holt's fascinating study of partisan politics and the territorial slavery issue shows again why he is one of America's finest pre-civil war historians." --William W. Freehling, author of The South vs. The South: How Anti-Confederate Southerners Shaped the Course of the Civil War "Michael Holt has distilled a lifetime of scholarship in this impressive account of America's greatest political crisis. There is no better introduction to the intricate yet explosive politics of the 1850s." --Harry Watson, author of Liberty and Power: The Politics of Jacksonian America "Michael Holt has written a superb account of the nation's decent into Civil War. A skilled political historian, he focuses on the decisions that political leaders made, their arousal of the most divisive passions, and their loss of control of a system present in American life." --Joel H. Silbey, author of Martin Van Buren and the Emergence of American Popular Politics