'Impeachers: The Trial of Andrew Johnson and the Dream of a Just Nation,' New Book by Professor Brenda Wineapple Out in May

Zoe Contros Kearl
March 22, 2019
'The Impeachers' book cover.

Professor Brenda Wineapple's essay, The First President Ever to Be Impeached, is the cover story in the spring issue of The American Scholar. It is adapted from her forthcoming book, The Impeachers: The Trial of Andrew Johnson and the Dream of a Just Nation, to be published by Random House in May.

Of her upcoming book, Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Soul of America says, “This absorbing and important book recounts the titanic struggle over the implications of the Civil War amid the impeachment of a defiant and temperamentally erratic American president.” Wineapple’s adaptation for The American ScholarThe First President Ever to Be Impeached, begins, “A cold wind blew through the city, and the snow was piled in drifts near the Capitol, where gaslights flickered with a bluish glow. Throngs of people, black and white, waited anxiously outside or pressed into the long corridors and lobbies.”

Ron Chernow, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Grant wrote, “In this superbly lyrical work, Brenda Wineapple has plugged a glaring hole in our historical memory through her vivid and sweeping portrayal of President Andrew Johnson’s 1868 impeachment. She serves up not simply food for thought but a veritable feast of observations on that most trying decision for a democracy: whether to oust a sitting president. Teeming with fiery passions and unforgettable characters, The Impeachers will be devoured by contemporary readers seeking enlightenment on this issue. . . . A landmark study.”

Wineapple is also the author of Ecstatic Nation: Confidence, Crisis, and Compromise, 1848-1877, White Heat: The Friendship of Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth HigginsonGenêt: A Biography of Janet FlannerSister Brother Gertrude and Leo Stein, and Hawthorne: A Life. Other honors include a Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship, two National Endowment Fellowships, and an NEH Public Scholars Award. Wineapple regularly contributes to major publications such as the New York Times Book ReviewThe New York Review of BooksBookforumThreepenny Review, and The American Scholar.