Andrew Johnson never expected to be president, but just six weeks after becoming Abraham Lincoln's vice president, he was thrust into the nation's highest office. Johnson faced a nearly impossible task—to succeed America's greatest chief executive and to bind the nation's wounds after the Civil War. Annette Gordon-Reed shows how ill-suited Johnson was for this daunting task. His vision of reconciliation abandoned the millions of former slaves and antagonized congressional leaders, who tried to limit his powers and eventually impeached him.
Annette Gordon-Reed is the Pulitzer Prize-winnin author of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy and The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family. She is Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, Professor of History in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University and the Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor at the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University. Her latest book is Andrew Johnson, in the American Presidents Series.