Henry W. Blair's Campaign to Reform America: From the Civil War to the U.S. Senate

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In the years immediately following the Civil War, the nation's leaders called desperately for reform as they struggled to rebuild a society scarred by death and mass destruction. Recognising America's need for enlightened leadership, Republican senator Henry Blair (1834--1920) of New Hampshire embarked on an ambitious crusade to enact dramatic progressive changes.Henry W. Blair's Campaign to Reform America follows Blair's remarkable political career. At the heart of his efforts was a push to improve the nation's system of public education, but his reform programs addressed a wide range of issues, including legal rights, economic rights, women's suffrage, and racial equality. He consistently supported black voting rights, introduced an antilynching bill in 1894, and worked as a lobbyist with the NAACP at the age of eighty.In this long-overdue biography, Gordon B. McKinney sheds light on the brilliant career of a man who maintained a strong commitment to reform, liberty, and equality through a formative period in the nation's history. McKinney deftly demonstrates that, despite the social and economic challenges of the time, Senator Blair defended moral reform in a hostile climate and affirmed that the federal government had an important and active role to play in improving American society.