The Presidents’ War presents America’s gravest crisis through the eyes of President Lincoln and the five former presidents still alive at the time. Chris DeRose chronicles history’s most epic Presidential Royal Rumble, which culminated in a multi-front effort against Lincoln’s reelection bid. How Abraham Lincoln battled against his predecessors to preserve the Union and later to put an end to slavery is a thrilling tale of war waged at the top level of power.
John Tyler joined the Virginia Secession Convention, voted to leave the Union, and won election to the Confederate Congress. Franklin Pierce was openly hostile to Lincoln and supportive of the South. Martin Van Buren, who had initially schemed to deny Lincoln the presidency, supported him in his efforts after Fort Sumter, and thwarted Pierce’s attempt at a meeting of the ex-Presidents to undermine Lincoln. Millard Fillmore hosted Lincoln on his way to Washington and supported the war effort, but turned on him over emancipation. James Buchanan, who had left office as seven states had broken away from the Union, engaged in a frantic attempt to vindicate his administration.