The Big Divide: A Travel Guide to Historic and Civil War Sites in the Missouri-Kansas Border Region

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9780976443414: The Big Divide: A Travel Guide to Historic and Civil War Sites in the Missouri-Kansas Border Region

2015 Update now available with NEW preface: 'The Hinges of History'The Missouri-Kansas state line is the most consequential border in American history: 

  • Here was where the Civil War began -- don't let anyone tell you otherwise. 
  • Here was where legends were made before (John Brown), during (William Clarke Quantrill), and after the war (Jesse James). 
  • Here was where African American regiments first saw combat, even as Washington was debating the value of black soldiers.
Here you can visit the school that set off the civil rights movement ... walk the country's last great stretch of prairie ... and tour the house where a girl named Amelia learned she could do anything.
Just some of the reasons why the Missouri-Kansas Border Region has become one of the country's premier destinations for history travel.
Diane and Aaron will show you to the sites that matter and help you make the most of your visit. Trip planning is easy with this guide, which is packed with themed driving tours, kid-friendly sites, and tips from two experienced history travelers. 
Take a ride on The Big Divide! "Recommended ... American history lovers will appreciate this well-illustrated, well-ordered guide." --Booklist (April 1, 2013) "Long before the cannons roared at Fort Sumter, Americans were at war over slavery along the border dividing Missouri and Kansas. This neglected first act of the Civil War comes to life in The Big Divide. Brilliantly organized, vividly written, this wonderful travel guide lets you discover vital and dramatic history for yourself, in the matchless company of Diane Eickhoff and Aaron Barnhart. Get ready for a fascinating journey." -- David Von Drehle, author of Rise to Greatness: Abraham Lincoln and America's Most Perilous Year

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About the Author:

Diane Eickhoff is a textbook editor turned historian. Her first book for Quindaro was Revolutionary Heart: The Life of Clarina Nichols and the Pioneering Crusade for Women's Rights. She lectures regularly for the Kansas Humanities Council.

Aaron Barnhart is the former television and media critic for the Kansas City Star. He has contributed to the New York Times, Village Voice, CNN's Reliable Sources, MSNBC's Hardball, and Macworld.

The authors live in Kansas City, Missouri -- two blocks east of the Missouri-Kansas state line.

Review:

The Kansas-Missouri border region packs a whole lot of historical significance into a relatively compact area, making it an ideal destination for travelers with lots to see and limited time to see it. Eickhoff and Barnhart take care to present several options for touring the region, including eight driving tours and an index of sites by city.

The meat of the guide, an in-depth examination of over 130 places of cultural or historical interest, is divided into chronological sections such as "First People," "The Battle for Missouri," and "After the War." These sites run the gamut from large federally maintained monuments to one-room county museums, but the lively, detailed descriptions make clear the appeal and significance of each one. Information about accessibility for disabled visitors and family-friendliness of attractions is thoughtfully listed, in addition to standards such as hours of operation and admission fees.

Verdict: A well-organized, thorough, and surprisingly versatile guidebook, given its limited geographic scope. Recommended for Civil War buffs, regional collections, and road trippers looking for their next itinerary. - Neil Derksen, Pierce Cty. Lib. Syst., Tacoma --Library Journal



A country rifted led to states within a rift. The Big Divide: A Travel Guide to Historic and Civil War Sites in the Missouri-Kansas Border Region discusses this region and its place in the American Civil War conflict that led to struggles between the state of Missouri and its surrounding area and how the remnants of this history are felt even today. With guides for planning a tour of the country and getting to know the region better, The Big Divide is an enticing addition to any travel and American history collection. --Midwest Book Review

Recommended ... American history lovers will appreciate this well-illustrated, well-ordered guide. --Booklist

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Eickhoff, Diane; Barnhart, Aaron
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