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Thesis (M.A.)

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Stout and ugly, brusque and brilliant, Benjamin F. Butler stormed across the American scene in a tumultuous career lasting nearly half a century. Able jurist, wily politician, and farsighted but sometimes luckless Civil War General, Butler devoted his life to a zealous quest for renown and success, a search matched in intensity by a passion for aiding society's downtrodden. Often a pure party man who would not go beyond that which his political affiliations demanded, he was yet often the fiery advocate of controversial social reform. Whether battling for New England' exploited factory operatives or seeking an avenue for black rights in Civil War America, Ben Butler's energies were aimed towards the uplifting of the underdog, even as those energies were directed towards the achievement of Butler's personal recognition.