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ROBERT WISEHART. The Lion at Bay

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ROBERT WISEHART. The Lion at Bay. Black Kettle Books. 326 pages; paperback $14.95; blackkettlebooks.com.

After his presidency of the Republic of Texas, Sam Houston tries to balance newfound domestic happiness with a still-gnawing sense of duty. As U.S. senator from the freshly admitted state, he must leave his young wife and growing brood for the muddy streets of a raw, often hostile Washington, D.C. Clear-eyed and determined, Houston alienates longtime allies in his quixotic quest to prevent the coming Civil War from devastating the South and his beloved Texas.