Description : Gathers original sources, including newspaper editorials, speeches, and documents, and shares comments by historians on the period
Description : At the end of the Civil War, Union general William Tecumseh Sherman was surprisingly more popular in the newly defeated South than he was in the North. Yet, only thirty years later, his name was synonymous with evil and destruction in the South, particularly as the creator and enactor of the “total war” policy. In Demon of the Lost Cause, Wesley Moody examines these perplexing contradictions and how they and others function in past and present myths about Sherman. Throughout this fascinating study of Sherman’s reputation, from his first public servant role as the major general for the state of California until his death in 1891, Moody explores why Sherman remains one of the most controversial figures in American history. Using contemporary newspaper accounts, Sherman’s letters and memoirs, as well as biographies of Sherman and histories of his times, Moody reveals that Sherman’s shifting reputation was formed by whoever controlled the message, whether it was the Lost Cause historians of the South, Sherman’s enemies in the North, or Sherman himself. With his famous “March to the Sea” in Georgia, the general became known for inventing a brutal warfare where the conflict is brought to the civilian population. In fact, many of Sherman’s actions were official tactics to be employed when dealing with guerrilla forces, yet Sherman never put an end to the talk of his innovative tactics and even added to the stories himself. Sherman knew he had enemies in the Union army and within the Republican elite who could and would jeopardize his position for their own gain. In fact, these were the same people who spread the word that Sherman was a Southern sympathizer following the war, helping to place the general in the South’s good graces. That all changed, however, when the Lost Cause historians began formulating revisions to the Civil War, as Sherman’s actions were the perfect explanation for why the South had lost. Demon of the Lost Cause reveals the machinations behind the Sherman myth and the reasons behind the acceptance of such myths, no matter who invented them. In the case of Sherman’s own mythmaking, Moody postulates that his motivation was to secure a military position to support his wife and children. For the other Sherman mythmakers, personal or political gain was typically the rationale behind the stories they told and believed. In tracing Sherman’s ever-changing reputation, Moody sheds light on current and past understanding of the Civil War through the lens of one of its most controversial figures.
Description : Fully revised and updated, this new second edition of the standard book on the causes of the English Civil War provides a comprehensive guide to the historiographical debates surrounding them. Written in an accessible style suitable for the general reader as well as anyone who wishes to have a clear understanding of a crucial period of English history, the book presents a thoroughly balanced account of rival views.
Description : Why does peace fail? More precisely, why do some countries that show every sign of having successfully emerged from civil war fall once again into armed conflict? What explains why peace "sticks" after some wars but not others? In this illuminating study, Charles T. Call examines the factors behind fifteen cases of civil war recurrence in Africa, Asia, the Caucasus, and Latin America. He argues that widely touted explanations of civil war—such as poverty, conflict over natural resources, and weak states—are far less important than political exclusion. Call’s study shows that inclusion of former opponents in postwar governance plays a decisive role in sustained peace. Why Peace Fails ultimately suggests that the international community should resist the temptation to prematurely withdraw resources and peacekeepers after a transition from war. Instead, international actors must remain fully engaged with postwar elected governments, ensuring that they make room for former enemies.
Description : Written by a sympathizer with the southern cause ; presents a pro-South, pro-state rights, pro-slavery, anti-Republican Party, and anti-Abraham Lincoln view of the Civil War.
Description : Genocide, Ethnonationalism, and the United Nations examines a series of related crises in human civilization growing out of conflicts between powerful states or empires and indigenous or stateless peoples. This is the first book to attempt to explore the causes of genocide and other mass killing by a detailed exploration of UN archives covering the period spanning from 1945 through 2011. Hannibal Travis argues that large states and empires disproportionately committed or facilitated genocide and other mass killings between 1945 and 2011. His research incorporates data concerning factors linked to the scale of mass killing, and recent findings in human rights, political science, and legal theory. Turning to potential solutions, he argues that the concept of genocide imagines a future system of global governance under which the nation-state itself is made subject to law. The United Nations, however, has deflected the possibility of such a cosmopolitical law. It selectively condemns genocide and has established an institutional structure that denies most peoples subjected to genocide of a realistic possibility of global justice, lacks a robust international criminal tribunal or UN army, and even encourages "security" cooperation among states that have proven to be destructive of peoples in the past. Questions raised include: What have been the causes of mass killing during the period since the United Nations Charter entered into force in 1945? How does mass killing spread across international borders, and what is the role of resource wealth, the arms trade, and external interference in this process? Have the United Nations or the International Criminal Court faced up to the problem of genocide and other forms of mass killing, as is their mandate?
Description : General John A. Wickham, commander of the famous 101st Airborne Division in the 1970s and subsequently Army Chief of Staff, once visited Antietam battlefield. Gazing at Bloody Lane where, in 1862, several Union assaults were brutally repulsed before they finally broke through, he marveled, "You couldn't get American soldiers today to make an attack like that." Why did those men risk certain death, over and over again, through countless bloody battles and four long, awful years ? Why did the conventional wisdom -- that soldiers become increasingly cynical and disillusioned as war progresses -- not hold true in the Civil War? It is to this question--why did they fight--that James McPherson, America's preeminent Civil War historian, now turns his attention. He shows that, contrary to what many scholars believe, the soldiers of the Civil War remained powerfully convinced of the ideals for which they fought throughout the conflict. Motivated by duty and honor, and often by religious faith, these men wrote frequently of their firm belief in the cause for which they fought: the principles of liberty, freedom, justice, and patriotism. Soldiers on both sides harkened back to the Founding Fathers, and the ideals of the American Revolution. They fought to defend their country, either the Union--"the best Government ever made"--or the Confederate states, where their very homes and families were under siege. And they fought to defend their honor and manhood. "I should not lik to go home with the name of a couhard," one Massachusetts private wrote, and another private from Ohio said, "My wife would sooner hear of my death than my disgrace." Even after three years of bloody battles, more than half of the Union soldiers reenlisted voluntarily. "While duty calls me here and my country demands my services I should be willing to make the sacrifice," one man wrote to his protesting parents. And another soldier said simply, "I still love my country." McPherson draws on more than 25,000 letters and nearly 250 private diaries from men on both sides. Civil War soldiers were among the most literate soldiers in history, and most of them wrote home frequently, as it was the only way for them to keep in touch with homes that many of them had left for the first time in their lives. Significantly, their letters were also uncensored by military authorities, and are uniquely frank in their criticism and detailed in their reports of marches and battles, relations between officers and men, political debates, and morale. For Cause and Comrades lets these soldiers tell their own stories in their own words to create an account that is both deeply moving and far truer than most books on war. Battle Cry of Freedom, McPherson's Pulitzer Prize-winning account of the Civil War, was a national bestseller that Hugh Brogan, in The New York Times, called "history writing of the highest order." For Cause and Comrades deserves similar accolades, as McPherson's masterful prose and the soldiers' own words combine to create both an important book on an often-overlooked aspect of our bloody Civil War, and a powerfully moving account of the men who fought it.
Description : No series of events had a more dramatic impact on the course of American history than the Civil War and the emancipation of four million slaves. This book examines the economic and political factors that led to the attempt by Southerners to dissolve the Union in 1860 and the equally determined effort of Northerners to preserve it. A central thesis of the book is that slavery not only "caused" the Civil War by producing tensions that could not be resolved by compromise; the slave system also played a crucial role in the outcome of the war by crippling the Southern war effort at the same time that emancipation became a unifying cause for the North. The author looks at a century of sectional conflict over slavery and reveals a great irony of the American Civil War. The South suffered a bitter defeat in a war to protect the institution of slavery, even though it is likely that the Constitution of the United States offered the best protection for a slave system. And, despite the abolition of slavery in the United States, equality for Black Americans remained a distant dream.
Description : In this elegant book, the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer explores the manifold ways in which the Civil War changed the United States forever. He confronts its costs, not only human (six hundred thousand men killed) and economic (beyond reckoning) but social and psychological. He touches on popular misconceptions, including some concerning Abraham Lincoln and the issue of slavery. The war in all its facets “grows in our consciousness,” arousing complex emotions and leaving “a gallery of great human images for our contemplation.”