The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom now offers a series of thoughtful and engaging essays on some of the most enduring questions of the Civil War. Each essay reveals McPherson's own profound knowledge of the Civil War and of the controversies among historians, presenting all sides in clear, lucid prose and concluding with ...
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom now offers a series of thoughtful and engaging essays on some of the most enduring questions of the Civil War. Each essay reveals McPherson's own profound knowledge of the Civil War and of the controversies among historians, presenting all sides in clear, lucid prose and concluding with his own measured and eloquent opinions.
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Publishers Weekly, 1996-02-26 McPherson's scholarly breadth and intellectual depth place him in the front rank of Civil War historians. All but one of the 15 pieces in this anthology have appeared elsewhere, but in a spectrum of publications so wide that their appearance between one set of covers is especially welcome. They cover four themes: the war's origins, its social consequences, the reasons for its outcome and Abraham Lincoln's central role. Topics range from an analysis of Uncle Tom's Cabin to an argument that the Confederacy almost won. The essays are, however, connected by McPherson's conviction that the Civil War's origins and outcome were in no way predetermined: the campaigns, battles and elections that determined the war's course were shaped by specific contingencies. The final piece, provocatively dissecting the failure of contemporary academic historians to reach general audiences, is by itself worth the price of a book that belongs in all Civil War collections. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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