Battle Cry of Freedom (book) - WikipediaHow did American Southerners justify an institution that by the early nineteenth century had been abolished by nearly every state in the North? Read how prominent politicians, statesmen, religious leaders, planters, and legal scholars argued for the protection and expansion of slavery. You may be surprised by the many varieties of proslavery thought that existed prior to the Civil War. Historian Eric Foner explains that free labor ideology, adopted by the Republican Party in the late s, judged free labor as inherently better than slave labor for the economy; only with the promise of wages would workers be motivated to produce. In this way, Republicans could vehemently oppose slavery without concerning themselves with the plight of Black slaves. He argues, then, that slavery was in fact central to Civil War causation, but race was not.
Civil War Book List
Any recommended reading list therefore has to be highly selective and at least somewhat arbitrary. The books are broken down by category; after General Histories and Lincoln, the categories are arranged alphabetically; within each category the books are arranged alphabetically by author. Brief comments by Professor McPherson on books in his list have been included. Bruce Catton. A fast-paced chronicle of the fighting on the battlefield and the infighting in the political capitals of Washington and Richmond.
It is the sixth volume of the Oxford History of the United States series. An abridged, illustrated version of the book was published in Thus, it examined the Civil War era, not just the war, as it combined the social, military and political events of the period within a single narrative framework. Historian Hugh Brogan , reviewing the book, commends McPherson for initially describing "the republic at midcentury" as "a divided society, certainly, and a violent one, but not one in which so appalling a phenomenon as civil war is likely. So it must have seemed to most Americans at the time. Slowly, slowly the remote possibility became horrible actuality; and Mr. McPherson sees to it that it steals up on his readers in the same way.
The literature on the war is so vast you could spend a lifetime reading really good books about it. Here are six excellent ones:. Battle Cry of Freedom , by James McPherson: Widely regarded as the most authoritative one-volume history of the war. This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War , by Drew Gilpin Faust: A moving examination of the ways in which the slaughter changed Americans' ideas on mortality and influenced the way they chose to remember the war. Personal Memoirs of U.
The Civil War is cemented in history as the deadliest war fought on American soil. For four years, the Unioners of the North fought the Confederates of the South, hoping to dismantle the institution of slavery. This led to the loss of over , lives and, ultimately, the assassination of President Lincoln in
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As result, if you want to learn more about the Civil War, it may be hard to know where to start. These books mentioned here are some of the best-selling books on the topic and have great reviews on sites like Amazon, Goodreads and etc. I have also used a lot of these books in my research for this website and can personally recommend them as some of the best books on the Civil War. Disclaimer: This article contains Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.