Catalogue


Why the Confederacy lost /
edited by Gabor S. Boritt ; essays by James M. McPherson ... [et al.].
imprint
New York : Oxford University Press, 1992.
description
xii, 209 p. ; 22 cm.
ISBN
019507405X :
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : Oxford University Press, 1992.
isbn
019507405X :
catalogue key
2556746
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [181]-191) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 1992-03-16:
These eye-opening essays by five noted Civil War historians emphasize the often overlooked fact that Union and Confederate generals had something to do with the outcome of the 1861-1865 war. James McPherson ( Battle Cry of Freedom ) reviews the commonly cited explanations for the Confederate defeat and, allowing that political and economic factors played a significant role, argues that it was the battlefield that ``gave birth to victory.'' Archer Jones ( How the North Won ) reconstructs the strategies of both sides, showing the intimate connection between strategy and politics, and concludes that neither side got the better of the other. Gary Gallagher ( Struggle for the Shenandoah ) assesses the war's leading generals and shows that Grant, Sherman and Lee shaped military events to a far greater degree than any of their colleagues. Reid Mitchell ( Civil War Soldiers ) discusses the potential for guerrilla warfare in the South and maintains that the Union's advantage in numbers was enhanced by the dedication and perseverance of Federal troops. Joseph Glatthaar ( Forged in Battle ) reveals the devastating effect of runaways and disruptive slaves on the Confederacy and demontrates how African American soldiers proved indispensable to the Union effort. Solid scholarship combined with nonacademic prose make this collection essential reading for serious students of the War between the States. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Why the Confederacy Lost reminds us anew why the Civil War never ceasesto be a rich source of developing national self-definition; yet with thiscompelling collection of essays we move farther away from the debilitating mythand treacle which too often has served our 'history' in the past. I commend Dr.Boritt and his colleagues for their fascinating and balanced work."--KenBurns
"If this collection of essays by historians of varied interests asks whythe Confederacy lost, it may just as reasonably be thought to ask why the Unionwon, for the interlocking politics, public reactions, and military strategies ofboth sides are equally considered and present striking similarities....Apromising source of argument."--The Atlantic
"Outstanding. A perfect choice for supplemental reading."--Professor Richard Frucht, Northwest Missouri St. University
"Outstanding. A perfect choice for supplemental reading."--ProfessorRichard Frucht, Northwest Missouri St. University
"Such a timely work. Contents became fodder for lecture immediately. mcPherson's piece is a refreshing contribution to an overabundance of 'victim' interpretations."--Lamont D. Thomas, University of Bridgeport
"Such a timely work. Contents became fodder for lecture immediately.mcPherson's piece is a refreshing contribution to an overabundance of 'victim'interpretations."--Lamont D. Thomas, University of Bridgeport
"The essays in this collection are original, concise and provocative. They pull together the latest research on a variety of themes. Together, they serve as an excellent introduction to a complex historiographic question."--James R. Smither, Grand Valley State University
"The essays in this collection are original, concise and provocative.They pull together the latest research on a variety of themes. Together, theyserve as an excellent introduction to a complex historiographicquestion."--James R. Smither, Grand Valley State University
"These expert, sharply focused essays, examining the role of military success and failure in bringing about the defeat of the Confederacy, show how much new light fresh thinking can cast even on an old subject. This book will be indispensable for all students and teachers of the Civil Warera."--David Herbert Donald, Harvard University
"These expert, sharply focused essays, examining the role of militarysuccess and failure in bringing about the defeat of the Confederacy, show howmuch new light fresh thinking can cast even on an old subject. This book willbe indispensable for all students and teachers of the Civil War era."--DavidHerbert Donald, Harvard University
"Why the Confederacy Lost reminds us anew why the Civil War never ceases to be a rich source of developing national self-definition; yet with this compelling collection of essays we move farther away from the debilitating myth and treacle which too often has served our 'history' in the past.I commend Dr. Boritt and his colleagues for their fascinating and balanced work."--Ken Burns
"If this collection of essays by historians of varied interests asks why the Confederacy lost, it may just as reasonably be thought to ask why the Union won, for the interlocking politics, public reactions, and military strategies of both sides are equally considered and present strikingsimilarities....A promising source of argument."--The Atlantic
"Eye-opening....Solid scholarship combined with nonacademic prose make this collection essential reading for serious students of the War between the States."--Publishers Weekly
"Eye-opening....Solid scholarship combined with nonacademic prose makethis collection essential reading for serious students of the War between theStates."--Publishers Weekly
"Excellent complement to earlier, similar work by David Donald - Why the North Won the Civil War."--Professor Richard Lowe, University of North Texas
"Excellent complement to earlier, similar work by David Donald - Why theNorth Won the Civil War."--Professor Richard Lowe, University of NorthTexas
"A stimulating, authoritative, and persuasive contribution to Civil Warhistoriography."--Kirkus Reviews
"A welcome addition to the reading list on the Civil War. I plan to add it to my required reading list when I offer my Civil War course."--Gregory B. Padgett, Eckerel College
"A welcome addition to the reading list on the Civil War. I plan to addit to my required reading list when I offer my Civil War course."--Gregory B.Padgett, Eckerel College
"A stimulating, authoritative, and persuasive contribution to Civil War historiography."--Kirkus Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews, February 1992
Publishers Weekly, March 1992
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
After the Civil War, someone asked General Pickett why the Battle of Gettysburg had been lost: Was it Lee's error in taking the offensive, the tardiness of Ewell and Early, or Longstreet's hesitation in attacking? Pickett scratched his head and replied, "I've always thought the Yankees hadsomething to do with it." This simple fact, writes James McPherson, has escaped a generation of historians who have looked to faulty morale, population, economics, and dissent as the causes of Confederate failure. These were all factors, he writes, but the Civil War was still a war--won by theUnion army through key victories at key moments. With this brilliant review of how historians have explained the Southern defeat, McPherson opens a fascinating account by several leading historians of how the Union broke the Confederate rebellion. In every chapter, the military struggle takes center stage, as the authors reveal howbattlefield decisions shaped the very forces that many scholars (putting the cart before the horse) claim determined the outcome of the war. Archer Jones examines the strategy of the two sides, showing how each had to match its military planning to political necessity. Lee raided north of thePotomac with one eye on European recognition and the other on Northern puplic opinion--but his inevitable retreats looked like failure to the Southern public. The North, however, developed a strategy of deep raids that was extremely effective because it served a valuable political as well asmilitary purpose, shattering Southern morale by tearing up the interior. Gary Gallagher takes a hard look at the role of generals, narrowing his focus to the crucial triumvirate of Lee, Grant, and Sherman, who towered above the others. Lee's aggressiveness may have been costly, but he well knewthe political impact of his spectacular victories; Grant and Sherman, meanwhile, were the first Union generals to fully harness Northern resources and carry out coordinated campaigns. Reid Mitchell shows how the Union's advantage in numbers was enhanced by a dedication and perseverance of federaltroops that was not matched by the Confederates after their home front began to collapse. And Joseph Glatthaar examines black troops, whose role is entering the realm of national myth. In 1960, there appeared a collection of essays by major historians, entitled Why the North Won the Civil War, edited by David Donald; it is now in its twenty-sixth printing, having sold well over 100,000 copies. Why the Confederacy Lost provides a parallel volume, written by today's leadingauthorities. Provocatively argued and engagingly written, this work reminds us that the hard-won triumph of the North was far from inevitable.
Main Description
After the Civil War, someone asked General Pickett why the Battle of Gettysburg had been lost: Was it Lee's error in taking the offensive, the tardiness of Ewell and Early, or Longstreet's hesitation in attacking? Pickett scratched his head and replied, "I've always thought the Yankees hadsomething to do with it." This simple fact, writes James McPherson, has escaped a generation of historians who have looked to faulty morale, population, economics, and dissent as the causes of Confederate failure. These were all factors, he writes, but the Civil War was still a war--won by theUnion army through key victories at key moments. With this brilliant review of how historians have explained the Southern defeat, McPherson opens a fascinating account by several leading historians of how the Union broke the Confederate rebellion. In every chapter, the military struggle takes center stage, as the authors reveal howbattlefield decisions shaped the very forces that many scholars (putting the cart before the horse) claim determined the outcome of the war. Archer Jones examines the strategy of the two sides, showing how each had to match its military planning to political necessity. Lee raided north of thePotomac with one eye on European recognition and the other on Northern public opinion--but his inevitable retreats looked like failure to the Southern public. The North, however, developed a strategy of deep raids that was extremely effective because it served a valuable political as well asmilitary purpose, shattering Southern morale by tearing up the interior. Gary Gallagher takes a hard look at the role of generals, narrowing his focus to the crucial triumvirate of Lee, Grant, and Sherman, who towered above the others. Lee's aggressiveness may have been costly, but he well knewthe political impact of his spectacular victories; Grant and Sherman, meanwhile, were the first Union generals to fully harness Northern resources and carry out coordinated campaigns. Reid Mitchell shows how the Union's advantage in numbers was enhanced by a dedication and perseverance of federaltroops that was not matched by the Confederates after their home front began to collapse. And Joseph Glatthaar examines black troops, whose role is entering the realm of national myth. In 1960, there appeared a collection of essays by major historians, entitled Why the North Won the Civil War, edited by David Donald; it is now in its twenty-sixth printing, having sold well over 100,000 copies. Why the Confederacy Lost provides a parallel volume, written by today's leadingauthorities. Provocatively argued and engagingly written, this work reminds us that the hard-won triumph of the North was far from inevitable.
Long Description
After the Civil War, someone asked General Pickett why the Battle of Gettysburg had been lost: Was it Lee's error in taking the offensive, the tardiness of Ewell and Early, or Longstreet's hesitation in attacking? Pickett scratched his head and replied, "I've always thought the Yankees had something to do with it." This simple fact, writes James McPherson, has escaped a generation of historians who have looked to faulty morale, population, economics, and dissent as the causes of Confederate failure. These were all factors, he writes, but the Civil War was still a war--won by the Union army through key victories at key moments. With this brilliant review of how historians have explained the Southern defeat, McPherson opens a fascinating account by several leading historians of how the Union broke the Confederate rebellion. In every chapter, the military struggle takes center stage, as the authors reveal how battlefield decisions shaped the very forces that many scholars (putting the cart before the horse) claim determined the outcome of the war. Archer Jones examines the strategy of the two sides, showing how each had to match its military planning to political necessity. Lee raided north of the Potomac with one eye on European recognition and the other on Northern puplic opinion--but his inevitable retreats looked like failure to the Southern public. The North, however, developed a strategy of deep raids that was extremely effective because it served a valuable political as well as military purpose, shattering Southern morale by tearing up the interior. Gary Gallagher takes a hard look at the role of generals, narrowing his focus to the crucial triumvirate of Lee, Grant, and Sherman, who towered above the others. Lee's aggressiveness may have been costly, but he well knew the political impact of his spectacular victories; Grant and Sherman, meanwhile, were the first Union generals to fully harness Northern resources and carry out coordinated campaigns. Reid Mitchell shows how the Union's advantage in numbers was enhanced by a dedication and perseverance of federal troops that was not matched by the Confederates after their home front began to collapse. And Joseph Glatthaar examines black troops, whose role is entering the realm of national myth. In 1960, there appeared a collection of essays by major historians, entitled Why the North Won the Civil War, edited by David Donald; it is now in its twenty-sixth printing, having sold well over 100,000 copies. Why the Confederacy Lost provides a parallel volume, written by today's leading authorities. Provocatively argued and engagingly written, this work reminds us that the hard-won triumph of the North was far from inevitable.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Introductionp. 1
American Victory, American Defeatp. 15
Military Means, Political Ends: Strategyp. 43
Upon their Success Hang Momentous Interests"": Generalsp. 79
The Perseverance of the Soldiersp. 109
Black Gloty: The African-American Role in Union Victoryp. 133
Notesp. 163
For Further Reading: A Bibliographyp. 179
Contributorsp. 193
Indexp. 197
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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