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Heroes & cowards [electronic resource] : the social face of war /
Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn.
imprint
Princeton : Princeton University Press, c2008.
description
xxvi, 315 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
ISBN
0691137048 (hardcover : alk. paper), 9780691137049 (hardcover : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
Princeton : Princeton University Press, c2008.
isbn
0691137048 (hardcover : alk. paper)
9780691137049 (hardcover : alk. paper)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
contents note
1. Loyalty and Sacrifice -- 2. Why the U.S. Civil War? -- 3. Building the Armies -- 4. Heroes and Cowards -- 5. POW Camp Survivors -- 6. The Homecoming of Heroes and Cowards -- 7. Slaves Become Freemen -- 8. Learning from the Past -- Appendix. Records and Collection Methods.
abstract
Heroes and Cowards demonstrates the role that social capital plays in people's decisions. The makeup of various companies--whether soldiers were of the same ethnicity, age, and occupation--influenced whether soldiers remained loyal or whether they deserted. Costa and Kahn discuss how the soldiers benefited from friendships, what social factors allowed some to survive the POW camps while others died, and how punishments meted out for breaking codes of conduct affected men after the war. The book also examines the experience of African-American soldiers and makes important observations about how their comrades shaped their lives. --from publisher description
catalogue key
8841518
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [273]-290) and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"This impressive study, based on a random sample of forty thousand Civil War soldiers both black and white, reaches important conclusions about their motivation and behavior. Its most significant findings emphasize the role of close social networks within companies and regiments in promoting combat performance, preventing desertion, and increasing survival rates in POW camps. Readable and accessible to nonspecialists, this book should find a wide audience among those interested in the Civil War as well as group behavior more generally."-- James McPherson, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Battle Cry of Freedom "This remarkable book is destined to become a classic in social science. It addresses issues of supreme importance and timeliness--loyalty, betrayal, heroism, cowardice, survival, the challenges of diversity, and the benefits of social bonds. It rests on rigorous statistical analysis of an extraordinary historical archive, and yet it is so readable as to be unputdownable. It deals with a single epochal event in one nations history--the U.S. Civil War--and yet its lessons are highly relevant in many other eras and societies, including our own."-- Robert Putnam, author of Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community "Dora Costa and Matthew Kahn built a social science laboratory from the enlistment and pension records of men who fought in the Union Army during the American Civil War. In that remarkable laboratory they have discovered how friendship, community ties, and social status alter our choices. Read Heroes and Cowards for its reliable science; savor it for how it honors the harrowing circumstances that made the science possible."-- Michael Hout, coauthor of Century of Difference: How America Changed in the Last One Hundred Years "Dora Costa and Matthew Kahn have written a superb book on bravery in the Civil War. Their work informs us not only about courage under fire, but about the many settings where people are called upon to act for a common good. This is a pioneering piece of social science."-- Edward L. Glaeser, Harvard University "In the remarkable Heroes and Cowards , Costa and Kahn demonstrate how social bonds helped determine which soldiers would fight to the death and which would flee for their lives, which soldiers would survive the deadly prison camps and which would succumb. The authors utilize the tools of social science to serve, rather than obscure, the riveting accounts by Union soldiers--the heroes, the cowards, and those in between."-- Claude S. Fischer, University of California, Berkeley "With its excellent blending of qualitative and quantitative data, this is a significant contribution to Civil War history and, more generally, to military history. It will be of great interest to economists, historians and general readers, especially the large number still fascinated by the Civil War."-- Stanley L. Engerman, coauthor of Time on the Cross "Dora Costa and Matthew Kahn are two accomplished scholars whose work offers substantially new insights, on why men desert and how this affects them; on the experience of black soldiers during and after the war; and on the migration patterns of war veterans. The research behind this book is based on data that has not previously been used by scholars, and their use of that data is imaginative and revealing. Heroes and Cowards is a significant contribution to our knowledge of how Civil War veterans coped with the stresses of war and their lives after 1865."-- Roger Ransom, author of The Confederate States of America: What Might Have Been " Heroes and Cowards is a remarkable and impressive piece of economic history, a unique book that will interest a large readership."-- Louis P. Cain, Loyola University Chicago
Flap Copy
"This impressive study, based on a random sample of forty thousand Civil War soldiers both black and white, reaches important conclusions about their motivation and behavior. Its most significant findings emphasize the role of close social networks within companies and regiments in promoting combat performance, preventing desertion, and increasing survival rates in POW camps. Readable and accessible to nonspecialists, this book should find a wide audience among those interested in the Civil War as well as group behavior more generally."--James McPherson, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Battle Cry of Freedom "This remarkable book is destined to become a classic in social science. It addresses issues of supreme importance and timeliness--loyalty, betrayal, heroism, cowardice, survival, the challenges of diversity, and the benefits of social bonds. It rests on rigorous statistical analysis of an extraordinary historical archive, and yet it is so readable as to be unputdownable. It deals with a single epochal event in one nation's history--the U.S. Civil War--and yet its lessons are highly relevant in many other eras and societies, including our own."--Robert Putnam, author of Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community "Dora Costa and Matthew Kahn built a social science laboratory from the enlistment and pension records of men who fought in the Union Army during the American Civil War. In that remarkable laboratory they have discovered how friendship, community ties, and social status alter our choices. Read Heroes and Cowards for its reliable science; savor it for how it honors the harrowing circumstances that made the science possible."--Michael Hout, coauthor of Century of Difference: How America Changed in the Last One Hundred Years "Dora Costa and Matthew Kahn have written a superb book on bravery in the Civil War. Their work informs us not only about courage under fire, but about the many settings where people are called upon to act for a common good. This is a pioneering piece of social science."--Edward L. Glaeser, Harvard University "In the remarkable Heroes and Cowards , Costa and Kahn demonstrate how social bonds helped determine which soldiers would fight to the death and which would flee for their lives, which soldiers would survive the deadly prison camps and which would succumb. The authors utilize the tools of social science to serve, rather than obscure, the riveting accounts by Union soldiers--the heroes, the cowards, and those in between."--Claude S. Fischer, University of California, Berkeley "With its excellent blending of qualitative and quantitative data, this is a significant contribution to Civil War history and, more generally, to military history. It will be of great interest to economists, historians and general readers, especially the large number still fascinated by the Civil War."--Stanley L. Engerman, coauthor of Time on the Cross "Dora Costa and Matthew Kahn are two accomplished scholars whose work offers substantially new insights, on why men desert and how this affects them; on the experience of black soldiers during and after the war; and on the migration patterns of war veterans. The research behind this book is based on data that has not previously been used by scholars, and their use of that data is imaginative and revealing. Heroes and Cowards is a significant contribution to our knowledge of how Civil War veterans coped with the stresses of war and their lives after 1865."--Roger Ransom, author of The Confederate States of America: What Might Have Been " Heroes and Cowards is a remarkable and impressive piece of economic history, a unique book that will interest a large readership."--Louis P. Cain, Loyola University Chicago
Flap Copy
"This impressive study, based on a random sample of forty thousand Civil War soldiers both black and white, reaches important conclusions about their motivation and behavior. Its most significant findings emphasize the role of close social networks within companies and regiments in promoting combat performance, preventing desertion, and increasing survival rates in POW camps. Readable and accessible to nonspecialists, this book should find a wide audience among those interested in the Civil War as well as group behavior more generally."--James McPherson, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winningBattle Cry of Freedom "This remarkable book is destined to become a classic in social science. It addresses issues of supreme importance and timeliness--loyalty, betrayal, heroism, cowardice, survival, the challenges of diversity, and the benefits of social bonds. It rests on rigorous statistical analysis of an extraordinary historical archive, and yet it is so readable as to be unputdownable. It deals with a single epochal event in one nation's history--the U.S. Civil War--and yet its lessons are highly relevant in many other eras and societies, including our own."--Robert Putnam, author ofBowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community "With its excellent blending of qualitative and quantitative data, this is a significant contribution to Civil War history and, more generally, to military history. It will be of great interest to economists, historians and general readers, especially the large number still fascinated by the Civil War."--Stanley L. Engerman, coauthor ofTime on the Cross "Dora Costa and Matthew Kahn are two accomplished scholars whose work offers substantially new insights, on why men desert and how this affects them; on the experience of black soldiers during and after the war; and on the migration patterns of war veterans. The research behind this book is based on data that has not previously been used by scholars, and their use of that data is imaginative and revealing.Heroes and Cowardsis a significant contribution to our knowledge of how Civil War veterans coped with the stresses of war and their lives after 1865."--Roger Ransom, author ofThe Confederate States of America: What Might Have Been "Heroes and Cowardsis a remarkable and impressive piece of economic history, a unique book that will interest a large readership."--Louis P. Cain, Loyola University Chicago
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2009-09-01:
This is brilliant social science, dealing with key themes by means of powerful methods used on a superb database. The authors are economic historians (UCLA) skilled in quantitative analysis who investigate social factors that caused Union soldiers to act as heroes or cowards during the Civil War. There is a mass of careful findings, all of which point to the broad conclusion that homogeneity encouraged heroism. Artisans from rural areas who joined up convinced of the cause did not desert, not least because their reputations at home were on the line; further, their ability to help each other meant that they survived in prisoner of war camps better than did isolated individuals. Cowards tended to come from cities, to be more isolated, to desert, and to die more quickly when captured. A brilliant chapter on African American soldiers shows that the war led many to become literate, and thereby to move to cities where they prospered. This is a classic. Summing Up: Essential. All levels/libraries. J. A. Hall McGill University
Reviews
Review Quotes
Academics may want to include this volume in their undergraduate and graduate Civil War history reading list . . . and the records and collection methods included in the appendix, as well as the chapter endnotes and extensive bibliography, document the research findings of the authors. Non-academics likewise will find a copious volume of unique anecdotal entries especially enlightening.
"Academics may want to include this volume in their undergraduate and graduate Civil War history reading list . . . and the records and collection methods included in the appendix, as well as the chapter endnotes and extensive bibliography, document the research findings of the authors. Non-academics likewise will find a copious volume of unique anecdotal entries especially enlightening."-- Arthur B. Fox, Blue & Gray Magazine
Academics may want to include this volume in their undergraduate and graduate Civil War history reading list . . . and the records and collection methods included in the appendix, as well as the chapter endnotes and extensive bibliography, document the research findings of the authors. Non-academics likewise will find a copious volume of unique anecdotal entries especially enlightening. -- Arthur B. Fox, Blue & Gray Magazine
Costa and Kahn's approach . . . should stimulate further research on the social history of the Civil War.
"Costa and Kahn's approach . . . should stimulate further research on the social history of the Civil War."-- Jeffrey W. Mcclurken, Journal of Southern History
Costa and Kahn's approach . . . should stimulate further research on the social history of the Civil War. -- Jeffrey W. Mcclurken, Journal of Southern History
Heroes and Cowards highlights the inherent tensions between the costs and benefits of community diversity, shedding light on how groups and societies behave and providing valuable lessons for the present day.
" Heroes and Cowards highlights the inherent tensions between the costs and benefits of community diversity, shedding light on how groups and societies behave and providing valuable lessons for the present day."-- Spartacus Educational
Heroes and Cowards highlights the inherent tensions between the costs and benefits of community diversity, shedding light on how groups and societies behave and providing valuable lessons for the present day. -- Spartacus Educational
Heroes and Cowardshighlights the inherent tensions between the costs and benefits of community diversity, shedding light on how groups and societies behave and providing valuable lessons for the present day. -- Spartacus Educational
Heroes and Cowards is interesting to read. . . . It is a work of military sociology written with one eye on the debate about the social costs of diversity. . . . Ms. Costa and Mr. Kahn emphasize the advantages of trust and mutual sacrifice that come from social similarity. They understand full well the contemporary implications of their historical study. When we contemplate helping others, whether through volunteer organizations or welfare--state transfers, we are less likely to provide for--and more likely to abandon--those who are unlike ourselves.
Heroes and Cowardsis interesting to read. . . . It is a work of military sociology written with one eye on the debate about the social costs of diversity. . . . Ms. Costa and Mr. Kahn emphasize the advantages of trust and mutual sacrifice that come from social similarity. They understand full well the contemporary implications of their historical study. When we contemplate helping others, whether through volunteer organizations or welfare--state transfers, we are less likely to provide for--and more likely to abandon--those who are unlike ourselves.
" Heroes and Cowards is interesting to read. . . . It is a work of military sociology written with one eye on the debate about the social costs of diversity. . . . Ms. Costa and Mr. Kahn emphasize the advantages of trust and mutual sacrifice that come from social similarity. They understand full well the contemporary implications of their historical study. When we contemplate helping others, whether through volunteer organizations or welfare--state transfers, we are less likely to provide for--and more likely to abandon--those who are unlike ourselves."-- David Courtwright, Wall Street Journal
Heroes and Cowards is interesting to read. . . . It is a work of military sociology written with one eye on the debate about the social costs of diversity. . . . Ms. Costa and Mr. Kahn emphasize the advantages of trust and mutual sacrifice that come from social similarity. They understand full well the contemporary implications of their historical study. When we contemplate helping others, whether through volunteer organizations or welfare--state transfers, we are less likely to provide for--and more likely to abandon--those who are unlike ourselves. -- David Courtwright, Wall Street Journal
Heroes and Cowardsis interesting to read. . . . It is a work of military sociology written with one eye on the debate about the social costs of diversity. . . . Ms. Costa and Mr. Kahn emphasize the advantages of trust and mutual sacrifice that come from social similarity. They understand full well the contemporary implications of their historical study. When we contemplate helping others, whether through volunteer organizations or welfare--state transfers, we are less likely to provide for--and more likely to abandon--those who are unlike ourselves. -- David Courtwright, Wall Street Journal
In their new book Heroes and Cowards , economists Dora Costa and Matthew Kahn use the Civil War as their laboratory to study what men will do in the name of friendship. They find that men serving in companies with tight social connections--like shared birthplace and occupation--were more likely to stand and fight than those in less tight-knit companies, where desertion rates were up to four times higher.
In their new bookHeroes and Cowards, economists Dora Costa and Matthew Kahn use the Civil War as their laboratory to study what men will do in the name of friendship. They find that men serving in companies with tight social connections--like shared birthplace and occupation--were more likely to stand and fight than those in less tight-knit companies, where desertion rates were up to four times higher.
"In their new book Heroes and Cowards , economists Dora Costa and Matthew Kahn use the Civil War as their laboratory to study what men will do in the name of friendship. They find that men serving in companies with tight social connections--like shared birthplace and occupation--were more likely to stand and fight than those in less tight-knit companies, where desertion rates were up to four times higher."-- Ray Fisman, Slate.com
In their new book Heroes and Cowards , economists Dora Costa and Matthew Kahn use the Civil War as their laboratory to study what men will do in the name of friendship. They find that men serving in companies with tight social connections--like shared birthplace and occupation--were more likely to stand and fight than those in less tight-knit companies, where desertion rates were up to four times higher. -- Ray Fisman, Slate.com
In their new bookHeroes and Cowards, economists Dora Costa and Matthew Kahn use the Civil War as their laboratory to study what men will do in the name of friendship. They find that men serving in companies with tight social connections--like shared birthplace and occupation--were more likely to stand and fight than those in less tight-knit companies, where desertion rates were up to four times higher. -- Ray Fisman, Slate.com
One of Choice 's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2009
This is brilliant social science, dealing with key themes by means of powerful methods used on a superb database. The authors are economic historians skilled in quantitative analysis who investigate social factors that caused Union soldiers to act as heroes or cowards during the Civil War.
"This is brilliant social science, dealing with key themes by means of powerful methods used on a superb database. The authors are economic historians skilled in quantitative analysis who investigate social factors that caused Union soldiers to act as heroes or cowards during the Civil War."-- Choice
This is brilliant social science, dealing with key themes by means of powerful methods used on a superb database. The authors are economic historians skilled in quantitative analysis who investigate social factors that caused Union soldiers to act as heroes or cowards during the Civil War. -- Choice
This is simply the best study of the motivation to fight, demonstrating the benefits of long-term and deep engagement with a case and the advantages that accrue to the successful and creative combination of quantitative and historical methods.
"This is simply the best study of the motivation to fight, demonstrating the benefits of long-term and deep engagement with a case and the advantages that accrue to the successful and creative combination of quantitative and historical methods."-- Stathis N. Kalyvas, Peace Research
This is simply the best study of the motivation to fight, demonstrating the benefits of long-term and deep engagement with a case and the advantages that accrue to the successful and creative combination of quantitative and historical methods. -- Stathis N. Kalyvas, Peace Research
With a striking amount of data, Heroes and Cowards is one of the most impressive books this reviewer has seen in years. . . . Carefully written, with sharp analysis and new avenues for research, Heroes and Cowards is a fresh and inspiring example of social history at its best.
"With a striking amount of data, Heroes and Cowards is one of the most impressive books this reviewer has seen in years. . . . Carefully written, with sharp analysis and new avenues for research, Heroes and Cowards is a fresh and inspiring example of social history at its best."-- Jerry Thompson, Journal of American History
With a striking amount of data, Heroes and Cowards is one of the most impressive books this reviewer has seen in years. . . . Carefully written, with sharp analysis and new avenues for research, Heroes and Cowards is a fresh and inspiring example of social history at its best. -- Jerry Thompson, Journal of American History
Dora Costa and Matthew Kahn are two accomplished scholars whose work offers substantially new insights, on why men desert and how this affects them; on the experience of black soldiers during and after the war; and on the migration patterns of war veterans. The research behind this book is based on data that has not previously been used by scholars, and their use of that data is imaginative and revealing.Heroes and Cowardsis a significant contribution to our knowledge of how Civil War veterans coped with the stresses of war and their lives after 1865.
Dora Costa and Matthew Kahn built a social science laboratory from the enlistment and pension records of men who fought in the Union Army during the American Civil War. In that remarkable laboratory they have discovered how friendship, community ties, and social status alter our choices. ReadHeroes and Cowardsfor its reliable science; savor it for how it honors the harrowing circumstances that made the science possible.
Dora Costa and Matthew Kahn have written a superb book on bravery in the Civil War. Their work informs us not only about courage under fire, but about the many settings where people are called upon to act for a common good. This is a pioneering piece of social science.
Heroes and Cowardsis a remarkable and impressive piece of economic history, a unique book that will interest a large readership.
In the remarkableHeroes and Cowards, Costa and Kahn demonstrate how social bonds helped determine which soldiers would fight to the death and which would flee for their lives, which soldiers would survive the deadly prison camps and which would succumb. The authors utilize the tools of social science to serve, rather than obscure, the riveting accounts by Union soldiers--the heroes, the cowards, and those in between.
This impressive study, based on a random sample of forty thousand Civil War soldiers both black and white, reaches important conclusions about their motivation and behavior. Its most significant findings emphasize the role of close social networks within companies and regiments in promoting combat performance, preventing desertion, and increasing survival rates in POW camps. Readable and accessible to nonspecialists, this book should find a wide audience among those interested in the Civil War as well as group behavior more generally.
This remarkable book is destined to become a classic in social science. It addresses issues of supreme importance and timeliness--loyalty, betrayal, heroism, cowardice, survival, the challenges of diversity, and the benefits of social bonds. It rests on rigorous statistical analysis of an extraordinary historical archive, and yet it is so readable as to be unputdownable. It deals with a single epochal event in one nation's history--the U.S. Civil War--and yet its lessons are highly relevant in many other eras and societies, including our own.
With its excellent blending of qualitative and quantitative data, this is a significant contribution to Civil War history and, more generally, to military history. It will be of great interest to economists, historians and general readers, especially the large number still fascinated by the Civil War.
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, September 2009
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
Bowker Data Service Summary
'Heroes and Cowards' highlights the inherent tensions between the costs and benefits of community diversity, shedding light on how groups and societies behave and providing valuable lessons for the present day.
Main Description
When are people willing to sacrifice for the common good? What are the benefits of friendship? How do communities deal with betrayal? And what are the costs and benefits of being in a diverse community? Using the life histories of more than forty thousand Civil War soldiers, Dora Costa and Matthew Kahn answer these questions and uncover the vivid stories, social influences, and crucial networks that influenced soldiers' lives both during and after the war. Drawing information from government documents, soldiers' journals, and one of the most extensive research projects about Union Army soldiers ever undertaken,Heroes and Cowardsdemonstrates the role that social capital plays in people's decisions. The makeup of various companies--whether soldiers were of the same ethnicity, age, and occupation--influenced whether soldiers remained loyal or whether they deserted. Costa and Kahn discuss how the soldiers benefited from friendships, what social factors allowed some to survive the POW camps while others died, and how punishments meted out for breaking codes of conduct affected men after the war. The book also examines the experience of African-American soldiers and makes important observations about how their comrades shaped their lives. Heroes and Cowardshighlights the inherent tensions between the costs and benefits of community diversity, shedding light on how groups and societies behave and providing valuable lessons for the present day.
Main Description
When are people willing to sacrifice for the common good? What are the benefits of friendship? How do communities deal with betrayal? And what are the costs and benefits of being in a diverse community? Using the life histories of more than forty thousand Civil War soldiers, Dora Costa and Matthew Kahn answer these questions and uncover the vivid stories, social influences, and crucial networks that influenced soldiers' lives both during and after the war. Drawing information from government documents, soldiers' journals, and one of the most extensive research projects about Union Army soldiers ever undertaken, Heroes and Cowards demonstrates the role that social capital plays in people's decisions. The makeup of various companies--whether soldiers were of the same ethnicity, age, and occupation--influenced whether soldiers remained loyal or whether they deserted. Costa and Kahn discuss how the soldiers benefited from friendships, what social factors allowed some to survive the POW camps while others died, and how punishments meted out for breaking codes of conduct affected men after the war. The book also examines the experience of African-American soldiers and makes important observations about how their comrades shaped their lives. Heroes and Cowards highlights the inherent tensions between the costs and benefits of community diversity, shedding light on how groups and societies behave and providing valuable lessons for the present day.
Main Description
When are people willing to sacrifice for the common good? What are the benefits of friendship? How do communities deal with betrayal? And what are the costs and benefits of being in a diverse community? Using the life histories of more than forty thousand Civil War soldiers, Dora Costa and Matthew Kahn answer these questions and uncover the vivid stories, social influences, and crucial networks that influenced soldiers' lives both during and after the war.Drawing information from government documents, soldiers' journals, and one of the most extensive research projects about Union Army soldiers ever undertaken,Heroes and Cowardsdemonstrates the role that social capital plays in people's decisions. The makeup of various companies--whether soldiers were of the same ethnicity, age, and occupation--influenced whether soldiers remained loyal or whether they deserted. Costa and Kahn discuss how the soldiers benefited from friendships, what social factors allowed some to survive the POW camps while others died, and how punishments meted out for breaking codes of conduct affected men after the war. The book also examines the experience of African-American soldiers and makes important observations about how their comrades shaped their lives.Heroes and Cowardshighlights the inherent tensions between the costs and benefits of community diversity, shedding light on how groups and societies behave and providing valuable lessons for the present day.
Table of Contents
List of Platesp. xv
Prefacep. xvii
Acknowledgmentsp. xxiii
Loyalty and Sacrificep. 1
Why the U.S. Civil War?p. 26
Building the Armiesp. 46
Heroes and Cowardsp. 80
POW Camp Survivorsp. 120
The Homecoming of Heroes and Cowardsp. 160
Slaves Become Freemenp. 187
Learning from the Pastp. 215
Appendix: Records and Collection Methodsp. 227
Notesp. 243
Bibliographyp. 273
Indexp. 291
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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