Filled with fresh interpretations and information, puncturing old myths and challenging new ones, Battle Cry of Freedom will unquestionably become the standard one-volume history of the Civil War. James McPherson's fast-paced narrative fully integrates the political, social, and military events that crowded the two decades from the outbreak of one war in Mexico to the ending of another at Appomattox. Packed with drama and analytical insight, the book vividly recounts the momentous episodes that preceded the Civil War--the Dred Scott decision, the Lincoln-Douglas debates, John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry--and then moves into a masterful chronicle of the war itself--the battles, the strategic maneuvering on both sides, the politics, and the personalities. Particularly notable are McPherson's new views on such matters as the slavery expansion issue in the 1850s, the origins of the Republican Party, the causes of secession, internal dissent and anti-war opposition in the North and the South, and the reasons for the Union's victory. The book's title refers to the sentiments that informed both the Northern and Southern views of the conflict: the South seceded in the name of that freedom of self-determination and self-government for which their fathers had fought in 1776, while the North stood fast in defense of the Union founded by those fathers as the bulwark of American liberty. Eventually, the North had to grapple with the underlying cause of the war--slavery--and adopt a policy of emancipation as a second war aim. This "new birth of freedom," as Lincoln called it, constitutes the proudest legacy of America's bloodiest conflict. This authoritative volume makes sense of that vast and confusing "second American Revolution" we call the Civil War, a war that transformed a nation and expanded our heritage of liberty.
Antientam: the Battle that Changed the Course of the American Civil War
Author: James M. McPherson
Category: Antietam, Battle of, Md., 1862
A masterful portrait of the bloody one-day battle that turned the tide of the American civil war By September 1862 the war was at a crossroads, with Robert E. Lee's Confederate Army poised to take Washington. But when the Confederates crossed the Virginia border to invade Maryland, the resulting battle at Antietam on 17 September provided the critical victory the Union needed. It crushed the Confederate hopes of British intervention and allowed Abraham Lincoln to deliver the Emancipation Proclamation to end slavery - changing the war for reunion into a fight for freedom. But it was also the bloodiest single day in American history, as more then 6,000 soldiers lost their lives between Antietam Creek and the Potomac River. In Crossroads of Freedom, James M. McPherson gives a compelling account of this pivotal battle, the events that led up to it and its aftermath.
From the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom, a powerful new reckoning with Jefferson Davis as military commander of the Confederacy “The best concise book we have on the subject… McPherson is… our most distinguished scholar of the Civil War era.” —The New York Times Book Review History has not been kind to Jefferson Davis. Many Americans of his own time and in later generations considered him an incompetent leader, not to mention a traitor. Not so, argues James M. McPherson. In Embattled Rebel, McPherson shows us that Davis might have been on the wrong side of history, but that it is too easy to diminish him because of his cause’s failure. Gravely ill throughout much of the Civil War, Davis nevertheless shaped and articulated the principal policy of the Confederacy—the quest for independent nationhood—with clarity and force. He exercised a tenacious hands-on influence in the shaping of military strategy, and his close relationship with Robert E. Lee was one of the most effective military-civilian partnerships in history. Lucid and concise, Embattled Rebel presents a fresh perspective on the Civil War as seen from the desk of the South’s commander in chief. From the Trade Paperback edition.
This book takes a new approach to teaching and learning early US history from 1763 to 2001 at A level. It meets the needs of teachers and students studying for today's revised AS and A2 exams. In a unique style, The United States, 1763-2001 focuses on the key topics within the period. Each topic is then comprehensively explored to provide background, essay writing advice and examples, source work and historical skills exercises. The key topics featured include: * the struggle for the Constitution, 1763-1877 * the American Civil War * Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal * foreign policy, 1890-1991 * civil rights, 1863 - 1992. Using essay styles and source exercises from each of the exam boards - AQA, Edexcel and OCR - this book is an essential text for students and teachers.
Themes of the American Civil War offers a timely and useful guide to this vast topic for a new generation of students. The volume provides a broad-ranging assessment of the causes, complexities, and consequences of America’s most destructive conflict to date. The essays, written by top scholars in the field, and reworked for this new edition, explore how, and in what ways, differing interpretations of the war have arisen, and explains clearly why the American Civil War remains a subject of enduring interest. It includes chapters covering four broad areas, including The Political Front, The Military Front, The Race Front, and The Ideological Front. Additions to the second edition include a new introduction – added to the current introduction by James McPherson – a chapter on gender, as well as information on the remembrance of the war (historical memory). The addition of several maps, a timeline, and an appendix listing further reading, battlefield statistics, and battle/regiment/general names focuses the book squarely at undergraduates in both the US and abroad.
A History of the Most Controversial Motion Picture of All Time
Author: Melvyn Stokes
Publisher: Oxford University Press
In this deeply researched and vividly written volume, Melvyn Stokes illuminates the origins, production, reception and continuing history of this ground-breaking, aesthetically brilliant, and yet highly controversial movie. By going back to the original archives, particularly the NAACP and D. W. Griffith Papers, Stokes explodes many of the myths surrounding The Birth of a Nation (1915). Yet the story that remains is fascinating: the longest American film of its time, Griffith's film incorporated many new features, including the first full musical score compiled for an American film. It was distributed and advertised by pioneering methods that would quickly become standard. Through the high prices charged for admission and the fact that it was shown, at first, only in "live" theaters with orchestral accompaniment, Birth played a major role in reconfiguring the American movie audience by attracting more middle-class patrons. But if the film was a milestone in the history of cinema, it was also undeniably racist. Stokes shows that the darker side of this classic movie has its origins in the racist ideas of Thomas Dixon, Jr. and Griffith's own Kentuckian background and earlier film career. The book reveals how, as the years went by, the campaign against the film became increasingly successful. In the 1920s, for example, the NAACP exploited the fact that the new Ku Klux Klan, which used Griffith's film as a recruiting and retention tool, was not just anti-black, but also anti-Catholic and anti-Jewish, as a way to mobilize new allies in opposition to the film. This crisply written book sheds light on both the film's racism and the aesthetic brilliance of Griffith's filmmaking. It is a must-read for anyone interested in the cinema.
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Oxford University Press
Maps follow the long march of human history from prehistory to the present, covering the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, and China; the Roman empire; the Medieval and Early Modern world; and the twentieth century
A Documentary History of the American Civil War Era is the first comprehensive collection of public policy actions, political speeches, and judicial decisions related to the American Civil War. Collectively, the four volumes in this series give scholars, teachers, and students easy access to the full texts of the most important, fundamental documents as well as hard-to-find, rarely published primary sources on this critical period in U.S. history. The first two volumes of the series, Legislative Achievements and Political Arguments, were released last year. The final installments, Judicial Decisions, is split into two volumes, with this one, volume 3, spanning from 1857 to 1866. It contains some of the classic judicial decisions of the time such as the 1857 decision in Dred Scott and the 1861 Ex parte Merryman decision. Other decisions are well known to specialists but deserve wider readership and discussion, such as the October 1859 Jefferson County, Virginia, indictment of John Brown and the decision in the 1864 case of political and seditious activity in Ex parte Vallandigham. These judicial voices constitute a lasting and often overlooked aspect of the age of Abraham Lincoln. Mackey’s headnotes and introductory essays situate cases within their historical context and trace their lasting significance. In contrast to the war, these judicial decisions lasted well past their immediate political and legal moment and deserve continued scholarship and scrutiny. This document collection presents the raw “stuff” of the Civil War era so that students, scholars, and interested readers can measure and gauge how that generation met Lincoln’s challenge to “think anew, and act anew.” A Documentary History of the American Civil War Era is an essential acquisition for academic and public libraries in addition to being a valuable resource for courses on the Civil War and Reconstruction, legal history, political history, and nineteenth-century American history.
A Documentary History of the American Civil War Era is the first comprehensive collection of public policy actions, political speeches, and judicial decisions related to the American Civil War. This three-volume set gives scholars, teachers, and students easy access to the full texts of the most important, fundamental documents as well as hard-to-find, rarely published primary sources on this critical period in U.S. history. The first volume of the series, Legislative Achievements, contains legislation passed in response to the turmoil seizing the country on the brink of, during, and in the wake of the Civil War. Forthcoming are volume 2, Political Arguments, which contains voices of politicians, political party platforms, and administrative speeches, and volume 3, Judicial Decisions, which provides judicial opinions and decisions as the Civil War raged in the courtrooms as well as on the battlefields. Organized chronologically, each of the selections is preceded by an introductory headnote that explains the document’s historical significance and traces its lasting impact. These headnotes provide insight into not only law and public policy but also the broad sweep of issues that engaged Civil War–era America. Legislative Achievements features some of the most momentous and enduring public policy documents from the time, beginning with the controversial September 15, 1850, Fugitive Slave Act and concluding with the June 18, 1878, Posse Comitatus Act. Both military and nonmilitary legislation constitute this part, including the April 19, 1861, proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln declaring a naval blockade on Southern ports and Confederate President Jefferson Davis’s proclamation authorizing blockade runners to attack Northern shipping, both issued on the same day. Nonmilitary legislation includes statutes affecting the postwar period, such as the 1862 Homestead Act, the Civil Rights Act of 1866, and all four of the Reconstruction Acts. Also in this section are the three constitutional amendments, the Habeas Corpus Acts of 1863 and 1867, the Freedman’s Bureau Acts of 1865 and 1866, and the 1867 Tenure of Office Act together with President Andrew Johnson’s message vetoing the Act. A Documentary History of the American Civil War Era is an essential acquisition for academic and public libraries in addition to being a valuable resource for students of the Civil War and Reconstruction, legal history, public policy, and nineteenth-century American history. THOMAS C. MACKEY is a professor of history at the University of Louisville and adjunct Professor of Law at Brandeis School of Law. He is the author of Pornography on Trial (2002) and Pursuing Johns (2005).