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Other titles in the Valley of the Shadow Project series:
In the Presence of Mine Enemies: War in the Heart of America, 1859-1863 (Valley of the Shadow Project)by Edward L Ayers
Synopses & Reviews
Through a gripping narrative based on massive new research, a leading historian reshapes our understanding of the Civil War. OUR STANDARD CIVIL WAR HISTORIES tell a reassuring story of the triumph, in an inevitable conflict, of the dynamic, free-labor North over the traditional, slave-based South, vindicating the freedom principles built into the nation's foundations. Edward L. Ayers gives us a different Civil War, built on an intimate scale. He charts the descent into war in the Great Valley spanning Pennsylvania and Virginia. Connected by strong ties of every kind, including the tendrils of slavery, the people of this borderland sought alternatives to secession and war. When none remained, they took up war with startling intensity. As this book relays with a vivid immediacy, it came to their doorsteps in hunger, disease, and measureless death. Ayers's Civil War emerges from the lives of everyday people as well as those who helped shape history--John Brown and Frederick Douglass, Lincoln, Jackson, and Lee. His story ends with the valley ravaged, Lincoln's support fragmenting, and Confederate forces massing for a battle at Gettysburg.
Book News Annotation:
Through the stories of individuals and families involved in the Civil War, including civilians and soldiers, free blacks and whites, and women and men, Ayers (history, University of Virginia) shows that the popular conception of the war as an inevitable clash resulting in national unification and the destruction of slavery does not do justice to the reality of those who lived during the period. Ayers recovers the experiences of people who lived the Civil War, examining the emotions and beliefs on which they acted. B&w historical illustrations are included.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Ayers gives us a Civil War on an intimate scale. It emerges from the lives of everyday people and ends with the valley ravaged, Lincoln's support fragmenting, and Confederate forces massing for battle at Gettysburg.
Through a gripping narrative based on massive new research, a leading historian tells a reassuring story of the triumph, in an inevitable conflict, of the dynamic, free-labor North over the traditional, slave-based South, vindicating the freedom principles built into the nation's foundations.
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