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Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Eraby James M. McPherson
Synopses & Reviews
Filled with fresh interpretations and information, puncturing old myths and challenging new ones, this 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. It then moves into a chronicle of the war itself, the battles, the strategic maneuvering on both sides, the politics, and the personalities. Particularly notable are 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 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.
Covers the period of the Mexican War in 1848 up through the end of the Civil War in 1865, focusing in detail on the military campaigns, including strategy and logistics, military leaders, and common soldiers.
About the Author
James M. McPherson is Edwards Professor of American History at Princeton University. His books include The Struggle for Equality, Marching Toward Freedom, and Ordeal by Fire.
Table of Contents
From the Halls of Montezuma --The United States at midcentury — Mexico will poison us — An empire for slavery — Slavery, rum, and Romanism — The crime against Kansas — Mudsills and greasy mechanics for A. Lincoln — The Revolution of 1860 — The counterrevolution of 1861 — Facing both ways: the upper south's dilemma — Amateurs go to war — Farewell to the Ninety Days' War — Blockade and beachhead: the Salt-water War, 1861-1862 — The River War in 1862 — The sinews of war — Billy Yank's chickahominy blues — We must free the slaves or be ourselves subdued — Carry me back to old Virginny — John Bull's Virginia reel — Three rivers in winter, 1862-1863 — Fire in the rear — Long remember: the summer of '63 — Johnny Reb's Chattanooga blues — When this cruel war is over — If it takes all summer — After four years of failure — We are going to be wiped off the earth — South Carolina must be destroyed — We are all Americans — To the shoals of victory.
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