Synopses & Reviews
When the Civil War began, Northern soldiers and civilians alike sought a framework to help make sense of the chaos that confronted them. Many turned first to the classic European military texts from the Napoleonic era, especially Antoine Henri Jomini's Summary of the Art of War. As Carol Reardon shows, Jomini's work was only one voice in what ultimately became a lively and contentious national discourse about how the North should conduct war at a time when warfare itself was rapidly changing. She argues that the absence of a strong intellectual foundation for the conduct of war at its start--or, indeed, any consensus on the need for such a foundation--ultimately contributed to the length and cost of the conflict.
"This excellent book will change the perceptions of military historians in general and Civil War historians in particular."--John F. Marszalek, executive director, The Ulysses S. Grant Association, Mississippi State University
"Nothing less than amazing. For anyone interested in military history that goes beyond--without losing sight of--battles and leaders and engages big issues in Civil War military history in a way that is provocative, insightful, and compelling, Reardon's book is an essential addition to their library."
-Civil War Monitor
"Reardon's revisionist contribution is . . . significant, timely, and thoroughly welcome."
-Journal of American History
"Prove[s] rewarding reading for those interested in the conduct of battle during the Civil War."
-The NYMAS Review
"A succinct but thorough examination of the intellectual dimensions of waging the war. . . . Highly recommended."
-North Carolina Historical Review
"This is a book that deserves and should find a wide audience. In addition to shedding important light on aspects of the war that had heretofore not received adequate attention from scholars, it is also impressively researched, analytically rigorous, and clearly written."
-Blue and Gray Magazine
About the Author
Carol Reardon is George Winfree Professor of American History at Pennsylvania State University and author of Pickett's Charge in History and Memory.