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1861 : the Civil War awakening
Goodheart, Adam
Adult Nonfiction E459 .G66 2011

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Goodhart, a historian and journalist who will be writing a column on the Civil War for the New York Times online, makes sophisticated use of a broad spectrum of sources for an evocative reinterpretation of the Civil War's beginnings. Wanting to retrieve the war from recent critics who dismiss the importance of slavery in the Union's aims, he reframes the war as "not just a Southern rebellion but a nationwide revolution" to free the country of slavery and end paralyzing attempts to compromise over it. The revolution began long before the war's first shots were fired. But it worked on the minds and hearts of average whites and blacks, slaves and free men. By 1861 it had attained an irresistible momentum. Goodheart shifts focus away from the power centers of Washington and Charleston to look at the actions and reactions of citizens from Boston to New York City, from Hampton Roads, Va., to St. Louis, Mo., and San Francisco, emphasizing the cultural, rather than military, clash between those wanting the country to move forward and those clinging to the old ways. War would be waged for four bitter years, with enduring seriousness, intensity, and great heroism, Goodheart emphasizes. 15 illus. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

On the sesquicentennial of the Civil War's start, Goodheart (director, C.V. Starr Ctr. for the Study of the American Experience, Washington Coll.) takes a fresh look at the dawning of that transformative conflict. He draws upon a diverse selection of papers, memoirs, and collected records from both the well known (e.g., President Lincoln) and the unknown (e.g., the anonymous contrabands at Fortress Monroe, VA) to craft this engrossing examination. Focusing on the motivations for war, he rejects the often repeated assumption that at the beginning emancipation was far from the minds of those who fought, citing convincing material that the new birth of freedom was in the air from the earliest days of the conflict. Verdict This riveting and thought-provoking narrative is sure to teach something new to even the most seasoned Civil War researcher. Recommended for all interested readers and libraries of all sizes even if they are also purchasing Emory Thomas's fine The Dogs of War: 1861.-Theresa McDevitt, Indiana Univ. of Pennsylvania Libs. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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