Why the Confederacy Lost

G. S. Boritt, Author, G. S. Boritt, Editor Oxford University Press, USA $30 (224p) ISBN 978-0-19-507405-5
These eye-opening essays by five noted Civil War historians emphasize the often overlooked fact that Union and Confederate generals had something to do with the outcome of the 1861-1865 war. James McPherson ( Battle Cry of Freedom ) reviews the commonly cited explanations for the Confederate defeat and, allowing that political and economic factors played a significant role, argues that it was the battlefield that ``gave birth to victory.'' Archer Jones ( How the North Won ) reconstructs the strategies of both sides, showing the intimate connection between strategy and politics, and concludes that neither side got the better of the other. Gary Gallagher ( Struggle for the Shenandoah ) assesses the war's leading generals and shows that Grant, Sherman and Lee shaped military events to a far greater degree than any of their colleagues. Reid Mitchell ( Civil War Soldiers ) discusses the potential for guerrilla warfare in the South and maintains that the Union's advantage in numbers was enhanced by the dedication and perseverance of Federal troops. Joseph Glatthaar ( Forged in Battle ) reveals the devastating effect of runaways and disruptive slaves on the Confederacy and demontrates how African American soldiers proved indispensable to the Union effort. Solid scholarship combined with nonacademic prose make this collection essential reading for serious students of the War between the States. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/30/1992
Release date: 04/01/1992
Genre: Nonfiction
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