The Confederate Carpetbaggers

Daniel E. Sutherland, Author Louisiana State University Press $0 (360p) ISBN 978-0-8071-1393-6
Of the estimated 16,000 Southerners who moved North immediately after the Civil War, Sutherland (Americans and Their Servants) has collected extensive biographical information on 571, what he calls his ""core group'' of carpetbaggers, those Confederate emigrants who left the battered South seeking to improve their fortunes and positions in the Yankee North. From this central unit, Sutherland draws portraits of various types of carpetbaggers and examines the reasons for their exodus and its sociological and historical significance. Perusing newspapers, books, diaries and letters, he traces the lives of businessmen, artists and socialites, weaving their stories into the phenomenon of which they were an integral part. One couple, Burton Harrison and Constance Cary, married after the war and rose to prominence in New York, and Sutherland utilizes each stage of their adjustment to the North as template for the emigre experience. The Harrisons led fascinating careers, and their story provides the book's continuity, enlivening the, at times, overwhelming rush of biographical data. Page after page is filled with paragraph-long recountings of various personalities. Nevertheless, Sutherland presents the results of his monumental research in a highly accessible and often entertaining manner. His book deserves the attention of American history students. Illustrations not seen by PW. (May)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-0-8071-1470-4
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