God's Almost Chosen Peoples: A Religious History of the American Civil War

George C. Rable, Univ. of North Carolina, $35 (608p) ISBN 978-0-8078-3426-8
Apart from Charles Regan Wilson's classic Baptized in the Blood: The Religion of the Lost Cause, 1865–1920, Civil War historians have often neglected the story of religion in their chronicles of America's sectarian conflict. In this brilliant and groundbreaking book, University of Alabama historian Rable draws upon newspapers, sermons, diaries, letters, and journals to show that many people on both sides of the conflict turned to faith to help explain the war's causes, course, and consequences. Rable demonstrates that both Northerners and Southerners tried to make sense of the brutal war by thumbing through their Bibles, listening to their preachers, and interpreting battles as a fulfillment of a divine plan. Thus, Stephen Alexander Hodgman, a Northerner who had lived in the South for 32 years before the war, declared that God had not just sealed the doom of slavery, but that the war had helped prepare the way for the reign of Christ. Because of its thorough research and its chronicle of the lives of ordinary people, Rable's engrossing study of the role of religion in the Civil War will stand as the definitive religious history of America's most divisive conflict. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/18/2010
Release date: 11/01/2010
Genre: Religion
Open Ebook - 586 pages - 978-0-8078-9931-1
Paperback - 586 pages - 978-1-4696-2182-1
Portable Document Format (PDF) - 599 pages - 978-1-4696-0384-1
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