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James M. McPherson, author of Battle Cry of Freedom
The authors have written a succinct yet detailed and eloquent history of the conflict that preserved and reshaped the nation in ways that continue to affect us today. Noteworthy features of The American War are the inclusion of Reconstruction as an integral part of the war, as indeed it was, and a final chapter on the conflicting memories of the war by those who experienced it as they attempted to give meaning to their experiences.
William C. Davis, author of Crucible of Command: Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee–The War They Fought, the Peace They Forged
No other recent work has so mastered the content and contributions of the best historians of our time, and distilled it into a work that is at once comprehensive and yet manageable. In their graceful words, Gallagher and Waugh offer the full context of the war’s coming, its course at home and in the field, and its consequences, both as it happened and as Americans chose to remember it. This is easily the best one-volume assessment of the Civil War era to date.
Matthew Gallman, author of Defining Duty in the Civil War: Personal Choice, Popular Culture, and the Union Home Front
Gallagher and Waugh do a wonderful job of explaining the main facts that shaped the war years and their aftermath. The authors manage to do justice to individual experiences and national goals in both the Union and the Confederacy, consider military strategies and battlefield tactics throughout the entire geographic landscape, and contemplate the war through the eyes of celebrated leaders, anonymous citizen soldiers, and a diversity of civilians – both white and black.
Edward L. Ayers, author of In the Presence of Mine Enemies: Civil War in the Heart of America
It is hard to see how any one brief volume could better deal with this vast subject. Gallagher and Waugh know all there is to know about the Civil War and manage to convey that knowledge with balanced judgment, engaging quotations, up-to-date scholarship, and humane insight.
The interactive version of The American War includes the following features:
- Filmed debates between the others on topics such as the “inevitability” of secession, war, and Confederate defeat.
- 40+ interview-style videos embedded within the textbook, including a dozen that feature Gary Gallagher on location at several battlefield sites.
- 100+ hyperlinks to important online resources.
- PowerPoint slide presentations available as an instructor resource at the end of each chapter.
- Chapter quizzes available for easy upload to any LMS.
- Embedded reading comprehension questions.
Table of Contents
This chapter surveys the late antebellum period and carries the narrative through the election of Lincoln, the secession of the Lower South, and the firing on Fort Sumter.
This chapter covers the secession of the Upper South, the struggle for the Border States, and the mobilization of resources, strategic planning, and early military campaigns. It addresses factors such as manpower, industrial capacity, geography, historical precedent, and European reaction as elements in handicapping the conflict.
This chapter charts the huge swings of momentum on the battlefield between the winter of 1861 and the winter of 1862; introduces students to key figures such as U. S. Grant, R. E. Lee, and George B. McClellan; discusses battles such as Shiloh, the Seven Days, and Antietam; and brings to the fore the concept of contingency.
This chapter explores the profoundly important concept of the citizen-soldier-which played an equally critical role in both the United States and the Confederacy. More than half of all men who served were true volunteers who entered service before conscription had been imposed.
This chapter builds on material in earlier chapters to explore the process by which emancipation came to be a non-negotiable war aim for the United States. It makes clear that until very late in the conflict emancipation was uncertain-the war could have ended with slavery largely intact and with few black men in uniform.
This chapter focuses on the year that often is described as the time when fortunes turned irrevocably toward United States victory-with Gettysburg and Vicksburg serving as twin turning points that doomed the Confederacy. In this chapter, a more complex reading of the period is presented-which also included massive anti-draft and anti-African American riots in New York City that highlighted political turmoil on the Union home front and continuing resolve across much of the Confederacy.
This chapter describes the sense of nation that imbued both war efforts, the massive expansion of central power in the Confederacy, the impressive– but less striking–expansion of federal power in the United States, and the need to engage the conflict as a war between two modern nation states rather than as a bloody uprising by one segment of the American population.
This chapter examines the varying experiences of different groups of women, white and black, behind the lines in the United States and the Confederacy (proximity to armies played a crucial role here). It explores the movement of women into different workspaces, black and white refugees in the Confederacy, and the degree to which women supported the respective war efforts.
This chapter examines the last year of the war with a focus on U. S. Grant’s strategic planning and execution. It reinforces the theme of contingency, showing how the summer of 1864 represented the lowest point of Union morale for the war and how emancipation, even at that late date, was not a sure thing.
This chapter describes the peace agreement signed at Appomattox Court House in 1865 that achieved the United States’ goals of reunion and emancipation, and then explores the aims of northern whites, southern whites, and the freed people in the immediate aftermath of war.
This chapter examines how Republicans fared in implementing congressional Reconstruction in the southern states from 1868 to 1876.
This chapter outlines the emergence of the major memory traditions of the Civil War — Union, the Lost Cause, Emancipation, and Reconciliation.