Tuesday, March 13, 2012

New and Noteworthy--The Civil War After 150 Years Of Writing About It

The Battlefield and Beyond: Essays on the American Civil War, Clayton E. Jewett and Clayton E. Jewet, Louisiana State University Press, Series: Conflicting Worlds: New Dimensions of the American Civil War, 368 pages, $47.50, Release Date: May 16, 2012.

From The Publisher: In The Battlefield and Beyond the nation's leading Civil War historians explore a tragic part of our nation's history though the lenses of race, gender, leadership, politics, and memory. The essays in this strong collection shed new light on the defining issues of the Civil War era. Orville Vernon Burton, Leonne M. Hudson, and Daniel E. Sutherland delve into the master-slave relationship, the role of blacks in the army, and the nature of southern violence. Herman Hattaway, Paul D. Escott, and Judith F. Gentry offer innovative perspectives on the influential leadership of President Jefferson Davis, Lieutenant-General Stephen D. Lee, and General Edmund Kirby Smith.

Other contributors consider politicians and the public: Michael J. Connolly and Clayton E. Jewett investigate how despotism contributed to Confederate defeat; David E. Kyvig and Alan M. Kraut examine the war's impact on the Constitution and racial relationships with Jews; and Bertram Wyatt-Brown, Kenneth Nivison, and Emory M. Thomas discuss the critical function of memory in our understanding of Lincoln's assassination.

The essays in The Battlefield and Beyond consider the fundamental issue of the Confederacy's failure and military defeat but also expose our nation's continuing struggles with race, individual rights, terrorism, and the economy. Collectively, this distinguished group of historians reveals that 150 years after the nation's most defining conflict its consequences still resonate.

CWL: The Battlefield and Beyond appears to be one of the better collections of essays that are being published during the sesquicentennial. Authors with which CWL is familiar and appreciate include Orville Vernon Burton, Daniel E. Sutherland, Herman Hattaway, Paul D. Escott, Bertram Wyatt-Brown and Emory M. Thomas. The topics that include the of type of despotism that contributes to Confederate defeat, the nature of southern violence, and the influential leadership of President Jefferson Davis may break new ground.

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