The Union War

by: Gary W. Gallagher

The Union War
Author: Gary W. Gallagher

Publisher: Harvard University Press

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Format: Hardback

Publication date: 19 April 2011

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ISBN: 0674045629 ISBN 13: 9780674045620

The Union War by Gary W. Gallagher

Today, many believe the Civil War was fought over slavery. This view satisfies our contemporary sense of justice, but as Gallagher's searing revisionist history shows, it is an anachronistic judgment. Northern citizen-soldiers fought the war to preserve the Union. Emancipation was secondary to the war's primary goal of safeguarding the republic. Top page

Complete description

Even one hundred and fifty years later, we are haunted by the Civil War--by its division, its bloodshed, and perhaps, above all, by its origins. Today, many believe that the war was fought over slavery. This answer satisfies our contemporary sense of justice, but as Gary Gallagher shows in this brilliant revisionist history, it is an anachronistic judgment. In a searing analysis of the Civil War North as revealed in contemporary letters, diaries, and documents, Gallagher demonstrates that what motivated the North to go to war and persist in an increasingly bloody effort was primarily preservation of the Union. Devotion to the Union bonded nineteenth-century Americans in the North and West against a slaveholding aristocracy in the South and a Europe that seemed destined for oligarchy. Northerners believed they were fighting to save the republic, and with it the world's best hope for democracy. Once we understand the centrality of union, we can in turn appreciate the force that made northern victory possible: the citizen-soldier. Gallagher reveals how the massive volunteer army of the North fought to confirm American exceptionalism by salvaging the Union. Contemporary concerns have distorted the reality of nineteenth-century Americans, who embraced emancipation primarily to punish secessionists and remove slavery as a future threat to union--goals that emerged in the process of war. As Gallagher recovers why and how the Civil War was fought, we gain a more honest understanding of why and how it was won. Top page

General info

Publisher & Imprint: Harvard University Press

City: Cambridge, Mass

Pages: 256

More info: height 235 mm width 155 mm weight 526 gr thickness 22 mm

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Age recommended: General/trade

Subject Indexing & Classification Dewey:(DC22) 973.7 Library of Congress Subject: United States - History - Civil War, 1861-1865

Departments: Political structures: democracy; Political science & theory;

Record updated at: 25 October, 2014 time: 13:11

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