Military historian Alexander (Lost Victories et al.) offers a well-reasoned brief that lays the blame for the Confederate defeat in the Civil War primarily on President Jefferson Davis and Gen. Robert E. Lee, and their war-long insistence on conducting toe-to-toe frontal assaults against the much-stronger Union Army. Alexander argues that had Davis and Lee listened to Gen. Stonewall Jackson, things very well could have turned out differently. Jackson—and like-minded generals Joseph E. Johnston, Pierre G.T. Beauregard and James Longstreet—warned against conducting an offensive war against the North. Instead, they advocated waging unrelenting war against undefended factories, farms, and railroads north of the Mason-Dixon line, bypassing the Union Army and winning indirectly by assaulting the Northern people's will to pursue the war. While Alexander convincingly argues that there was nothing inevitable about a Southern defeat, he is no Lost Cause advocate. Instead, he presents well-drawn and clear-eyed tactical and strategic analyses of the war's most crucial battles (including First and Second Manassas, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg) to buttress his contention that had Jackson not perished in May of 1863 (and had Lee and Davis adopted Jackson's strategy), the South just might have won the Civil War. (Dec.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"Alexander argues persuasively that the wartime policies of President Jefferson Davis and the military strategy of General Robert E. Lee led to the failure of the Confederacy. . . . Thought-provoking and informative."
Bevin Alexander is probably the best military historical analyst around today. I've read all his books and this one is particularly interesting. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Robert Whitman
An excellent analysis of the strategic options which faced the South. I recommend it to all Civil War enthusiasts. But be warned it is not complimentary to Lee.Published 3 months ago by Herb Wilson
Bevin's fascinating book is basically a short history of the war in the Eastern theater, focusing on the possible ramifications of the many, many mistakes made by both sides. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Darrell J. Hartwick
This definitely is not a pro-South apology text. Slavery is certainly not being defended and admirers of the CSA should not be offended. Read morePublished on August 10, 2013 by The Max
I like a story line with some form of actual footage, you know pictures, this was a very slow read - soon to be back at the used book storePublished on May 23, 2013 by Cheryl A. Wipfli
This is strictly a military history. There is barely a mention of slavery or reasons why the CW was fought. Read morePublished on March 6, 2013 by Gderf
I found this book's very critical analysis of the often mythologized Robert E. Lee to be very refreshing. Read morePublished on December 11, 2012 by Peter
You have to enjoy the details of strategy to enjoy this book. I loved the book but would have been helpful to refer to the maps to keep all of the details straight. Read morePublished on December 10, 2012 by Dondi