"A somewhat controversial interpretation of slaveholding in America, directed at challenging the Genovese school of thought. I was not entirely convinced, but it provides some interesting information nonetheless."
"Though it's about one specific escape attempt by slaves in the 1840s, I found that it also provided good background on slavery and society in Maryland and the D.C. area, as well as the American abolitionist movement."
"I included 'Yankee Saints...' on this list in order to give Wyatt-Brown a chance to talk about Northern culture in addition to his books on the South ('Southern Honor' and 'The Shaping of Southern Culture'). Here he discusses the abolitionist movement and its interpretation of the world, focusing on John Brown and Lewis Tappan and his family."
"Like 'Escape On the Pearl,' this is another book about a singular historical event that includes interesting background. 'The Bonfire' covers the history of Atlanta specifically and Georgia and the South in general in great detail (the War doesn't even begin until over a hundred pages in)."
"I have not read this book yet, but I hear it praised constantly. I am familiar with Blight through his lecture series 'The Civil War and Reconstruction Era, 1845-1877.' The series is available for free on iTunes, and I highly recommend it."
"Covers a pretty wide range of topics, both social and military.
Includes Drew Gilpin Faust ('Mothers of Invention' & 'This Republic of Suffering'), James McPherson ('What They Fought For' & 'Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution') and Stephanie McCurry ('Confederate Reckoning')."
"An aspect of society not directly related to the War. I read this as part of a study of 19th century criminal policy in general in Britain and America - see 'Penitentiaries, Reformatories, and Chain Gangs: Social Theory and the History of Punishment in Nineteenth Century America' by Mark Colvin (not on this list) for a look at this subject in the North."