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The Confederacy: The Slaveholders' Failed Venture (Reflections on the Civil War Era) Hardcover – December 30, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0275994099 ISBN-10: 0275994090 Edition: 1st edition,

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Product Details

  • Series: Reflections on the Civil War Era
  • Hardcover: 175 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger; 1st edition, edition (December 30, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0275994090
  • ISBN-13: 978-0275994099
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,003,845 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


• Brings to light several little-explored aspects of the South's disastrous defeat in the Civil War

• Incorporates the voices of Southerners across the social spectrum through quotes, writings, and other primary sources, filling the pages with vivid depictions of key personalities involved in the war for Southern independence

• Brief, engaging, and elegantly written, The Confederacy is ideal for classroom use. Students will be able to use it, learn from it, and be stimulated by its strong arguments and provocative ideas

• Photographs, maps, and graphs enrich the text and illustrate changes in military strength, the importance of the Border South, and the loss of Confederate territory over time

• A bibliographical essay directs the reader to some of the most important and recent works in the vast historiography of the Civil War

"Recommended. Most levels/libraries."



"Several fine titles have appeared in recent years in the Reflections on the Civil War Era series edited by John David Smith, and to them Paul D. Escott's The Confederacy makes a fine addition. … An excellent and thoughtful work in brief compass, The Confederacy will be valuable to student and scholar alike."


Journal of American History

"With The Confederacy: The Slaveholders' Failed Venture, Paul D. Escott has written a clear, concise synthesis of the life cycle of the Confederacy based on an impressive array of primary sources and a review of current secondary literature"


Journal of Southern History


"Paul Escott's exceedingly valuable The Confederacy is essential reading for students of the Civil War. Based on  impressive research in primary and secondary sources, it provides a much needed history of the Confederacy incorporating the most recent scholarship. Acknowledging the debate over the relative importance of internal or external forces underlying Confederate defeat, Escott is a judicious historian. In his judgment, despite mounting an impressive effort against a more powerful foe, the Confederacy ultimately failed in its quest for independence because of internal weaknesses and contradictions. The Confederacy will surely spur comment and undoubtedly controversy.  In sum, it is a major contribution."


William J. Cooper, Boyd Professor, Louisiana State University 


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By WAL on November 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a concise history of the Confederacy that focuses on a contradiction that was at its core, namely that it was conceived as a decentralized, slavery-based plantation aristocracy, but which found that a strong central government, and all that went with it, was required to achieve independence militarily. The Civil War occurred at the cusp of modern warfare, in which the entire society must be incorporated into the war effort, but this proved incompatible with the founding conception of the Confederacy. It is highly recommended as a guide to the interaction amongst the South's social structure, slavery, politics, and the executive actions of Jefferson Davis, and their collective impact on the Civil War.
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