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The Confederacy as a Revolutionary Experience Paperback – January 15, 1992

ISBN-13: 978-0872497801 ISBN-10: 0872497801
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: University of South Carolina Press (January 15, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0872497801
  • ISBN-13: 978-0872497801
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #245,057 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Thomas W. Robinson on August 25, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Emory Thomas has long been one of my favorite Civil War historians and he has another winner with this book. By Thomas' own account, this book is an extended essay, while his later work, The Confederate Nation, was his more broad, lengthy study of the Confederacy. Still, this book has great merit, especially for being an easy to read synopsis of the Confederate revolution. As the previous reviewer stated, that means that the Confederacy was founded by revolutionaries, but also that the Confederacy went through an internal revolution during the Civil War. Thomas points out, as few other historians have, that the things the Confederacy fought for ended up being lost during the war years. Also, the "fire-eaters" (aka, the revolutionaries) who for so many years wanted secession and ultimately got it, were often shut out of the new Confederacy that they helped form. Thomas points out in the end that many of the revolutions that occurred in the South during the war (economics, industry, politics, social hierarchy, etc.) were actually lost post-Reconstruction.

This book is a great introduction to the topic of the Confederacy, but don't pick up this book for military analysis or even in-depth political analysis. Instead, if you wish to read about secession, the founding of the Confederacy, and the transformation of the antebellum South then pick up this book. I, for one, highly recommend it.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By TEK on February 17, 2007
Format: Paperback
There are a lot of things I like about this book and almost nothing I dislike. I think the strongest feature of this book is that it presents the reader with a reasonable historical middle ground for reflecting on the Confederacy, a ground that lay somewhere between the two more extreme views (the Confederacy as an evil racist nation and the Confederacy as a pure and glorified "Lost Cause"). One of the last paragraphs of the book I think best illustrates the position of its author:

"The challenge here is to be honest to the Confederate past. Honesty requires that myths and historical apology be put to rest, along with many of the negative clichés about the Confederate South. To be honest to the Confederate experience requires that we accept its revolutionary aspects and rethink many outworn judgments of its positive and negative accomplishments." (p. 138)

The purpose of this book is to show that the Confederacy not only enacted an external revolution (in terms of its war with the Union), but that it also experienced a very significant internal revolution. Thomas does a great job in this short book of explaining what things within Southern society were revolutionized and in what ways. Examples of areas of Southern life that went through profound change include the economy, the aristocracy, industrialization and the prominence of agriculture, gender roles, the psychology of individualism and romanticism, and of course slavery.

This book is well written and Thomas makes his subject very accessible to the reader. This book would probably be out of reach for the average high school student, but is certainly appropriate for any college-age person.
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By Daniel Berk on May 15, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Exactly what I ordered. Thank you very much!
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