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The South Vs. The South: How Anti-Confederate Southerners Shaped the Course of the Civil War Paperback – November 14, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0195156294 ISBN-10: 0195156293

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (November 14, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195156293
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195156294
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 6.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #192,616 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Historians have offered many different explanations for the North's triumph over the South during the Civil War. In this work, the University of Kentucky's Freehling (The Road to Disunion) dissects the role played by a failure of border states (Maryland, Delaware, Missouri and Kentucky) to unify with the seceding states. As these border states developed an industrial economy (to replace their extinct tobacco-based economy), they became more similar culturally and politically to the North, he argues. And like most Northern whites, whites living in the border states were not as strongly against slavery as they were for preserving their own "lily-white utopia." Lincoln knew that in order to win the war, according to Freehling, he would have to appeal to the border states' desire to remain with the Union, and in order not to alienate them he had to maintain his ambiguous stance on slavery and emancipation. Moreover, Freehling claims, historians have failed to appreciate fully the corrosive effect runaway slaves had on the Confederacy's ability to promote its proslavery position among its border neighbors. Though the argument that runaway slaves and border-state whites were critical to the outcome of the war is not quite as new as Freehling makes it out to be, his discussion of these two groups together in one volume is a valuable contribution to Civil War literature. B&w illus. and maps. (Mar.)
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

The most recent work by Freehling (history and Otis A. Singletary Chair in Humanities, Univ. of Kentucky) examines causes and outcomes of the Civil War. His Prelude to Civil War analyzed the nullification crisis, while The Road to Disunion, Vol. 1: Secessionists at Bay, 1776-1854 examined the diversity of the South. Here, Freehling postulates that anti-Confederate Southerners, primarily border-state whites and Southern blacks, influenced military outcome by contributing thousands of troops to the Union cause, bolstered by Lincoln's exemplary and cunning statecraft, the Union's anaconda strategy, and the failure of Northern Democrats and foreigners to support the disunionists. This had a profound impact on the war, for the Confederacy needed both manpower and production capacity to realize its aims. Thoroughly and exquisitely researched, Freehling's analysis is provocative and novel. Maps of germane battles and places illustrate the text. Recommended for academic libraries. Kathleen M. Conley, Illinois State Univ., Normal
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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It is a great read and well worth close study.
Barrie W. Bracken
One thing I really enjoyed about this book is that Freehling makes some claims that I either initially found hard to accept or simply had never thought about.
TEK
This is all well and good, but it is also rather obvious.
pnotley@hotmail.com

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Thomas W. Robinson on August 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
From the day after Lee's surrender at Appomattox, most historians, Civil War buffs, history teachers, and everyone else always said and wrote that the South lost the Civil War due, mainly, to a shortage of manpower and the fact that the North had more industry. Recently, though, several historians have started to say while those reasons are true, there are other factors to look at. Freehling, along with David J. Eicher, is one of the leading proponents of the thought that the anti-Confederate Southerners, as well as politics, played a large role in the South's losing the war. Freehling focuses on the idea of a non-unified South to explain the Confederate loss. While Freehling does point out some eye-opening statistics, most of what he writes will be old news to most well-read Civil War followers. The book is useful for the theory Freehling espouses as well as the chapters on the role of African Americans both North and South. Freehling also does an excellent job of agreeing with some of Gary Gallagher's points (who, he asserts in the prologue, gave him in the inspiration to write the book after Gallagher published a book about how the South lost due to inferior manpower, etc.) despite the fact he does not agree with Gallagher's overall hypothesis. This is good because it shows that Freehling is open to ideas besides his own and isn't doggedly pursuing his goal without doing any real research. The negative, though, is that Freehling's book could have been half the size as he seemed to restate many of his facts. Whether you agree with Freehling's idea or not, the book is still a useful, and well written, work.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 22, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Sometimes, people need to be reminded of the basics. pnotley of Canada thinks it's obvious that the Border States didn't secede, but I never saw a Civil War volume before that made the simple point that more Southerners fought with the Federal Army and Navy than the entire Union death toll.
Meanwhile, 'a reader' from Mobile thinks that Kentucky and Missouri joined the Confederacy! This is another example of people needing to be reminded of the obvious: despite the propoganda of the times, it wasn't KY and MO that seceded, it was their governors, plus a minority of the legislators. Nor is it true that Maryland would have seceded if Lincoln hadn't arrested Maryland legislators. The disloyal ones were arrested after the state made the decision to stay in the Union.
If you can bear to have illusions punctured, Freehling's book is filled with fascinating facts on Lincoln's racism, the reluctance of the Union to free slaves, and the way the unsucessful war against secession became a succesful war against both secession and slavery.
Recommended.
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51 of 61 people found the following review helpful By pnotley@hotmail.com on May 9, 2001
Format: Hardcover
William Freehling's book argues that one of the key reasons for the defeat of the American South was that it was internally divided amongst itself. It could therefore not fully raise the measure of support needed to ward off the stronger North, even given the rather awkward and men-consuming strategy the North produced. This is a plausible thesis, and it is an accurate one, and general readers will find it useful to study.
Specialized readers, however, are likely to be disappointed. Much of the recent discussion of the divided south concentrates on the views of rural whites within the Confederacy. This is not where Freehling concentrates. Instead he deals with the much more obvious fact that the border states of Maryland, Missouri, Kentucky and Delaware did not join the Confederacy, and the 150,000 Black Southerners who joined the Union army. With the 200,000 border state Union soldiers, and the 100,000 whites from the Confederacy proper, a third of all Southerners fought for the Union in the Civil War.
This is all well and good, but it is also rather obvious. The fact that the Border South did not join the Confederacy was after all startlingly clear at the time, and has been clear to all historians since then. There was a time when the African-American contribution to the war and to the slaves' own liberation was ignored, but for the last four decades that has been clearly rectified. Freehling does little more here than quote such established scholars as Leon Litwack, Benjamin Quarles, the documentation provided by Ira Berlin and his colleagues, and the unpublished dissertation of the late Armstead Robinson.
Moreover, much of the work has a padded feel, as Freehling fills space discussing well known battles.
Read more ›
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25 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
Sometimes, people need to be reminded of the basics. pnotley of Canada thinks it's obvious that the Border States didn't secede, but I never saw a Civil War volume before that made the simple point that more Southerners fought with the Federal Army and Navy than the entire Union death toll.
Meanwhile, 'a reader' from Mobile thinks that Kentucky and Missouri joined the Confederacy! This is another example of people needing to be reminded of the obvious: despite the propoganda of the times, it wasn't KY and MO that seceded, it was their governors, plus a minority of the legislators. Nor is it true that Maryland would have seceded if Lincoln hadn't arrested Maryland legislators. The disloyal ones were arrested after the state made the decision to stay in the Union.
If you can bear to have illusions punctured, Freehling's book is filled with fascinating facts on Lincoln's racism, the reluctance of the Union to free slaves, and the way the unsucessful war against secession became a succesful war against both secession and slavery.
Recommended.
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