Why They Fought: The Real Reason for the Civil War (Kindle Single) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
I think this is an ambitious topic for a Kindle Single, because any attempt to briefly explain the causes for the civil war will inevitably leave a few loose ends. No fault of the author, it's just a lot to cover. Readers who are predisposed to disagree with his thesis will pounce on these dangling threads and pick away at his conclusions. Even objective readers may find themselves wondering about bits that don't seem to fit. For example, why were so many rebels willing to fight and die to preserve slavery, even though a great number owned neither plantations nor slaves? And why were so many Unionists willing to give their all to preserve union with a region that embraced slavery?
Historians have given us thoughtful, compelling answers to these kinds of questions, but it generally takes them a lot more than 26 pages to do it. Kindle Singles are described as, "Compelling ideas at their natural length." I'd agree that this topic is compelling, especially as we arrive at the 150-year anniversary of the start of military action in the civil war, but its "natural length" seems much longer.
So if you're trying to decide whether this single is for you, I'd suggest you might consider it an appetizer. If you've read a lot about the civil war, you'll enjoy this well-written synopsis of the run-up to the conflict and its aftermath. If this period of history is new to you, then you'll probably be amazed by this account and may want to follow it with other books about this turning point in US history.
This isn't a scholarly book, and it's not meant to be. It's a brief survey of the topic. There are no footnotes, endnotes, or other such citations. What the author does is make a cogent argument that the Civil War was centered on the issue of slavery, and that the American education system and popular culture (although not academia) has gotten away from that basic truth.
In a longer work, the author might have addressed the multiple sources (e.g., newspapers, North and South, and the Congressional record) that back up his argument. Because this is only a brief survey, the author quotes other experts extensively.
If someone wants to get a really good look at the cause of the Civil War that is a longer version of this one, I would point them to McPherson's "Battle Cry of Freedom", which the author also references.
Further, slavery and political considerations were inseparably linked from the genesis of our country. The author correctly points out that the Founders neglected to deal with the slavery issue and therefore sowed the seeds of the future conflict. However, it is important to note that given the pervasiveness of slavery in Colonial America and the potential contentiousness and divisiveness of the issue, the Founders were forced to kick the can down the road, otherwise, there would not have been a Constitution of the United States. During Lincoln's Administration the preponderance of his public statements and actions regarding slavery were wrapped in political considerations. Although it is fairly clear that Lincoln abhorred slavery as immoral, the call for preservation of the Union, at least at the beginning of the Civil War, was certainly a more unifying theme for the North than freeing the slaves. Lincoln surely understood that unless the Union was preserved, slavery could not, at least from the perspective of the 1860s, possibly be abolished on our continent. Early in the conflict he was reluctant to publicly discuss the dissolution of slavery for fear of alienating the Border States.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Interesting review of history. Learned a few things. Was reminded of things I forgot.Published 2 months ago by Bob48420
The support for the reasons behind the civil war and the clarity concerning the rewriting of history was impactful. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Leigh Harrison
A very good short regarding the underlying reasons for the Civil War. I read it with interest, and I enjoyed it. Read morePublished 3 months ago by B767Captain
Thought I was well educated on when the "war really started" until I read this. Fascinating....Should be read by all high school students.Published 4 months ago by Dennis P. Iavarone
Concise and well thought out. I feel he has centered the reasons for the Civil War with compelling evidence.Published 8 months ago by Jeremy Russell
Good interpretation of the reasons leading up to the war between the states. Has information that is not included in regular US history or history text booksPublished 8 months ago by Garymk
My great grandfather fought for the Union the last few months of the Civil War. The war was about slavery, clear cut and simple.Published 10 months ago by Mike
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