- 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: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #430,214 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Confederacy as a Revolutionary Experience
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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.
"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. My only point of disagreement with Thomas was his categorization of the Confederate revolution as essentially conservative, which I think is a hugely debatable point. However, since the point is so contestable the disagreement does not affect my opinion of this work. Five stars for a great book from a qualified author.