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The Fall of the House of Dixie: The Civil War and the Social Revolution That Transformed the South by [Levine, Bruce]
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Length: 464 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

This masterful work is essentially an examination of the political and social disintegration of the antebellum South under the strain of slow but relentless military defeat. Levine presents compelling evidence to counter revisionist arguments concerning the role of slavery in the South. He asserts that the entire edifice of Southern society was based upon the “peculiar institution” and the racial assumptions used to justify it. He effectively demolishes the mythology of a passive, even content slave population and illustrates how the maintenance of slavery depended on the threat and often the use of violence. Levine also acknowledges schisms in Southern society between the planter elite and the nonslaveholding majority. Once the military conflict began, the pillars of Southern society slowly eroded as men left the farms and plantations to fight and slaves refused to work and often fled into the arms of approaching Union forces. Levine’s employment of testimonies by slaveholders, slaves, and pro-Union Southerners is effective and often poignant. This work will be an excellent addition to Civil War collections. --Jay Freeman


“This is the Civil War as it is seldom seen . . . and a portrait of a country in transition . . . as vivid as any that has been written.”The Boston Globe
“An absorbing social history . . . For readers whose Civil War bibliography runs to standard works by Bruce Catton and James McPherson . . . [Bruce] Levine’s book offers fresh insights.”The Wall Street Journal
“More poignantly than any book before, The Fall of the House of Dixie shows how deeply intertwined the Confederacy was with slavery, and how the destruction of both made possible a ‘second American revolution’ as far-reaching as the first.”—David W. Blight, author of American Oracle
“Splendidly colorful . . . Levine recounts this tale of Southern institutional rot with the ease and authority born of decades of study.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“A deep, rich, and complex analysis of the period surrounding and including the American Civil War.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“This book limns the relationship between slavery and the rise and fall of the Confederacy more clearly and starkly than any other study. General readers and seasoned scholars alike will find new information and insights in this eye-opening account.”—James M. McPherson, author of Battle Cry Freedom
“With his characteristic judiciousness and crystalline prose, Bruce Levine demonstrates the toll that disaffection and dissent took on the Confederate cause and brings into sharp focus what the Union victory, enduringly, achieved. He has, in short, written another modern classic.”—Elizabeth R. Varon, author of Disunion!: The Coming of the American Civil War, 1789–1859
“A gripping, lucid grassroots history of the Civil War that declines the strict use of great battles and Big Men as its fulcrum, opting instead for the people. In the tradition of James McPherson, Bruce Levine has produced a book that is a work of both history and literature.”—Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of The Beautiful Struggle
“Levine illuminates the experiences of southern men and women—white and black, free and enslaved, civilians and soldiers—with a sure grasp of the historical sources and a deft literary touch. He masterfully recaptures an era of unsurpassed drama and importance.”—Gary W. Gallagher, author of The Confederate War
“A compelling, valuable and eye-opening work [that] will inform and entertain the most discerning student of ‘the second American revolution.’”The San Antonio Express-News

“Masterful . . . Levine’s employment of testimonies by slaveholders, slaves, and pro-Union Southerners is effective and often poignant.”Booklist
“Levine’s engrossing story chronicles the collapse of a doomed republic—the Confederate States of America—built on the unstable sands of delusion, cruelty, and folly.”—Adam Goodheart, author of 1861: The Civil War Awakening
“Bruce Levine vividly traces the origins of the ‘slaveholders’ rebellion’ and its dramatic wartime collapse. With this book, he confirms his standing among the leading Civil War historians of our time.”—James Oakes, author of Freedom National
“Eloquent and illuminating . . . Shifting away from traditional accounts that emphasize generals and campaigns, Levine instead offers a brilliant and provocative analysis of the way in which slaves and non-elite whites transformed the conflict into a second American Revolution.”—Douglas R. Egerton, author of Year of Meteors
“The idea that Southern secession was unconnected to the defense of slavery has a surprising hold on the popular historical imagination, North and South. Levine’s demolition of such a misapprehension profoundly succeeds as both argument and drama.”—David Roediger, coauthor of The Production of Difference
“Thorough, convincing, and, in a word, brilliant. Our understanding of this central event in American history will never be the same.”—Marcus Rediker, author of The Slave Ship
The Fall of the House of Dixie will delight and disturb—and provide much needed clarity as Americans take a fresh look at the meaning of the Civil War.”—Ronald C. White, Jr., author of A. Lincoln
“The story of a war waged off the battlefield, a war of politics and ideology that transformed both Southern and Northern culture unfolds brilliantly in the able hands of this fine historian.”—Carol Berkin, author of Revolutionary Mothers

“Levine offers a fresh perspective on this oft-told story by relying heavily on personal letters, journals and diaries. . . . Brushing aside the notion that slavery was merely one of many issues over which the war was fought, Levine . . . shows that it was at the center of everything—the economy, culture, social relationships and worldview.”—BookPage
“Levine’s well-documented study . . . provides a concise and well-written overview of the conflict and a cogent discussion of . . . still-polarizing issues.”The Dallas Morning News

Product details

  • File Size: 8849 KB
  • Print Length: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Random House (January 8, 2013)
  • Publication Date: January 8, 2013
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00957T4ZQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,863 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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