From Library Journal
According to the authors, the South lost the Civil War because Southern nationalism was weak, indeed almost nonexistent. Previously, many reasons have been cited for Confederate collapse, such as states rights squabbles, the Union's naval blockade, economic weaknesses, and inadequate military leadership. The authors make interesting but not always convincing counterarguments, concluding that states rights actually helped the Confederacy, the naval blockade was ineffective, the South's economy kept its armies supplied, and military leadership was about equal on both sides. While refuting views of several historians, including those in Why the North Won the Civil War, edited by David Donald (1960), the essays here are, overall, not as persuasive as in that book, though they are sure to renew the historical debate. Suitable mainly for university and large public libraries. History Book Club main selection. Joseph G. Dawson III, History Dept., Texas A&M Univ., College Station
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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[The authors] show that the Southern states were not united around a single leader or cause. . . . In the end, they discovered that God did not wear gray.
(New York Times
The most comprehensive, sophisticated, and well-informed [book on this subject] I have ever read.
(New York Review of Books
Should be required reading for anyone interested in the Confederate experiment. Its superb analysis of the previous literature, including respectful disagreement with many of the conclusions of Owsley, McWhiney, Jamieson and other prominent historians, makes it an ideal starting point for any discussion of Confederate defeat.