Book Review: American Discord: The Republic and Its People in the Civil War Era

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by Megan L. Bevèr, Lesley J. Gordon, and Laura Mammina, editors

Baton Rouge: LSU Press, 202. Pp. xii, 292. Notes, index.. $50.00. ISBN: 0807169692

Essays on Civil War America

A festschrift honoring noted Civil War scholar George C. Rable, American Discord consists of 15 papers looking at neglected subjects in the history of the war. The essays are grouped in three broad categories: “Enemies Must be Defined: Party Politics and Political Culture”, “Rippling Effects: Political and Military Conflicts”, and “A Thermidorian Reaction: Reconstruction and Counterrevolution”.

All of the papers offer innovative insights into the events. They cover such topics as the prohibitionist movement and the war, Northern press reports about the 54th Massachusetts at Fort Wagner, the Southern seizure of federal posts (when did the war begin?), water supply during the siege of Vicksburg, interactions between Union soldiers and Southern women, both black and white, and the evolution of the Grant-Sherman relationship. These essays will prove of great value to the serious scholar. The last paper in the volume is of particular important, in that it examines the memorialization of the ”Redeemer” massacre of African-Americans in Hamburg, South Carolina in 1876, making a very valuable contribution to the current public “conversation” about Confederate monuments.

American Discord is a valuable read for anyone seriously interested in the Civil War and American society in the mid-Nineteenth Century

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Note: American Discord is also available in several e-editions.

 

StrategyPage reviews are published in cooperation with The New York Military Affairs Symposium

Reviewer: A. A. Nofi, Review Editor   


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