Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Five top books to make you less stupid about the Civil War

"For the past 50 years, some of this country’s most celebrated historians have taken up the task of making Americans less stupid about the Civil War," writes Ta-Nehisi Coates at The Atlantic. One title from that effort:
Battle Cry Of Freedom: Arguably among the greatest single-volume histories in all of American historiography, James McPherson’s synthesis of the Civil War is a stunning achievement. Brisk in pace. A big-ass book that reads like a much slimmer one. The first few hundred pages offer a catalogue of evidence, making it clear not just that the white South went to war for the right to own people, but that it warred for the right to expand the right to own people. Read this book. You will immediately be less stupid than some of the most powerful people in the West Wing.
Read about the other books on the list.

Battle Cry of Freedom is among Jay Winik's six favorite books, Ric Burns' six favorite books, and Malcolm Jones's eleven best books on the Civil War.

--Marshal Zeringue