Publisher description for This mighty scourge : perspectives on the Civil War / James M. McPherson.
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The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom and the New York Times bestseller Crossroads of Freedom, among many other award-winning books, James M. McPherson is America's preeminent Civil War historian. Now, in this collection of provocative and illuminating essays, McPherson
offers fresh insight into many of the most enduring questions about one of the defining moments in our nation's history.
McPherson sheds light on topics large and small, from the average soldier's avid love of newspapers to the postwar creation of the mystique of a Lost Cause in the South. Readers will find insightful pieces on such intriguing figures as Harriet Tubman, John Brown, Jesse James, and William
Tecumseh Sherman, and on such vital issues such as Confederate military strategy, the failure of peace negotiations to end the war, and the realities and myths of the Confederacy. This Mighty Scourge includes several never-before-published essays--pieces on General Robert E. Lee's goals in the
Gettysburg campaign, on Lincoln and Grant in the Vicksburg campaign, and on Lincoln as Commander-in-Chief. In that capacity, Lincoln invented the concept of presidential war powers that are again at the center of controversy today. All of the essays have been updated and revised to give the volume
greater thematic coherence and continuity, so that it can be read in sequence as an interpretive history of the war and its meaning for America and the world.
Combining the finest scholarship with luminous prose, and packed with new information and fresh ideas, this book brings together the most recent thinking by the nation's leading authority on the Civil War. It will be must reading for everyone interested in the war and American history.
"James McPherson is the master historian of the Civil War in our time."
--Gabor Borritt, Director, Civil War Institute, Gettysburg College
"Not merely is McPherson the leading living historian of the Civil War, but he is a scholar whose knowledge and authority are unsurpassed; when McPherson speaks, even in a minor key, people listen."
--Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post
Library of Congress subject headings for this publication:
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865.