Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Cry Havoc!: The Crooked Road to Civil War, 1861

by Nelson D. Lankford

From the publisher:
A compelling re-creation of the eight crucial weeks preceding the Civil War

In early March 1861, civil war loomed. By late April, Americans had begun to kill their fellow citizens. Cry Havoc! recounts in riveting detail the events that divided the states and reveals how quirks of timing, character, and place all conspired to transform the nation into a battlefield. Nelson Lankford, author of Richmond Burning, chronicles the eight critical weeks that began with Lincoln’s inauguration through the explosion at Fort Sumter and the president’s fateful response to it. Before Fort Sumter, the balance could have tipped in favor of a peaceful resolution. This book addresses the many mighthave-beens, both familiar and lesser known. What if Lincoln had delayed the proclamation calling for troops? Could wavering Unionists in the upper South have held the line? A must read for all who wish to understand the birth of the modern United States of America, Cry Havoc! probes the fateful series of events and analyzes each of the failed possibilities that hindsight affords.

Nelson D. Lankford is the author of Richmond Burning and The Last American Aristocrat and the editor of Eye of the Storm and Images from the Storm. He edits The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography.

From the critics:
Might-have-beens haunt this absorbing study of the opening act of the Civil War. - Publishers Weekly

Could the conflict have been limited to brush fires of violence until, as Lincoln hoped, "the better angels of our nature" reasserted themselves and a workable compromise was achieved? Lankford asserts that the Civil War was no "irrepressible conflict." - Booklist

From CWBN:
This is the first paperback edition of a hardcover book.