Thursday, July 31, 2008

Henry Hotze, Confederate Propagandist: Selected Writings on Revolution, Recognition, and Race

by Lonnie A. Burnett

From the publisher:
An immigrant to Mobile from Switzerland becomes a passionate promoter of the Confederacy

The life of Henry Hotze encompasses the history of antebellum Mobile, Confederate military recruitment, Civil War diplomacy and international intrigue, and the development of a Darwinian-based effort to find scientific evidence for differences among human "races." When civil war broke out in his adopted country, Hotze enthusiastically assumed the mindset of the young Southern secessionist, serving first as newspaper correspondent and Confederate soldier until the Confederate government selected him as an agent, with instructions to promote the Southern cause in London. There he founded, edited, and wrote most of the content for The Index, a pro-Southern paper, as a part of the effort to convince the British Government to extend recognition to the Confederacy.

Among the arguments Hotze employed were adaptations of the scientific racism of the period, which attempted to establish a rational basis for assumptions of racial difference. After the collapse of the Confederacy in 1865, Hotze remained in Europe, where he became an active partisan and promoter of the ideas of Arthur de Gobineau whose work Essai sur L'inegalite des Races Humaines was a founding document in racism's struggle for intellectual respectability.

This work consists of a biographical essay on Hotze; his contributions to Mobile newspapers during his military service in 1861; his correspondence with Confederate officials during his service in London; articles he published in London to influence British and European opinion; and his correspondence with, and published work in support of, Gobineau.

Lonnie A. Burnett is Associate Professor of History at the University of Mobile and author of The Pen Makes a Good Sword: John Forsyth of the Mobile Register.
This book's exact release date is unknown but falls within this month.

The Nebraska-Kansas Act of 1854

by John R. Wunder and Joann M Ross (Editors)

From the publisher:
The Nebraska-Kansas Act of 1854 turns upside down the traditional way of thinking about one of the most important laws ever passed in American history. The act that created Nebraska and Kansas also, in effect, abolished the Missouri Compromise, which had prohibited slavery in the region since 1820. This bow to local control outraged the nation and led to vicious confrontations, including Kansas’s subsequent mini-civil war. The essays in this volume shift the focus from the violent and influential reaction of “Bleeding Kansas” to the role that Nebraska played in this decisive moment.

Essays from both established and new scholars examine the historical context and significance of this statute. They treat American political culture of the 1850s; American territorial history; the roles of Abraham Lincoln, Stephen Douglas, and Frederick Douglass in the creation and implementation of the law; the reactions of African Americans to the act; and the comparative impact on Nebraskans and Kansans. At the 150th anniversary of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, as it came to be known, these scholars reexamine the political, social, and personal contexts of this act and its effect on the course of American history.

John R. Wunder is a professor of history and journalism at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. He is the author of numerous books, including “Retained by the People”: A History of American Indians and the Bill of Rights, and the coauthor of Americans View Their Dust Bowl Experience.

Joann M. Ross has a JD from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. She is currently a history instructor at the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts and is a doctoral candidate in the Department of History at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

Contributors include: Nicole Etcheson, Tekla Ali Johnson, Mark E. Neely Jr., Phillip S. Paludan, James A. Rawley, Brenden Rensink, Joann M. Ross, Walter C. Rucker, and John R. Wunder.

This book's exact release date is unknown but falls within this month.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

REVENUE IMPERATIVE: The Union's Financial Policies During the American Civil War

by Jane Flaherty

From the publisher:
The Revenue Imperative provides a comprehensive overview of the Union financial policies during the American Civil War. Flaherty argues that the revenue imperative, the need to keep pace with the burgeoning expenses of the conflict, governed the development of the fiscal policy. Preserving the nation placed insurmountable strains on the antebellum structure of government, thus forcing a fundamental reorganization of the American financial system. Contingency, rather than a determined effort to implement an ideology or reward special interests, played the pivotal role in the development of the Republican response to financing the war.

The Revenue Imperative closely examines the tariff and internal tax policies inaugurated during the Civil War. Flaherty argues that this new revenue system, more than any other aspect of the war financial policies, changed the relationship between the government and the economy in the post-Civil War era.

Gentlemen Merchants: A Charleston Family's Odyssey, 1828-1870

by Philip N. Racine (Editor)

From the publisher:
Gentlemen Merchants preserves the correspondence between members of two wealthy slaveholding merchant families, the Gourdins and the Youngs in nineteenth-century Charleston, South Carolina. Because the correspondence lasts over forty years, the letters provide a significant record of historical Southern themes. Plantation-born urban dwellers, the correspondents comment deeply and widely on their own family history, religion in the South, slavery and race, business, secession, Civil War, and Reconstruction.

Gentlemen Merchants offers a fresh perspective on the Old South's elite slaveholders from the vantage point of commercial offices, docks, and wharves instead of the rural plantation. These prominent Charleston families grew wealthy through commercial trading of Sea Island and upland cotton, rice, and wine.

Charleston emerges as a main character in these letters as the discrepancy between the wealthy upper class and working-class immigrants becomes more pronounced. There are also letters from family members who traveled widely for business and pleasure. They recount travel adventures in England and France, on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius, and at Niagara Falls.

The Gourdins and Youngs lived in material comfort for over three decades and fought to preserve their way of life, the basis of which was made possible by slavery. The family was one shaped by privilege and destroyed by war. When the world changed as a result of the Civil War, the family members were left penniless.

It is unusual that both sides of this correspondence have survived, making this collection an extraordinary primary source for historical research. Historically minded general readers will also enjoy the perspective on the urban South that these letters provide.

Philip N. Racine published numerous articles and books about southern history, including Piedmont Farmer. He is currently the William R. Kenan Professor of History at Wofford College, where he has taught since 1969.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Sherman's March in Myth and Memory

By Edward Caudill and Paul Ashdown

From the publisher:
"As is often true in our history, the mythology of major events has a history of its own, shaping our visions of the past. Edward Caudill and Paul Ashdown have traced this Civil War scar in Southern memory to its roots in reality, in memoirs, in histories, in the press, and in mythology, basing their story on rich primary sources and portraying events with the same elegant language they have used in other important Civil War interpretative histories." — Donald L. Shaw, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

General William Tecumseh Sherman's devastating "March to the Sea" in 1864 burned a swath through the cities and countryside of Georgia and into the history of the American Civil War. As they moved from Atlanta to Savannah-destroying homes, buildings, and crops; killing livestock; and consuming supplies-Sherman and the Union army ignited not only southern property, but also imaginations, in both the North and the South. By the time of the general's death in 1891, when one said "The March," no explanation was required. That remains true today.

Legends and myths about Sherman began forming during the March itself, and took more definitive shape in the industrial age in the late-nineteenth century. Sherman's March in Myth and Memory examines the emergence of various myths surrounding one of the most enduring campaigns in the annals of military history. Edward Caudill and Paul Ashdown provide a brief overview of Sherman's life and his March, but their focus is on how these myths came about-such as one description of a "60-mile wide path of destruction"-and how legends about Sherman and his campaign have served a variety of interests.

Caudill and Ashdown argue that these myths have been employed by groups as disparate as those endorsing the Old South aristocracy and its "Lost Cause," and by others who saw the March as evidence of the superiority of industrialism in modern America over a retreating agrarianism.

Sherman's March in Myth and Memory looks at the general's treatment in the press, among historians, on stage and screen, and in literature, from the time of the March to the present day. The authors show us the many ways in which Sherman has been portrayed in the media and popular culture, and how his devastating March has been stamped into our collective memory.

Edward Caudill and Paul Ashdown are professors of journalism and electronic media at the University of Tennessee. They are co-authors of The Myth of Nathan Bedford Forrest (2005) and The Mosby Myth: A Confederate Hero in Life and Legend (2002). Caudill is author of Darwinian Myths: The Legends and Misuses of a Theory (1997) and co-author of The Scopes Trial: A Photographic History (2000). Ashdown is editor of James Agee: Selected Journalism (1985, 2004) and author of A Cold Mountain Companion (2004).

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Making of a Confederate: Walter Lenoir's Civil War

by William L. Barney

From the publisher:
Despite the advances of the civil rights movement, many white southerners cling to the faded glory of a romanticized Confederate past. In The Making of a Confederate, William L. Barney focuses on the life of one man, Walter Lenoir of North Carolina, to examine the origins of southern white identity alongside its myriad ambiguities and complexities.

Born into a wealthy slaveholding family, Lenoir abhorred the institution, opposed secession, and planned to leave his family to move to Minnesota, in the free North. But when the war erupted in 1860, Lenoir found another escape route--he joined the Confederate army, an experience that would radically transform his ideals. After the war, Lenoir, like many others, embraced the cult of the Lost Cause, refashioning his memory and beliefs in an attempt to make sense of the war, its causes, and its consequences. While some Southerners sank into depression, aligned with the victors, or fiercely opposed the new order, Lenoir withdrew to his acreage in the North Carolina mountains. There, he pursued his own vision of the South's future, one that called for greater self-sufficiency and a more efficient use of the land.

For Lenoir and many fellow Confederates, the war never really ended. As he tells this compelling story, Barney offers new insights into the ways that (selective) memory informs history; through Lenoir's life, readers learn how individual choices can transform abstract historical processes into concrete actions.

"In this fascinating and beautifully written portrait . . . William L. Barney breathes life into many key aspects of the Civil War era as it was experienced in the Upper South. A major achievement." -- Bruce Levine, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, author of Confederate Emancipation: Southern Plans to Free and Arm Slaves during the Civil War

"An enormously intelligent, sensitive, interesting, [and] significant biography of a minor character that takes us inside one white Southerner's life, family, and mind." -- Mina Carson, Oregon State University

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Lincoln's Darkest Year: The War in 1862

by William Marvel

From the publisher:
A revealing look at Lincoln's actions in 1862—and a nation in the midst of war

Lincoln's Darkest Year offers a gripping narrative of 1862, a pivotal year in our country's Civil War. Marvel continues the story he began in Mr. Lincoln Goes to War, which focused on Lincoln's first year in office, again relying on recently unearthed primary sources and little-known accounts to paint a picture of this critical year in newfound detail. Lincoln's Darkest Year highlights not just the actions but also the deeper motivations of the major figures, including General Ulysses S. Grant, Jefferson Davis, George McClellan, Stonewall Jackson, and, most notably, Lincoln himself. As the action darts from the White House to the battlefields and back, Marvel sheds new light on the hardships endured by everyday citizens and the substantial and sustained public opposition to the war.

The second in a planned four-part series on the Civil War, and the first major reexamination in over fifty years, Lincoln's Darkest Year stands apart from traditional assumptions and narratives about the early years of the Civil War. Marvel combines fluid prose and scholarship with the skills of an investigative historical detective to unearth the true story of our nation's greatest crisis.

William Marvel is the author of "'Mr. Lincoln Goes to War"', "'Lee's Last Retreat"', "'Andersonville"', and several other acclaimed books on the Civil War. He has won a Lincoln Prize, the Douglas Southall Freeman Award, and the Bell Award.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Age of Lincoln

by Orville Vernon Burton

From the publisher:
Stunning in its breadth and conclusions, The Age of Lincoln is a fiercely original history of the five decades that pivoted around the presidency of Abraham Lincoln. Abolishing slavery, the age's most extraordinary accomplishment, was not its most profound. The enduring legacy of the age of Lincoln was inscribing personal liberty into the nation's millennial aspirations.

America has always perceived providence in its progress, but in the 1840s and 1850s pessimism accompanied marked extremism, as Millerites predicted the Second Coming, utopianists planned perfection, Southerners made slavery an inviolable honor, and Northerners conflated Manifest Destiny with free-market opportunity. Even amid historic political compromises the middle ground collapsed. In a remarkable reappraisal of Lincoln, the distinguished historian Orville Vernon Burton shows how the president's authentic Southernness empowered him to conduct a civil war that redefined freedom as a personal right to be expanded to all Americans. In the violent decades to follow, the extent of that freedom would be contested but not its central place in what defined the country.

Presenting a fresh conceptualization of the defining decades of modern America, The Age of Lincoln is narrative history of the highest order.

This is the first paperbak edition of a previously published hardback.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Firebrand of Liberty: The Story of Two Black Regiments that Changed the Course of the Civil War

by Stephen V. Ash

From the publisher:
In March 1863, nine hundred black Union soldiers, led by white officers, invaded Florida and seized the town of Jacksonville. They were among the first African American troops in the Northern army, and their expedition into enemy territory was like no other in the Civil War. It was intended as an assault on slavery by which thousands would be freed.

At the center of the story is prominent abolitionist Colonel Thomas Wentworth Higginson, who led one of the regiments. After waging battle for three weeks, Higginson and his men were mysteriously ordered to withdraw, their mission a seeming failure. Yet their successes in resisting the Confederates and collaborating with white Union forces persuaded President Abraham Lincoln to begin full-scale recruitment of black troops, a momentous decision that helped turned the tide of the war.

Using long-neglected primary sources, historian Stephen V. Ash's stirring narrative re-creates this event with insight, vivid characterizations, and a keen sense of drama. 20 illustrations.

Stephen V. Ash is a professor of history at the University of Tennessee. He is the author of several books on the Civil War, including A Year in the South: Four Lives in 1865. He lives in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Lincoln at Peoria

by Lewis E. Lehrman

From the publisher:
Lincoln at Peoria tells the tale of a hardworking lawyer in Springfield, Illinois at a political turning point. To understand President Abraham Lincoln, one must understand the private citizen who gave the extraordinary antislavery speech at Peoria on October 16, 1854. This three hour address marked the turning point in his political pilgrimage. It dramatically altered the political career of the speaker and, as a result, the history of America.

Lincoln at Peoria examines the seminal Peoria speech and the historical context in which Lincoln delivered it. While some may argue that Lincoln underwent a transformation upon assuming the presidency in1861, the book's author Lewis Lehrman contends, "The great divide between the statecraft of his presidential years and his early legislative years originates with the speech at Peoria in 1854." The book emphasizes the unmistakable wholeness of character, genius, and enterprise to Lincoln s public life from 1854 to 1865. Lincoln s comprehensive antislavery case made at Peoria inspired his subsequent speeches, public letters, and state papers.

The Peoria speech is also Lincoln s primary statement about the nature of early American history and its peculiar institution of slavery. All of his arguments opposed any further extension of slavery in the American republic, founded, as he argued, upon the Declaration of Independence. That all men are created equal, with the inalienable right to liberty, was, for Lincoln, a universal principle that Americans must not ignore. The author of this book insists that Lincoln believed America must get right with the Declaration of Independence. In 1876, the centennial year of the Declaration, the great black abolitionist, Frederick Douglass summarized Lincoln s achievement: "...measuring him by the sentiment of his country, a sentiment he was bound as a statesman to consult, he was swift, zealous, radical, and determined."

Admitted to the Illinois Bar in 1837, having served four terms in the State Legislature and a single term in Congress (1846-1848), Abraham Lincoln had substantially withdrawn from politics between 1849 and 1854. During these five years, his Springfield law practice prospered. Traveling often by horse and buggy, he became a well-respected litigator on the 8th judicial circuit of Illinois.

Then, the Kansas-Nebraska Act, one of the most explosive congressional statutes of American history, burst upon the Illinois prairie with its passage in May of 1854. Sponsored by the famous Illinois Senator Stephen A. Douglas, this legislation repealed the prohibition on slavery in that section of the Louisiana Territory north of the 36 30 parallel a restriction on the spread of slavery agreed by North and South in the Missouri Compromise of 1820. The Kansas-Nebraska Act inaugurated an incendiary chapter in the slavery debates of the early American Republic.

In response to the Kansas-Nebraska Act, Lincoln launched his antislavery campaign. He delivered the substance of his arguments at Springfield on October 4, 1854, for which there are only press reports. A longer version came twelve days later at Peoria. The Springfield remarks did not survive, but by preparing them meticulously for publication, Lincoln made sure the Peoria text endured.

The Peoria address was rigorous, logical, and grounded in thorough historical research marking Lincoln s reentry into politics and his preparation for the presidency in 1861. Lincoln s contemporaries noted that the speech catapulted Lincoln into the national debates over slavery and into national politics for the rest of his life.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Rebel: The Life and Times of John Singleton Mosby

by Kevin H. Siepel

From the publisher:
Rebel is the first complete biography of the Confederacy’s best-known partisan commander, John Singleton Mosby, the “Gray Ghost.” A practicing attorney in Virginia and at first a reluctant soldier, in 1861 Mosby took to soldiering with a vengeance, becoming one of the Confederate army’s highest-profile officers, known especially for his cavalry battalion’s continued and effective harassment of Union armies in northern Virginia. Although hunted after the war and regarded, in fact, as the last Confederate officer to surrender, he later became anathema to former Confederates for his willingness to forget the past and his desire to heal the nation’s wounds. Appointed U.S. consul in Hong Kong, he soon initiated an anticorruption campaign that ruined careers in the Far East and Washington. Then, following a stint as a railroad attorney in California, he surfaced again as a government investigator sent by President Theodore Roosevelt to tear down cattlemen’s fences on public lands in the West. Ironically, he ended his career as an attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice.

Siepel has written the fullest biography of Mosby that we are likely to get. The guerrilla warfare is recounted here skillfully. - Washington Post

“[Siepel] has created a truly great historical work on Mosby, a most colorful individual. The book is very well-written and factual, and it easily holds the attention of the reader. Relatively little has been written about Mosby, the man; Siepel has finally given us a comprehensive work that will stand alongside works of other great leaders. Rebel is recommended for both the student of war and politics and for the casual reader.”— Military Review

Kevin H. Siepel is also the author of Joseph Bennett of Evans and the Growing of New York’s Niagara Frontier. Eugene McCarthy (1916–2005) represented Minnesota in both House and Senate and played a key role in the presidential race of 1968. Peter A. Brown is the editor of Take Sides with the Truth: The Postwar Letters of John Singleton Mosby to Samuel F. Chapman. Benjamin Franklin Cooling is the author of a number of books on the Civil War, most recently Counter-Thrust: From the Peninsula to the Antietam (Nebraska 2007).

This is the first paperbak edition of a previously published hardback.

Norton Parker Chipman: A Biography of the Andersonville War Crimes Prosecutor

by Jeffery A. Hogge

From the publisher:
Norton Parker Chipman is best known for successfully prosecuting Henry Wirz, the infamous commander of the Confederacy's Andersonville Prison where more than 13,000 Union soldiers died during the American Civil War. Beyond his involvement in Wirz's trial, Chipman had an almost Forrest Gump-like tendency to naturally appear anywhere important events occurred. He accompanied Abraham Lincoln to Gettysburg and served in the War Department. Later, he represented the District of Columbia as its delegate to Congress and led the fund-raising effort to complete the Washington Monument. After moving to California, he rose to prominence in the state's burgeoning agribusiness and served many years as a Supreme Court commissioner and a Court of Appeal presiding justice. Covering these details and much more, this biography provides intimate glimpses of a Union officer's perspective of the Civil War, a Washington insider's view of the postwar capital and a veteran's influence in shaping and developing California.

Jeffery A. Hogge is a judicial attorney with the California Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District, the court on which Norton Parker Chipman served as presiding justice for the court's first 16 years. He has been a contributing author to legal practice guides and magazines.