Cover: The Confederate War in PAPERBACK

The Confederate War

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Product Details


$23.50 • £18.95 • €21.00

ISBN 9780674160569

Publication Date: 03/15/1999


272 pages

7 x 8 inches

40 halftones


[Gallagher’s] perceptive and engaging new book maintains that historians have got off track in recent years by attributing Confederate defeat to weakness on the home front rather than to performance on the battlefield. War-weariness, lack of will and ambivalence toward the cause of independence, they say, doomed the South… Gallagher addresses the right issues, asks probing questions and suggests intriguing alternatives.—Daniel E. Sutherland, The New York Times Book Review

Gallagher’s work, a perceptive, well-written, and strongly argued series of essays concerning Confederate morale, nationalism, and military strategy, raises serious questions about the prevalent interpretation of why the South lost the Civil War.Virginia Quarterly Review

The Confederate War is a significant and thought-provoking addition to the current body of Civil War literature. Gallagher has returned the focus of the war to the theater in which it was decided—military operations. In doing do, he demonstrates the enormous human, financial and material investment that white Southerners put into the struggle for independence. Solidly researched and sharply argued, The Confederate War cannot easily be dismissed by the ‘internal causes’ historians. Consequently, it is likely to rekindle debate among both academics and popularizers, which is all to the good, particularly in the current stifling climate of political.—Richard F. Welch, America’s Civil War

Gallagher’s book challenges the non-military historians to come out from behind the barricades once again.—Russell Duncan, American Studies in Europe

Everyone involved in the continuing debate over the factors behind the South’s defeat must read Gallagher’s book, and anyone wanting a helpful introduction to it should as well.—Gaines M. Foster, Louisiana History

The Confederate War is an impressive volume. The arguments which Gallagher employs to support his central thesis are well constructed and quite persuasive. Gallagher also relies on a wide array of Confederate voices from the past to substantiate his case and this makes for an interesting study. Moreover, Gallagher’s extensive review of the literature is incisive and most informative. The Confederate War should provide good reading for all students of Confederate nationalism and will generate lively debate among historians of the American Civil War for years to come.—Bruce Cauthen, Nation and Nationalism

An important book… The Confederate War is certain to cause controversy. For Gallagher dares to suggest that, despite, ‘moral disapprobation’ prevalent in many histories about the conflict over the past half-century, the stark fact remains that ‘a majority of white southerners steadfastly supported their nascent republic, and that Confederate arms more than once almost persuaded the North that the price of subduing the rebellious states would be too high’… Using published evidence from Confederate diarists, soldiers, statesmen, and newspapers—evidence which by omission or intent seldom seems to find its way into recent Civil War histories—Gallagher makes a compelling case for Confederate unity. The Confederacy did not fall to pieces after Gettysburg; a ‘mass of testimony’ suggests that Southerners thought the war winnable until virtually the end… Thorough reassessments of the Confederacy and of the interpretations of it have long been overdue, and Gary W. Gallagher succeeds in his initial attempt to rebalance historical portrayals of the Civil War South.—B. Anthony Gannon, Register of the Kentucky Historical Society

One of the most attractive and ennobling portrayals of the white Confederacy in recent memory. The lavish illustrations (numbering a full forty) and coffee-table ‘feel’ assures that this beautifully produced and competitively priced volume will have a wide readership outside of the historical profession. Gallagher’s own swift prose, clear argument, and richly documented account of white southerners at war can only bolster sales further… It is also safe to say that it will have a major impact on how historians will hereafter frame research on the slaveholding South’s suicidal effort to establish its independence… In a growing corpus of work on the wartime South, Gallagher has explored the interactions of war and society and given new legitimacy to a field of military history that will always need to be a part of any general understanding of the 1860s. This work has achieved a substantial measure of authority.—Robert E. Bonner, Reviews in American History

Gallagher’s effort will have serious students rejoicing in its persuasive argumentation for believing that battles and armies who indeed have some bearing on the outcomes of war.Booklist

The author makes a fine case for a new look at an old argument.Library Journal

In this bold, high spirited, well argued—and indispensable—book, Gary Gallagher does justice to the extraordinary courage and tenacity with which the white people of the South fought to establish their claims to national self-determination. And in so doing, he respectfully refutes prevalent but wrong-headed judgments.—Eugene Genovese, author of The Southern Tradition

The Confederate War is vintage Gary Gallagher. Drawing on vast research, careful reasoning, and a perceptive understanding of the use of evidence, Gallagher deftly slays some of the Civil War’s most lasting interpretations. It is one of the best books on the Confederacy in this decade and is a must read for anyone interested in the Civil War.—Joseph T. Glatthaar, author of Forged in Battle: The Civil War Alliance of Black Soldiers and White Officers

The best interpretive study of the Civil War, or at least of the Confederacy, to have appeared in a good many years. Gallagher has an almost unparalleled command of sources, both primary and secondary. His sound common sense, incisive analysis, and forceful and lucid literary style have produced a superb book.—James M. McPherson, author of Battle Cry of Freedom

Starting with meticulous research and proceeding with careful analysis, Gallagher presents a convincing argument that Confederate fortunes collapsed primarily from military defeats rather than an internal loss of will. This is must reading for anyone seeking a basic explanation of the causes and outcome of the Civil War.—James I. Robertson, Jr., author of Stonewall Jackson: The Man, the Soldier, the Legend

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