A Savage War by Williamson Murray
A Military History of the Civil War

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Synopsis

The Civil War represented a momentous change in the character of war. It combined the projection of military might across a continent on a scale never before seen with an unprecedented mass mobilization of peoples. Yet despite the revolutionizing aspects of the Civil War, its leaders faced the same uncertainties and vagaries of chance that have vexed combatants since the days of Thucydides and the Peloponnesian War. A Savage War sheds critical new light on this defining chapter in military history.

In a masterful narrative that propels readers from the first shots fired at Fort Sumter to the surrender of Robert E. Lee's army at Appomattox, Williamson Murray and Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh bring every aspect of the battlefield vividly to life. They show how this new way of waging war was made possible by the powerful historical forces unleashed by the Industrial Revolution and the French Revolution, yet how the war was far from being simply a story of the triumph of superior machines. Despite the Union's material superiority, a Union victory remained in doubt for most of the war. Murray and Hsieh paint indelible portraits of Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman, and other major figures whose leadership, judgment, and personal character played such decisive roles in the fate of a nation. They also examine how the Army of the Potomac, the Army of Northern Virginia, and the other major armies developed entirely different cultures that influenced the war's outcome.

A military history of breathtaking sweep and scope, A Savage War reveals how the Civil War ushered in the age of modern warfare.

 

About Williamson Murray

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Williamson Murray is Professor Emeritus of History at Ohio State University. At present he is a defense consultant and commentator on historical and military subjects in Washington. He is the author of War, Strategy, and Military Effectiveness and Military Adaptation in War (both Cambridge University Press, 2011). He is co-editor of numerous books on military and international history, including The Shaping of Grand Strategy (with Richard Sinnreich and James Lacey, Cambridge University Press, 2011), The Making of Peace (with James Lacey, Cambridge University Press, 2008), The Past as Prologue (with Richard Hart Sinnreich, Cambridge University Press, 2006), The Dynamics of Military Revolution, 1300-2050 (with MacGregor Knox, Cambridge University Press, 2001), Military Innovation in the Interwar Period (with Allan R. Millett, Cambridge University Press, 1996) and The Making of Strategy (with Alvin Bernstein and MacGregor Knox, Cambridge University Press, 1994). Peter Mansoor is the General Raymond E. Mason, Jr Chair of Military History at Ohio State University. He assumed this position in 2008 after a twenty-six-year career in the United States Army that culminated in his service in Iraq as the executive officer to General David Petraeus, the commanding general of Multi-National Force in Iraq. He is the author of The GI Offensive in Europe: The Triumph of American Infantry Divisions, 1941-1945, which was awarded the Society for Military History's distinguished book award and the Army Historical Society's distinguished book award in 2000. He also wrote a memoir titled Baghdad at Sunrise: A Brigade Commander's War in Iraq (2008), which was awarded the Ohioana Library Association distinguished book award.
 
Published September 13, 2016 by Princeton University Press. 616 pages
Genres: History, War. Non-fiction