Battle Cry of Freedom by James M. McPHERSON
The Civil War Era (Oxford History of the United States)

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Filled with fresh interpretations and information, puncturing old myths and challenging new ones, Battle Cry of Freedom will unquestionably become the standard one-volume history of the Civil War.
James McPherson's fast-paced narrative fully integrates the political, social, and military events that crowded the two decades from the outbreak of one war in Mexico to the ending of another at Appomattox. Packed with drama and analytical insight, the book vividly recounts the momentous episodes that preceded the Civil War--the Dred Scott decision, the Lincoln-Douglas debates, John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry--and then moves into a masterful chronicle of the war itself--the battles, the strategic maneuvering on both sides, the politics, and the personalities. Particularly notable are McPherson's new views on such matters as the slavery expansion issue in the 1850s, the origins of the Republican Party, the causes of secession, internal dissent and anti-war opposition in the North and the South, and the reasons for the Union's victory.
The book's title refers to the sentiments that informed both the Northern and Southern views of the conflict: the South seceded in the name of that freedom of self-determination and self-government for which their fathers had fought in 1776, while the North stood fast in defense of the Union founded by those fathers as the bulwark of American liberty. Eventually, the North had to grapple with the underlying cause of the war--slavery--and adopt a policy of emancipation as a second war aim. This "new birth of freedom," as Lincoln called it, constitutes the proudest legacy of America's bloodiest conflict.
This authoritative volume makes sense of that vast and confusing "second American Revolution" we call the Civil War, a war that transformed a nation and expanded our heritage of liberty.

About James M. McPHERSON

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James M. McPherson is Edwards Professor of American History at Princeton University. His books include The Struggle for Equality, Marching Toward Freedom, and Ordeal by Fire.
Published February 25, 1988 by Oxford University Press. 946 pages
Genres: History, War, Biographies & Memoirs, Arts & Photography, Political & Social Sciences, Science & Math. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Battle Cry of Freedom

McPherson, the dean of American Civil War historians, writing in the bibliographical note to his Pulitzer Prize winning history, Battle Cry Of Freedom: The Civil War Era (1988), observed that he was merely sampling “the huge corpus of literature on the Civil War era, which totals more than 50,00...

Dec 29 2011 | Read Full Review of Battle Cry of Freedom: The Ci...

Oxford University Press's Blog

McMurry’s Two Great Rebel Armies: An Essay in Confederate Military History (University of North Carolina Press, 1996) provides eye-opening answers to a question that jumps out at any student of the Civil War: Why did Confederate armies do so well in the war’s eastern theater and so badly in the w...

Dec 14 2005 | Read Full Review of Battle Cry of Freedom: The Ci...

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