Look Away! by William C. Davis
A History of the Confederate States of America

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 2 Critic Reviews

unrated

Synopsis

William C. Davis, one of America's best Civil War historians, here offers a definitive portrait of the Confederacy unlike any that has come before. Drawing on decades of writing and research among an unprecedented number of archives, Look Away! tells the story of the Confederate States of America not simply as a military saga (although it is that), but rather as a full portrait of a society and incipient nation. The first history of the Confederacy in decades, the culmination of a great scholar's career, Look Away! combines politics, economics, and social history to set a new standard for its subject.
Previous histories have focused on familiar commanders such as Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, but Davis's canvas is much broader. From firebrand politicians like Robert Barnwell Rhett and William L. Yancey, who pushed for secession long before the public supported it; to Dr. Samuel Cartwright, who persuaded many Southerners of the natural inferiority of their slaves; to the women of Richmond, who rioted over bread shortages in 1863, Davis presents a rich new face of the Confederate nation. He recounts familiar stories of battles won and lost, but also little-known economic stories of a desperate government that socialized the salt industry, home-front stories of the rangers and marauders who preyed on their fellow Confederates, and an account of the steady breakdown of law, culminating in near anarchy in some states. Never has the Confederacy been so vividly brought to life as a full society, riven with political and economic conflicts beneath its more loudly publicized military battles.
Davis's astonishingly thorough primary research has ranged across the 800-odd newspapers that were in operation during the war, but also across the personal papers of over a hundred Southern leaders and ordinary citizens. He quotes from letters and diaries throughout the narrative, revealing the Confederacy through the words of the Confederates themselves. Like any society, especially in the early stages of nation-building and the devastating stages of warfare, the Confederacy was not one thing but many things to many people. One thing, however, was shared by all: the belief that the South offered a necessary evolution of American democracy. Look Away! offers a dramatic and definitive account of one of America's most searing episodes.
 

About William C. Davis

See more books from this Author
William C. Davis is the editor of the Civil War Times Illustrated and President of the National Historical Society. Widely acclaimed as a distinguished historian on the Civil War, he is the author of such books as The Battle at New Market and Duel Between the First Ironclads, and the award-winning Breckinridge: Statesman, Soldier, Symbol. Mr. Davis received the 1977 Fletcher Pratt Award for the most significant contribution to Civil War history. His most recent work, The Battle of Bull Run, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. 
 
Published April 12, 2002 by Free Press. 496 pages
Genres: History, War. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Look Away!

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Davis (Director of Programs/Virginia Center for Civil War Studies, Virginia Tech.) points out that by war's end military necessity compelled Confederate leaders to consider the conscription of black troops, which made nonsense of the racial justification for slavery.

| Read Full Review of Look Away!: A History of the ...

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Ironically, the institution for which it went to war became the Confederacy's single greatest source of internal dissension, Davis (Lincoln's Men) shows.

Feb 04 2002 | Read Full Review of Look Away!: A History of the ...

Reader Rating for Look Away!
65%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 38 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×