5 Great Books That Explore The History Of The Civil War
No other event on American soil has been as large-scale, destructive, and course-changing as the Civil War. Historians and novelists have written exhaustively about the violent conflict and its societal causes and repercussions, and continue to do so as they find new angles for exploration. If you're interested in learning more about this turbulent and complex period, consider picking up one of the enlightening books included here. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.
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The Civil War is one of the most studied subjects of American history. It had major implications and changed the course of an entire nation in numerous ways. Because of that, books have been written about many aspects of the conflict. If you're looking for something new to read, here are five great books, in no particular order, that explore the history of the Civil War.
Coming in at the #1 spot is Paula Tarnapol Whitacre's "A Civil Life in an Uncivil Time." Her book tells the story of Julia Wilbur, a New York native and ardent abolitionist, who left her family's farm in 1862 to spend the next several years in Alexandria, Virginia, devising ways to aid escaped slaves and hospitalized Union soldiers.
Wilbur went on to become active in the women's suffrage movement and brushed shoulders with American icons like Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass. Based on diaries, letters, and other primary sources, "A Civil Life in an Uncivil Time" tells the story of a woman who remade herself at midlife during a period of violence, social upheaval and change.
Wilbur went on to become active in the women's suffrage movement and brushed shoulders with American icons like Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass.
At #2 is "The West Point History of The Civil War." This print and digital publication is a product of a collaboration between Rowan Technology and the United States Military Academy. Together, they have created a fully immersive and interactive text that provides a new way to visualize and understand the bloody American conflict.
"The West Point History of the Civil War" features exclusive images, tactical maps, and expert analysis that were commissioned by the United States Military Academy to teach the history of war to cadets at West Point. While the print version is highly informational, the digital edition offers added resources such as animated battle maps, data-rich infographics, diagrams, multimedia features and more.
For the #3 spot is "Searching For Black Confederates: The Civil War's Most Persistent Myth." Written by award-winning educator and historian Kevin M. Levin, this book attempts to tackle the complicated history of black slaves who served in the Confederate army during the Civil War.
Written by award-winning educator and historian Kevin M. Levin, this book attempts to tackle the complicated history of black slaves who served in the Confederate army during the Civil War.
In the book, Levin covers topics such as what roles free and enslaved blacks perform in the Confederate war effort, how Southern soldiers understood the place of slaves in camp and in the heat of battle, and how veterans remembered black slaves decades after the war. In this book, Levin also seeks to understand why the myth of the black Confederate soldier first emerged, and why it persists in modern times.
In the #4 spot is Charles Frazier's "Varina." Frazier gained fame for his 1997 best-selling novel "Cold Mountain." In "Varina," he has returned to a story that takes place during the Civil War. The book tells the story of Varina Howell, who married the much-older widower Jefferson Davis. Ultimately, Davis became the president of the Confederacy, forcing Varina into the center of the conflict.
The book tells the story of one woman's life while using the tragedy of the American Civil War as a backdrop. Since being published in April 2019, "Varina" has been named a bestseller by "The New York Times," "Publishers Weekly," IndieBound and more.
The book tells the story of one woman's life while using the tragedy of the American Civil War as a backdrop.
Finally at the #5 spot on this list is Peter Turchin's "Ages of Discord: A Structural-Demographic Analysis of American History." In his book, Turchin takes a look at how trends of inequality, increasing misery and political instability can ultimately lead to a crisis like the Civil War.
Turchin has worked as a Professor at the University of Connecticut, an External Professor at the Complexity Science Hub-Vienna and as a Research Associate in the School of Anthropology at the University of Oxford. He conducts research on the cultural evolution and historical dynamics of past and present societies. His expertise gives him the ability to explain the societal trends that led to the devastation of the American Civil War in an educational and analytical way.