An American Iliad: The Story of the Civil War / Edition 2

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This concise but comprehensive history reflects a synthesis of the major writings on the war, as refined and focused through Professor Roland's own research and interpretation. This is the story of the war with the emphasis on the military action, that element which distinguishes war from all other human activities. Accounts of the major political, economic, diplomatic, social, and cultural developments of the epoch are covered; approximately half of the book is devoted to them. But these discussions are woven into the central narrative in a manner designed to show their role in the war effort itself.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Like many other Civil War historians, Roland here summarizes the results of years of research and writing in a narrative aimed at the general reading public. He tackles most of the important topics: military mobilization, governmental administration, political developments, and, primarily, the military events that have traditionally seized Americans' imaginations; he also briefly discusses the experiences of blacks, women, and dissenters. Roland's prose, while not always graceful, is clear and, especially in battle segments, quite readable. He effectively contrasts the leading figures on both sides and argues that the North won the war because of superior leadership and a more effective development of national policy and military strategy. Roland's work is less comprehensive than James McPherson's recent Battle Cry of Freedom (LJ 3/1/88; an LJ ``Best Book'') and less analytical than the work of Phillip Shaw Paludan and Emory Thomas, respectively, on the wartime North ( A People's Contest, Harper, 1988) and South ( The Confederate Nation 1861-1865, LJ 4/1/79), but it will be useful for general readers or for upper division history courses on the Civil War era.-- James Marten, Marquette Univ., Milwaukee
Assesses over 200 years of publication in this genre through examination of the individual magazines. The first part contains substantial articles on some 100 important magazines; the second comprises 400 briefer entries; the third part lists additional titles; and the fourth presents three comprehensive essays on college humor magazines, scholarly humor magazines, and humor in American almanacs. A well-respected historian of the period presents a concise coherent account of the Civil War. He draws on his detailed knowledge of the fortunes of battles, the origin and depths of strategies, the political labyrinths on both sides, and the personal strengths and weaknesses of presidents and generals to illuminate his views on human nature and national history. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780072418156
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies, The
  • Publication date: 10/16/2001
  • Edition description: 2ND
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 306
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles P. Roland is an Alumni Professor Emeritus at the University of Kentucky. A native of Tennessee, he holds a B.A. degree from Vanderbilt University and a Ph.D. from Louisiana State University. He has served on the faculties of Louisiana State University, Tulane University, and the University of Kentucky. He is the author of numerous books and articles on the South and on the Civil War. These include a history of the Confederacy and a biography of Confederate General Albert Sidney Johnston. Professor Roland’s career in American military history has been unusual, if not unique. He fought as an infantry officer in Europe during World War II and has served as Assistant to the Chief Historian of the United States Army, as the Harold Keith Johnson Visiting Professor of Military History at the United States Army Military History Institute and Army War College, as the Visiting Professor of Military History at the United States Military Academy, and as chairman of the Department of the Army Historical Advisory Committee. Professor Roland has been president of the Louisiana Historical Association and the Southern Historical Association.
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Table of Contents

I The Final Compromise 1
II A Parting of the Ways 15
III The Resort to Arms 30
IV Mobilization and Early Campaigns 43
V Emerging Generals and Escalating Combat 68
VI Union Government, Administration, and Emancipation 88
VII Confederate Government and Administration 102
VIII The Strategic Balance 117
IX The Turn of the Tide of Battle 134
X The Contest for European Favor 156
XI Military Success and Political Victory 168
XII The Resurgent North 191
XIII The Beleaguered South 208
XIV The Union Triumphant 230
XV Reflections on Men and Measures 248
XVI Sequel 256
Sources 267
Index 276
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