This fast-paced book will be a revelation even to professional historians. Pulling together the latest scholarship with his own research, Williams (A People's History of the Civil War), a professor of history at Valdosta State University, puts an end to any lingering claim that the Confederacy was united in favor of secession during the Civil War. His astonishing story details the deep, often murderous divisions in Southern society. Southerners took up arms against each other, engaged in massacres, guerrilla warfare, vigilante justice and lynchings, and deserted in droves from the Confederate army (300,000 men joined the Union forces). Unionist politicians never stopped battling secessionism. Some counties and regions even seceded from the secessionists. Poor whites resented the large slave owners, who had engineered the war but were exempt from the draft. Not surprisingly, slaves fought slaveholders for their freedom and aided the Union cause. So did women and Indians. Williams's long overdue work makes indelibly clear that Southerners themselves played a major role in doing in the secessionist South. With this book, the history of the Civil War will never be the same again. Illus. (Sept.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
A fascinating look at a hidden side of the South’s history
- New Press, The
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Meet the Author
David Williams is the author of A People’s History of the Civil War, Plain Folk in a Rich Man’s War, Johnny Reb’s War, and Rich Man’s War. A native of Miller County, Georgia, he holds a PhD in history from Auburn University. He is a professor of history at Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Georgia, where for the past twenty years he has taught courses in Georgia history, the Old South, and the Civil War era.
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An eyge opening read on how the south itself was divided over secession.
I say that I'm done with this one, but I didn't actually get through it. The book is not horrible, nor is it poorly written, but everything else I have seems more interesting. I made it through about 185 pages, though, and can comment a bit. The title advertises itself as if there is discussion about conflicting opinions in the South, but the onlly thing discussed is Unionist sentiment. Now that's fine, but it's not what I thought I would get. I hoped for a good compare-contrast book, dissecting actual inner conflicts between Rebels and Unionists, but what I got was a decent study of anti-Confederate sects. Oh well.