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This best-selling title, designed to be either the primary anthology or textbook for the course, covers the Civil War's entire chronological span with a series of documents and essays.
1. The North and South Compared DOCUMENTS Lydia Maria Child Describes How Slavery Harms the South, 1833 Frederick Law Olmsted Observes Southern Lassitude, 1854 Hinton Rowan Helper Decries Southern Economic Backwardness, 1857 Frederick Law Olmsted Criticizes the South's Lack of Material Progress, 1861 James Henry Hammond Claims Southern Cultural Superiority, 1845 George Fitzhugh Praises Southern Society, 1854 J.D.B. DeBow Explains Why Non-Slaveholders Should Support Slavery, 1860 ESSAYS Edward Pessen, The Similarities Between the Antebellum North and South James M. McPherson, The Differences Between the Antebellum North and South 2. Sectional Politics in the 1850s DOCUMENTS Independent Democrats Protest the Kansas-Nebraska Act, January 1854 Senator Stephen Douglas Explains the Objectives of His Bill, February 1854 Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts Ridicules the Southern Gentry, May 1856 Congressman John S. Bocock of Virginia Defends Preston Brooks, July 1856 Senator William Henry Seward of New York Warns of an Irrepressible Conflict, October 1858 Senator Albert G. Brown of Mississippi Renounces the Protection of the Union, December 1859 ESSAYS William E. Gienapp, The Caning of Charles Sumner and the Rise of the Republican Party Don E. Fehrenbacher, Kansas, Republicanism, and the Crisis of the Union 3. The Secession Crisis DOCUMENTS President-Elect Lincoln Explains What Is at Stake, December 1860 Congressman John A. Gilmer of North Carolina Urges Delay and Conciliation, March 1861 Secretary of State Seward Advises Restraint, March 1861 Alexander H. Stephens of Georgia Advises Against Secession, November 1860 Senator Robert Toombs of Georgia Defends His Own and His State's Honor, November 1860 The Raleigh North Carolina Standard Weighs Honor and Secession, December 1860 ESSAYS Kenneth M. Stampp, Lincoln and the Secession Crisis Bertram Wyatt-Brown, Honor and Secession 4. Fighting the War: The Generals DOCUMENTS General McClellan Gives a Lesson in Grand Strategy, July 1862 General Robert E. Lee Takes the Offensive, September 1862 General Edward Porter Alexander, C.S.A., Assesses Lee and McClellan at Antietam, September 1862 General Alexander Later Criticizes the Confederacy's Conduct of the War, c. 1900 General Henry W. Halleck, U.S.A., Acknowledges that the War Has Changed Course, March 1863 The Union Army Redefines the Rules of War: Liebers Code, May 1863 General William T. Sherman Explains How the War Has Changed, September 1864 General Ulysses S. Grant Reports His Assignment Accomplished, July 1865 ESSAYS Gary W. Gallacher, The Maryland Campaign in Perspective Mark Grimsley, Gestures of Mercy, Pillars of Fire 5. Fighting the War: The Soldiers DOCUMENTS Eugene Blackford, C.S.A., Describes His First Experience with Combat, July 1861 John Dooley, C.S.A., Acknowledges the Persistence of Fear, (Undated) Charles Harvey Brewster, U.S.A., Assesses the Contribution of His Family and Community to the War, July 1862 Robert Gould Shaw, U.S.A., Describes His Reaction to Antietam and to Possible Emancipation, September 1862 Wilbur Fisk, U.S.A., Discusses Morale Among the Soldiers, April 1863 Tally Simpson, C.S.A., Reports on the Aftermath of Gettysburg, July 1863 Walt Whitman Speculates that The Real War Will Never Get in the Books, 1882-1883 ESSAYS David W. Blight, A Union Soldier's Experience Reid Mitchell, From Volunteer to Soldier: The Psychology of Service 6. Abraham Lincoln as Political and Military Leader DOCUMENTS Lincoln Explains His Paramount Object of Saving the Union, August 1862 Salmon P. Chase Reports Lincoln's Decision on Emancipation, September 1862 Lincoln Proclaims the Meaning of the Conflict: The Gettysburg Address, November 1863 Lincoln Recounts How He Proceeded Toward Emancipation, April 1864 Lincoln Reveals an Early Grasp of Military Strategy, January 1862 Lincoln Advises Against Engaging Lee's Army After Gettysburg, September 1863 Wendell Phillips Criticizes Lincoln's War Policy, August 1862 Congressman Clement L. Valladigham Condemns the Northern War Effort, January 1863 ESSAYS Phillip Shaw Paludan, Emancipating the Republic: Lincoln and the Means and Ends of Antislavery James M. McPherson, Tried by War: Lincoln As Self-Taught Strategist 7. The Northern Home Front DOCUMENTS Henry W. Bellows Explains the Work and Goals of the Sanitary Commission, January 1864 President Lincoln Addresses the Philadelphia Central Fair, June 1864 Mary Livermore Recounts How She Organized the Northwestern Sanitary Fair in 1864, 1889 Martin Ryerson Reports How Workers Are Reacting to the Draft, July 1863 Trade Union Members Call for an International Industrial Assembly of North America, August 1864 Cincinnati Sewing Women Protest Their Wartime Wages, February 1865 ESSAYS J. Matthew Gallman, Voluntarism in Wartime: Philadelphia's Great Central Fair Phillip Shaw Paludan, Industrial Workers and the Costs of War 8. The Southern Home Front DOCUMENTS President Davis Explains the Confederate Cause, December 1862 Governor Joseph E. Brown of Georgia Denounces Confederate Policy, September 1862 Plain Folk Protest the Burden of the War, February 1863 Vice-President Stephens Recommends an Alternative Confederate Strategy, January 1864 The North Carolina Legislature Protests the Confederate Draft and Martial Law, May 1864 The Raleigh Standard Urges North Carolina Voters to Endorse a Negotiated Peace, July 1864 Congressman Warren Aiken of Georgia Contemplates the Fate of Slavery, October 1864 ESSAYS Marc W. Kruman, Dissent in the Confederacy: The North Carolina Experience J. William Harris, Strains of War 9. Women in Wartime DOCUMENTS Hannah Ropes Expresses the Frustration of a Union Nurse, October 1862 Kate Cumming Criticizes Southern Women, September 1863 Phoebe Pember Commends Southern Women, (Undated) Susie King Taylor Describes Her Role in Union Army Camps, 1864 Mary Livermore Explains the Role of Women in the Union War Effort, 1889 Gertrude Thomas Finds Confederate Prospects Gloomy, November 1864 Catherine Edmondston of North Carolina Discusses Matters Public and Domestic, January 1865 Cornelia Peake McDonald Comments on Class and Conscription, March 1865 ESSAYS Elizabeth D. Leonard, Civil War Nurse, Civil War Nursing: Rebecca Usher of Maine Drew Gilpin Faust, Patriotism, Sacrifice, and Self-Interest 10. Emancipation DOCUMENTS General Benjamin F. Butler Discovers the "Contrabands," July 1861 The Freedmen's Inquiry Commission Considers Policy Toward the Ex-Slaves, June 1863 President Lincoln Defends Emancipation, August 1863 The U.S. Adjutant General Describes the Condition of Fleeing Slaves, August 1863 Joseph Miller, U.S.A., Protests the Mistreatment of His Family by the U.S. Army, November 1864 James H. Payne, U.S.A., Complains of Racial Discrimination on the Battlefield, August 1864 Frederick Douglass States the Freedmen's Demands, April 1865 Gertrude Thomas Is Upset That Her Slaves Are Leaving, May 1865 ESSAYS Ira Berlin, Who Freed the Slaves? Emancipation and Its Meaning Joseph T. Glatthaar, Black Glory: The African-American Role in Union Victory 11. Congress's Terms for the Defeated South DOCUMENTS Richard H. Dana, Jr., Presents His "Grasp of War" Theory, June 1865 Senator Lyman Trumbull of Illinois Explains His Civil Rights Bill, January and April 1866 Representative Thaddeus Stevens of Pennsylvania States His Terms, January 1867 Representative George W. Julian of Indiana Outlines the Scope of Reconstruction, January 1867 Senator John Sherman of Ohio Urges Caution and Moderation, February 1867 Congress's Terms for Readmission and Reconstruction, June 1866 and March 1867 Albion Tourgee, a North Carolina Republican, Later Condemns Congress's Reconstruction Policy, 1879 ESSAYS Michael Les Benedict, The Conservative Basis of Radical Reconstruction Eric Foner, Thaddeus Stevens, Confiscation, and Reconstruction 12. Political and Economic Change in the Reconstruction South DOCUMENTS South Carolina African-Americans Present Their Demands, November 1865 Mattie Curtis Remembers Her Struggle After Emancipation, (Undated) Henry Adams, an African-American, Reports on Women and Fieldwork, 1867 Richard H. Cain of South Carolina Stresses the Importance of Land, February 1868 Edward King Describes the Postwar Plantation System in the Natchez District, 1875 Albert T. Morgan of Mississippi Recalls His Achievements as Sheriff, 1884 ESSAYS Eric Foner, Black Reconstruction Leaders at the Grass Roots Jacqueline Jones, The Political Economy of the Black Family During Reconstruction Harold D. Woodman, The Reconstruction of the Cotton Plantation in the New South 13. Southern Republicans and the Problems of Reconstruction DOCUMENTS Former Governor James L. Orr Defends South Carolina's Republican Government, June 1871 Representative L. Q. C. Lamar of Mississippi Assails Reconstruction, June 1874 Governor William P. Kellogg of Louisiana Demands Punishment for the Coushatta Assassins, September 1874 Representative Alexander White of Alabama Defends "Carpetbaggers," February 1875 Charles Nordhoff Censures Mississippi Politicians, 1875 Governor Adelbert Ames Deplores the Violence in Mississippi, September 1875 ESSAYS Lawrence N. Powell, Carpetbaggers and the Problems of Republican Rule in the South Michael Perman, Reconstruction Under Attack 14. The Northern Retreat from Reconstruction DOCUMENTS Senator Charles Sumner Can No Longer Support President Grant, August 1871 Senator Carl Schurz of Missouri Condemns Reconstruction, January 1872 James Shepherd Pike Offers a Liberal Republican View of Reconstruction, 1873 Speaker James G. Blaine Points Out the Results of the Republicans' Generous Amnesty Policy, January 1876 Rutherford B. Hayes Describes His Southern Policy for the 1876 Presidential Campaign, July 1876 President Grant Disclaims Responsibility for Reconstruction in South Carolina, July 1876 ESSAYS Richard H. Abbott, Reconstruction Winds Down: The Grant Years, 1869-1877 Michael Les Benedict, Reform Republicans and the Retreat from Reconstruction 15. The Impact and Significance of the Sectional Conflict ESSAYS James M. McPherson, The Second American Revolution Carl N. Degler, One Among Many: The Civil War and National Unification Steven Hahn, Class and State in Postemancipation Societies
Posted April 28, 2008
Michael Perman's collection of primary documents in his 'Major Problems in the Civil War and Reconstruction' covered a variety of topics concerning the Civil War and its aftermath. I enjoyed reading the book as a student, and if I were a professor I would have my students read this book. As a student, it was difficult to tie in the actual primary documents as sources for writing my class essays, but it was useful to use the two essays that followed the documents. The sources that were letters home were more entertaining than they were educationally useful. However, I was able to use the two essays at the end of each chapter as supporting evidence for whatever my topic was. The structure of the book is pieced together very well. It begins with why the civil war would have happened in the first place, and then follows the events leading up to and during the war. For my class I relied on this book as a second source of information along with the lectures. If I were to use this book as a professor I would have a class text book that shows general facts about the Civil War, and this book as a required source for essays and writing assignments.
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Posted October 29, 2009
Cannot actually rate this book. I'm sure it's excellent, as it is used repeatedly by an exceptional professor at the college where I am taking the Civil War History Class. However, this book did not arrive until after the class had completed this portion of studies (due on 9/21, received mid-Oct.) We have moved on to a second textbook, so I have not had the time to go back and read this text as well. Fortunately, I am not taking this class for credit so I can read the "Perman" text for reinforcement of my studies once the class is over. From classroom discussions, I have estimated what my opinion of the book might be.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 10, 2008
Major Problems in the Civil War and Reconstruction is one of the better textbooks I have read. The mix of primary documets and essay's by some of the best historians in the field gives the reader a better understanding of the cause and effects of the Civil War and Reconstruction. The book does have some drawbacks, some of the chapters feature more primary sources than is neccessary to get the point across and some of the essay's drag on longer than need be. The one improvement I would suggest for the editors is to feature photography and political cartoons as part of the primary soucres. Also don't forget the ladies and African Americans.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 4, 2008
I like this book because it contains primary documents during the Civil War and Reconstruction era. From this book, I learn that there are more complicated issues besides the war itself such as the cause(s) of the war such as the canning of Sumner in 1863. I would use this book if I were a professor because of the primary documents that students can use for their paper(s) and it illustrates more complex and deeper issues behind the war.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.