The Long Road to Antietam: How the Civil War Became a Revolution

The Long Road to Antietam: How the Civil War Became a Revolution

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by Richard Slotkin
     
 

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A masterful account of the Civil War's turning point in the tradition of James McPherson's Crossroads of Freedom.
In the summer of 1862, after a year of protracted fighting, Abraham Lincoln decided on a radical change of strategy—one that abandoned hope for a compromise peace and committed the nation to all-out war. The centerpiece of that new strategy was

Overview

A masterful account of the Civil War's turning point in the tradition of James McPherson's Crossroads of Freedom.
In the summer of 1862, after a year of protracted fighting, Abraham Lincoln decided on a radical change of strategy—one that abandoned hope for a compromise peace and committed the nation to all-out war. The centerpiece of that new strategy was the Emancipation Proclamation: an unprecedented use of federal power that would revolutionize Southern society. In The Long Road to Antietam, Richard Slotkin, a renowned cultural historian, reexamines the challenges that Lincoln encountered during that anguished summer 150 years ago. In an original and incisive study of character, Slotkin re-creates the showdown between Lincoln and General George McClellan, the “Young Napoleon” whose opposition to Lincoln included obsessive fantasies of dictatorship and a military coup. He brings to three-dimensional life their ruinous conflict, demonstrating how their political struggle provided Confederate General Robert E. Lee with his best opportunity to win the war, in the grand offensive that ended in September of 1862 at the bloody Battle of Antietam.

Editorial Reviews

Stephanie McCurry - Times Literary Supplement
“Slotkin thus reminds us that the social violence of civil wars always create the potential for the overthrow of civil authority by a military dictatorship… An arresting account of a particular moment in the war: of a Washington atmosphere ‘thick with treason.'”
James M. McPherson - New York Review of Books
“Provide[s] detailed and careful renderings of these events and of Lincoln’s intellectual journey.”
James A. Percoco - On Point: The Journal of Army History
“One of the best new books to examine the fateful day of 17 September 1862…. Slotkin has expanded much on the meaning of this battle, but also casts a new interpretation as to what the battle meant for the administration of President Abraham Lincoln and the nation.”
Erik Loomis - Lawyers
“Slotkin tells a great story and for those interested in battle narratives, I have little doubt that you will enjoy his narration of Antietam.... Slotkin does a great job laying out this conflict and how Lincoln managed to rid himself of the McClellan problem, issue the Emancipation Proclamation, and turn the Civil War into a holy war that ended slavery. Notably, Slotkin notes that the alleged international reasons for the Emancipation Proclamation are vastly overrated and it had little to no effect on British or French policy toward the conflict.... The Long Road to Antietam will change how I teach the first two years of the war. In my world, that’s a pretty high compliment.”
Newsweek
“Slotkin has produced an absorbing revisionist history of what could be called the second American Revolution.”
Military Heritage
“Slotkin does an excellent job of tracing the strategies used by both sides.”
Christian Science Monitor
A remarkable piece of work, an eye-opening double history of a battle and a war.— Randy Dotinga
Tampa Bay Times
A riveting, perceptive analysis of the Civil War campaigns of 1862, of the reasoning behind the Emancipation Proclamation and of the complex power struggle between President Abraham Lincoln and the 35-year-old Union Commander of the Army of the Potomac, Gen. George B. McClellan… This is one of the most moving and incisive books on the Civil War that I have ever read.— Chris Patsilelis
Military History Quarterly
Richard Slotkin has added significantly to the literature… Slotkin evokes drama and, where appropriate, dark humor in recalling what became an extraordinary test of civilian authority over the military… Slotkin is an accomplished social historian (and novelist) with a focus on war and race, and he brings all his considerable skills to bear in this book. What makes even his unsurprising conclusions unfold at such a gripping pace is his great gift for narrative. It is as if Carl Sandburg were writing again—but with footnotes—for the author is a master at telling a story, capturing a mood, bringing characters to life, and making substantive and well-documented historical points in the bargain.— Harold Holzer
Slate.com
An absorbing account… Slotkin paints a detailed portrait of the talented but flawed general who helped Lincoln bring about his revolution, if ever so unwillingly… Slotkin’s description of the battle is essential to completing his meticulous, maddening portrait of McClellan.— John Swansburg
Cannonball
This is much more than another treatise on the battle itself. Yes, the movements and countermovements on the battlefield are there, but this sprawling book has multi-faceted tentacles which Slotkin, an award winning author and former university professor, skillfully weaves into a cohesive narrative… This is a thought-provoking book which goes well beyond the standard battle narratives and places Antietam in its full context as a significant point of change in U.S. domestic policy, a shift with far-reaching ramifications for the next century.— Scott Mingus
HistoryNet.com
In this engrossing book Richard Slotkin looks beyond that blood-drenched battlefield to explore how President Abraham Lincoln linked victory at Antietam to his decision to free slaves and declare that they could join the Union Army.— Thomas B. Allen
New York Review of Books
Provide[s] detailed and careful renderings of these events and of Lincoln’s intellectual journey.— James M. McPherson
John Swansburg - Slate.com
“An absorbing account… Slotkin paints a detailed portrait of the talented but flawed general who helped Lincoln bring about his revolution, if ever so unwillingly… Slotkin’s description of the battle is essential to completing his meticulous, maddening portrait of McClellan.”
Harold Holzer - Military History Quarterly
“Richard Slotkin has added significantly to the literature… Slotkin evokes drama and, where appropriate, dark humor in recalling what became an extraordinary test of civilian authority over the military… Slotkin is an accomplished social historian (and novelist) with a focus on war and race, and he brings all his considerable skills to bear in this book. What makes even his unsurprising conclusions unfold at such a gripping pace is his great gift for narrative. It is as if Carl Sandburg were writing again—but with footnotes—for the author is a master at telling a story, capturing a mood, bringing characters to life, and making substantive and well-documented historical points in the bargain.”
Randy Dotinga - Christian Science Monitor
“A remarkable piece of work, an eye-opening double history of a battle and a war.”
Chris Patsilelis - Tampa Bay Times
“A riveting, perceptive analysis of the Civil War campaigns of 1862, of the reasoning behind the Emancipation Proclamation and of the complex power struggle between President Abraham Lincoln and the 35-year-old Union Commander of the Army of the Potomac, Gen. George B. McClellan… This is one of the most moving and incisive books on the Civil War that I have ever read.”
Scott Mingus - Cannonball
“This is much more than another treatise on the battle itself. Yes, the movements and countermovements on the battlefield are there, but this sprawling book has multi-faceted tentacles which Slotkin, an award winning author and former university professor, skillfully weaves into a cohesive narrative… This is a thought-provoking book which goes well beyond the standard battle narratives and places Antietam in its full context as a significant point of change in U.S. domestic policy, a shift with far-reaching ramifications for the next century.”
Thomas B. Allen - HistoryNet.com
“In this engrossing book Richard Slotkin looks beyond that blood-drenched battlefield to explore how President Abraham Lincoln linked victory at Antietam to his decision to free slaves and declare that they could join the Union Army.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780871406651
Publisher:
Liveright Publishing Corporation
Publication date:
07/15/2013
Pages:
512
Sales rank:
606,501
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.30(d)

Meet the Author

The author of the award-winning American history trilogy Regeneration Through Violence, The Fatal Environment, and Gunfighter Nation, Richard Slotkin, an emeritus professor at Wesleyan University, won the Shaara Award for Civil War fiction for Abe. He lives in Middletown, Connecticut.

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The Long Road To Antietam: How the Civil War Became a Revolution 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
OlyDan More than 1 year ago
This is the best book I have read on the battle of Antietam and the surrounding political issues. Slotkin's writing style is very fluid and easy to follow. If you enjoy history that connects events in the past with the long-run of social change, you will enjoy this book. Highly recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent book, very well researched, and a very good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There is some new insight in "The Road to Antetum" like several Generals wanted General McClellan to over throw the goverment. Although McClellan had the opertunaty he never hsd the guts to do it. His men supported him and would have done what ever McClellan wanted them to do. True to form McClellan couldn't act on it, even with over whelming odds.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago