What Caused the Civil War?: Reflections on the South and Southern History

Overview

“An extremely good writer, [Ayers] is well worth reading . . . on the South and Southern history.”—Stephen Sears, Boston Globe
The Southern past has proven to be fertile ground for great works of history. Peculiarities of tragic proportions—a system of slavery flourishing in a land of freedom, secession and Civil War tearing at a federal Union, deep poverty persisting in a nation of fast-paced development—have fed the imaginations of some of our most accomplished historians.
...

See more details below
Paperback (Reprint)
$13.88
BN.com price
(Save 26%)$18.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (21) from $1.99   
  • New (9) from $3.01   
  • Used (12) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

“An extremely good writer, [Ayers] is well worth reading . . . on the South and Southern history.”—Stephen Sears, Boston Globe
The Southern past has proven to be fertile ground for great works of history. Peculiarities of tragic proportions—a system of slavery flourishing in a land of freedom, secession and Civil War tearing at a federal Union, deep poverty persisting in a nation of fast-paced development—have fed the imaginations of some of our most accomplished historians.
Foremost in their ranks today is Edward L. Ayers, author of the award-winning and ongoing study of the Civil War in the heart of America, the Valley of the Shadow Project. In wide-ranging essays on the Civil War, the New South, and the twentieth-century South, Ayers turns over the rich soil of Southern life to explore the sources of the nation's and his own history. The title essay, original here, distills his vast research and offers a fresh perspective on the nation's central historical event.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Bancroft Prize winner Ayers (In the Presence of Mine Enemies) offers a unique collection of deeply compelling and at times deeply personal essays in which he ponders the South, Southern identity and culture. In fact, only one of these essays deals head-on with the book's title question. In this paper, Ayers makes clear that no one neat answer-economics, the peculiar institution of slavery, or states rights-will do. A subtle combination of all these factors plus regional pride, agrarian idealism and a strong dose of Jeffersonian suspicion of federalism created the schism that led to the Civil War. Other essays take on such topics as Southern wannabes in Northern industrial centers, Reconstruction, a modern definition of the South and the "New South." Several key points run through these essays. Intent on creating a historiography with contemporary value, Ayers insists (with some reason) that the culture-both white and black-of the South has telegraphed itself in vital ways across the national landscape, pervading our roadsides, television screens, radio airwaves and computers. Southern rock is a dominant force: Elvis rules. So do Nascar, John Grisham and Civil War reenactment games for Macintosh and PC computers. Ayers, the spiritual and intellectual heir of C. Vann Woodward, takes in all of this engagingly and eloquently. (June 20) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Bancroft Prize winner Ayers takes time off from his "Valley of the Shadow" project on the Civil War to consider the South's history-and his history as a Southerner. With a three-city tour. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393328530
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/7/2006
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 960,471
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Edward L. Ayers is President of the University of Richmond and Professor of History. His book, In the Presence of Mine Enemies, won the Bancroft Prize in 2004.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 18, 2009

    Eloquent Writer but very disappointed in content

    As a civil war buff from the south I'm always picking up a new book that catches my attention. I thought this book may really be on the "causes" of the civil war rather than on the "X" and "O's" of battle.<BR/><BR/>Unfortunately I was severely dissappointed. Almost none of the book centered around the causes of the war, either perceived or actual. Like a few authors before him, Ayers turns very quickly in the book to demeaning the south and it's intellect, heritage, and differences with the almighty can do no wrong industrialized north. <BR/><BR/>He also spends way too long puffing out his and C. Vann Woodward's chest's as awesome historians. While I am educated and can understand all the three dollar words in the book, I was tempted to skip pages due to all the pomposity in the book.<BR/><BR/>Please skip this book.<BR/><BR/>Danny Littleton<BR/>Tupelo, MS

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)