In this sweeping history of political ideas, Andrew F. Lang reappraises the Civil War era as a crisis of American exceptionalism. Through this lens, Lang shows how the intellectual, political, and social ramifications of the war and its meaning rippled through the decades that followed, not only for the nation's own people but also in the ways the nation sought to redefine its place on the world stage.
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A Contest of Civilizations successfully reflects the current state of the field, and it should remain the first point of departure for new work on the Civil War's global context for some time to come."—Andre M. Fleche, author of The Revolution of 1861: The American Civil War in the Age of Nationalist Conflict