A fresh and concise history of the dramatic events that created modern America and have haunted its people for the past one-hundred-and-fifty years. lt will be aimed at a wide audience seeking a well-informed, readable and imaginatively written history at a time when divisions within America are the focus of international interest.
It will provide a cogent narrative interwoven with an analysis of a nation at war.
It will look beyond the battlefields to describe the impact of modern, total war on the everyday lives of Americans.
It will also explore the ideals and religious faith of the fighting men in pitched battles in which the odds were against them and in which up to half of those engaged were casualties.
There will be a section on battlefield medicine and the often cruel treatment of prisoners-of war.
At every stage, I shall discuss political and military leadership and answer the question why, after 1863, did the South continue to fight in the face of defeats, heavy losses and invasion.
There will be detailed coverage of little-known subject of the 190,000 black servicemen in the Union army and their importance in securing victory during 1864 and 1865,
In the final section I shall examine how the slaves gained legal equality, but remained marginalised for hundred years.
Further to this I shall consider the impact of the war on the American mind and how wartime divisions became embedded within American society and politics.
The book will include a time-line of events, maps, and a selection of often moving contemporary photographs of the war.
Lawrence James was a founder member of York University and then took a research degree at Merton College, Oxford. After a distinguished teaching career he became a full-time writer in 1985 and has emerged as one of the outstanding narrative historians of his generation. His books include Crimea: The War with Russia in Contemporary Photographs, The Savage Wars: British Campaigns in Africa 1870-1920, Mutiny: Mutinies in British and Commonwealth Forces 1797-1956 and Imperial Rearguard: The Last Wars of Empire.Lawrence James edited the Daily Telegraph British Empire supplement (1997) and was th...
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