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Why the Civil War Came

This text is a collection of essays from some of the most prominent American historians discussing the various reasons why the Civil War came about, and also addressing whether or not the war was inevitable. It is intended for general readers with an interest in the Civil War and its causes, and students of American history.
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About the Author

Gabor Boritt is Director of the Civil War Institute and Fluher Professor at Gettysburg College. His books include Lincoln and the Economics of the American Dream, Why the Confederacy Lost, and War Comes Again.


This is Women Studies at its best. * Markku Henriksson, University of Helsinki, EAAS * Elegant, provocative, edifying. * Kenneth Stampp, Morrison Professor, Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley, author of And the War Came and America in 1857: A Nation on the Brink * These always stimulating and sometimes quirky essays explore new dimensions of this endlessly fascinating, yet formative, event in American history. * Michael Perman, Professor of History, University of Illinois at Chicago, author of Emancipation and Reconstruction, 1862-1879 * an invaluable collection of essays exploring a variety of aspects of the war's origins. The book provides the fullest portrait yet available about the relationship of different groups of American society to the coming of war, for it examines the actions and attitudes of women, of African Americans, of Northerners, of Southerners, of politicians, and of ordinary citizens. Highly readable, it offers new approaches to traditional questions and will stimulate fresh discussion about one of the most important problems in American history. It will also be an excellent book for use in undergraduate teaching. * Drew Gilpin Faust, Annenberg Professor, University of Pennsylvania, author of Mothers of Invention: women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War * A fine addition to the distinguished series of Gettysburg Civil War Institute books. * Richard Nelson Current, Distinguished Professor, Emeritus, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, author of Lincoln and the First Shot * Certain to breathe new life into an old subject. * Eric Foner, DeWitt Clinton Professor, Columbia University, author of Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution and Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men * A scintillating look at an historical question that won't go away. The answers, in this collection of seven essays, are fresh and evocative, as seven of the leading scholars in the field offer new perspectives on the role of blacks, women, Lincoln, and the nation's democratic procedures in the coming of the Civil War. The result is `must' reading for all students of the period. * Jean H. Baker, Todd Professor, Goucher College, author of Mary Todd Lincoln and Affairs of Party: The Political Culture of Northern Democrats in the Mid-Nineteenth Century * The war's origin here reveals its many reflections. * Booklist *

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