Best us civil war history books according to redditors

We found 767 Reddit comments discussing the best us civil war history books. We ranked the 298 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

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US civil war confederacy history books
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US civil war women history books
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Top Reddit comments about U.S. Civil War History:

u/katerader · 229 pointsr/history

The majority absolutely recognized that they were being treated unfairly. I think it's probably easiest to see this by reading through any number of the slave narratives that are out there. Many of these were funded by Northern abolitionists/anti-slavery activists during the war.

During the war itself, thousands of enslaved people left the plantations and headed toward Union lines. Many ended up in contraband camps, and many of the men fought as part of the USCT. I don't think they would have put themselves and their families at risk if they believed what their captors believed to be true about them.

After the war, the Great Migration caused thousands to leave their homes for a better life in the North and in Canada. They knew that they would never have been able to make lives for themselves while still living in the South. They sent their young daughters north to cities like Washington, DC to become domestics and hopefully get education and live the American dream.

There are a lot of resources available if you want to learn more. The WPA narratives of the 1930s provide a lot of insight into what many people went through. I believe you can download most for free on iBooks (if you've got an Apple device). iBooks has a lot of other really interesting things for free, like testimonies from anti-slavery societies, etc. A great (and short) read is a book called Our Nig, which is a narrative written by a "free" woman living in New Hampshire during the antebellum period, who is virtually enslaved via indentured servitude. Another is called Aunt Sally: or, The Cross the Way of Freedom which is about a woman enslaved in the deep south who is eventually purchased by her son, some 20 years after she last saw him. There are, of course, thousands of scholarly books about this very subject. Chandra Manning wrote a fairly compelling book called What This Cruel War Was Over, which describes the Civil War and the feelings of average people (black and white) about the war and its causes.

u/Look__a_distraction · 155 pointsr/HistoryPorn

I graduated from The University of Alabama (an obviously deep south school) with a history degree and all history majors I knew took a fantastic class on the civil war taught by a truly great teacher (in my biased opinion). Anyways we were all made to read this book.

Completely changed my view on the cause of the war. Anyone who says the Civil War wasn't because of slavery is either deliberately in denial or retarded.

u/anonymousssss · 78 pointsr/AskHistorians

The last time a major political party died was the Whigs in the lead up to the Civil War. The Whig Party broke apart on the question of slavery. Northern factions became more anti-slavery, while Southern factions refused to abandon slavery. The Party could not contain these contradictory ideas, so it lost support and quickly found its members deserting the Whig Party for alternatives.

As the former Whigs began to abandon their party, new political parties appeared to take them in. Those parties included: the Free Soil Party, the American Party (sometimes known as the 'know-nothing' party) and the Republican Party. By the election of 1856, the Whigs were gone.

Interestingly enough, the Democratic Party also split on the issue of slavery in 1860, with Northern and Southern factions emerging to nominate their own candidates. However, the Democrats were able to recover after the Civil War and continue to be a major party to this day (of course).

The other major parties that died (The Federalists, Democratic-Republicans, National Republicans kinda) weren't really political parties in the sense that we understand them. They were more alliances of elites competing against each other, as opposed to mass mobilizing voters. The Federalists died largely as a result of the total victory of the Democratic-Republicans and the Democratic-Republicans also died largely as a result of their victory, leading to the somewhat party-less period known as the 'Era of Good Feelings.'

All the other parties you mention were minor parties that were either formed as result of a brief split from the major parties (Southern Democrats) or as a the result of a single influential man creating the party as a platform to run on (the Progressive Party).

In a sense the only true major political party that has died was the Whig Party.

So now comes the real question, why has there not been another party collapse in the 150 or so years after the Civil War? Why have we stuck to the Democrat/Republican divide, even as those parties have changed radically both in supporters and in issues?

The answer is that absent an issue so divisive as that it literally led to civil war, parties are pretty damn durable. Every time a major challenger to the two parties has emerged (such as the Progressive Party in 1912), one or both of the two parties have adjusted themselves and their issues to try to be welcoming to those voters and issues. Thus the Democratic Party moves from being a small government party in the 19th century, to being a progressive party in the early 20th to being the party of the New Deal in the mid-20th century.

In America's two party system, which is reinforced by our first-past-the-post system of elections, parties should be viewed less as solid ideological actors and more as alliances of disparate interests that come together in order to seek political advantage. Thus you have labor and environmentalists largely in the same party, not because those two views are immediately reconcilable, but because it is an advantageous political alliance. When those alliances break down, groups may switch from one party to another (something called 'realignment'). Thus the two parties survive, even as supporters and issues may change.

This is quickly veering into the realm of a political science discussion, so I'll just end here with a few quick answers to your questions.

  1. The final years of the Whig Party were the chaotic years leading up to the Civil War.
  2. The Whigs kept nominating war heroes in an attempt to find consensus
  3. Lots of new minor parties and the Civil War

u/Wegmarken · 45 pointsr/BlackPeopleTwitter

>Enthroning Kin Cotton, the cotton gin made the value of southern lands skyrocket and quickly dethroned rice and tobacco. King CoTton incessantly demanded more and more to stabilize its reign: more enslaved Africans, more land, more violence, and more racist ideas. Annual cotton production slammed through the ceiling of about 3,000 bales in 1790, reaching 178,000 bales in 1810 and more than 4 million bales on the eve of the Civil War. Cotton became America's leading export, exceeding in dollar value all exports...

Page 126. Footnote for this passage points to Peter Kochin's American Slavery and Holt's Children of Fire. Kendi gives a long and sustained analysis of the relationship between economics and slavery. I remember Zinn making similar points as well.

u/letsjustsee · 41 pointsr/politics

Abraham Lincoln was a big-government liberal. Southern conservatives hate him:

u/supes1 · 32 pointsr/politics

Lee's legacy actually really grew in the post-Civil War, not only for his accomplishments as a general. I recommended this book below, which discusses Lee's actual accomplishments, as well as how his legacy was framed (and changed) in the period following the Civil War and Reconstruction.

/r/askhistorians is a better place for this kind of discussion, but I'd say the statues generally represent his legacy as an individual. But (for what it's worth) he is in a soldier's garb in every statue that I'm aware of.

Again, just to reiterate (so people don't take this the wrong way), I absolutely support the removal of the Confederate statues because of what they represent. I just grow frustrated that some people are using this as an opportunity to vilify Lee as a person, when the truth is far more complicated.

u/CupBeEmpty · 31 pointsr/AskAnAmerican

A History of the American People

or if you are a dirty commie

A People's History.

Honestly they are a yin and yang that do an amazing job of giving you US history in broad strokes.

Other than those Chernow on Washington or just this.

u/1nfiniterealities · 28 pointsr/socialwork

Texts and Reference Books

Days in the Lives of Social Workers


Child Development, Third Edition: A Practitioner's Guide

Racial and Ethnic Groups

Social Work Documentation: A Guide to Strengthening Your Case Recording

Cognitive Behavior Therapy: Basics and Beyond

[Thoughts and Feelings: Taking Control of Your Moods and Your Life]

Interpersonal Process in Therapy: An Integrative Model

[The Clinical Assessment Workbook: Balancing Strengths and Differential Diagnosis]

Helping Abused and Traumatized Children

Essential Research Methods for Social Work

Navigating Human Service Organizations

Privilege: A Reader

Play Therapy with Children in Crisis

The Color of Hope: People of Color Mental Health Narratives

The School Counseling and School Social Work Treatment Planner

Streets of Hope : The Fall and Rise of an Urban Neighborhood

Deviant Behavior

Social Work with Older Adults

The Aging Networks: A Guide to Programs and Services

[Grief and Bereavement in Contemporary Society: Bridging Research and Practice]

Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy

Motivational Interviewing: Helping People Change

Ethnicity and Family Therapy

Human Behavior in the Social Environment: Perspectives on Development and the Life Course

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work

Generalist Social Work Practice: An Empowering Approach

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association

The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook

DBT Skills Manual for Adolescents

DBT Skills Manual

DBT Skills Training Handouts and Worksheets

Social Welfare: A History of the American Response to Need


[A People’s History of the United States]

The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Life For Me Ain't Been No Crystal Stair

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Tuesdays with Morrie

The Death Class <- This one is based off of a course I took at my undergrad university

The Quiet Room

Girl, Interrupted

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden

Flowers for Algernon

Of Mice and Men

A Child Called It

Go Ask Alice

Under the Udala Trees

Prozac Nation

It's Kind of a Funny Story

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Yellow Wallpaper

The Bell Jar

The Outsiders

To Kill a Mockingbird

u/FT_Diomedes · 22 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

This actually had nothing to do with unions at the outset. The tradition predates unions by quite a bit. It started with immense economic opportunity driven by cheap land and labor shortages. This tied with English traditions about individualism and free labor.

Unlike workers all over the world, Americans have a tradition of not being bound to one particular job or employer. At will employment benefits the workers when you live in a land of scarce labor, immense availability of land, and enormous opportunity. The conflict between free labor traditions in the North and unfree labor traditions in the South (enabled by a color-coded slave system) was one of the most important tensions between ~1820-1865.

Now, as immigration increases (more labor available) and the opportunity to get new land or new jobs goes down (no more frontier and increasing urbanization and mechanization), then at will employment now benefits employers more. But this was not the case for much of U.S. history.

Eric Foner, Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men: The Ideology of the Republican Party before the Civil War (available at

Edmund S. Morgan, American Slavery, American Freedom (

u/BillScorpio · 22 pointsr/bestof

Stories abound that this assessment that you just "picked your family" or "picked your state" aren't correct, just FYI. It was much more complicated than you think.

Same with "citations" for arguments. Read this book as a starting place. It is pretty settled that the only valid reason that the South had for secession was economic anxiety from the removal of the barbaric slave trade. They were to choose between owning people as property (an untenable act) and having less money. They chose owning people. They lost.

u/mhornberger · 17 pointsr/changemyview

> to actually kind of getting it.

Unfortunately the "it" you've gotten is the Neoconfederate whitewashing of history. I recommend you read:

  • Declarations of Causes of Seceding States
  • The Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader.

  • Race and Reunion - covers much of the whitewashing of the South's motives, and the refocusing from slavery to the value-neutral worship of battlefield heroes.

    The South was not genocidal, so no, they weren't literally Hitler. But they did secede over slavery. "No, they seceded over the right to own slaves" is the same thing. Be very careful accepting the Neo-Confederate whitewashing of American history. As their own words indicate, institutions and beliefs they fought for all boiled down to white supremacy and slavery. They were not advocates for states' rights, and the Confederacy itself did not give its states the right to decide slavery.

    Here is a decent article on the subject. Here is another decent list of quotations from prominent Southerners on the centrality of slavery leading up to the Civil War.

    Be careful falling for the "they fought for their beliefs" argument. No kidding, the Nazis and iSIS and everyone who isn't a straight mercenary is fighting for beliefs. That alone is not ennobling of the cause. We still have to look at the cause for which they fought. Moral neutrality is in practice just a fig-leaf covering what someone happens to admire, or at the very least they don't find it all that offensive.
u/mugrimm · 15 pointsr/ChapoTrapHouse

These should be the top recommendations hands down, both of these books were designed with your specific goal in mind:

A People's History of America - This focuses on history of the US from the perspective of the everyman rather than the 'big man' side of history where every politician is a gentle statesman. It shows just how barbaric and ghoulish those in charge often are.

Lies My Teacher Told Me. - Similar to the last one, this one shows how modern history loves to pretend all sorts of shit did not happen or ignore anything that's even slightly discomforting, like the idea that Henry Ford literally inspired Hitler, both in a model industry and anti-semitism.

These are both relatively easy reads with lots of praise.

Adam Curtis docs are always good, I recommend starting with one called "Black Power" which answers the question "What happens to African countries when they try to play ball with the west?"

u/Dr_Scientist_ · 15 pointsr/AskALiberal
u/usa_rebuilt_europe · 14 pointsr/europe

Absolutely undoubtedly not.

Those three books demonstrate it beyond a shadow of a doubt. It isn't an old fashioned view. The old fashioned view is the one you are telling that rose to prominence because the old southern guard wrote and propagandized it from 1861-1910s when it became the received wisdom. But it is wrong. We have the state documents, the commissioners, we have letters, we have an extensive history of southerners eroding their own democratic rights and instituting a dictatorship. The south was not a democracy even considering white men. It was a single party state under the thumb of a consolidated self-aware oligarchy. The southerners had legitimate grievances and illegitimate grievances but this is the real historiography of the civil war and how people change their minds about it:

  1. Public school --> slavery

  2. High school/precociousness/intro-class --> state rights

  3. Actually studying it --> Slavery, slavery, slavery, slavery
u/smileyman · 14 pointsr/AskHistorians

Speaking of The Wilderness--one of my favorite stories from the Civil War happened after that battle. Despite a two day battle in which there were 15,000 to 18,000 Union casualties (some of them having been burned alive when fire swept the battlefield), when Grant ordered his army to follow Confederate forces the troops cheered him until their voices were raw. After every battle, whether the result was a win, lose or draw, it seemed like the army paused to regroup itself and let the enemy escape. This time Grant was determined to take the fight to the enemy and the morale improvement among his soldiers was immediate and drastic.

>Further, the South focused on agrarian pursuits while the North contained many factories. This crippled the South's ability to manufacture everything needed for modern war. Rifles and artillery are an obvious need, but railroad tracks were also in huge demand for almost the entire war (despite the limited actual track mileage).

Railroad tracks were a huge advantage for the North. The Tredegar Iron Works was the single largest iron mill in the South, and the only one that could fix railroad ties that had been bent and twisted. Lack of manpower for the armies meant that many of the skilled workers needed to run the mill were instead in the army. Lack of raw material hampered this even further. For example, in June of 1861 the quality of iron was so poor that the mill was unable to produce a single piece of artillery all month long--devastating to an army in desperate need of munitions, armor and railroads.

>If your interested in building up a good base of knowledge on the US Civil war, I would recommend Russel F. Weigley's A Great Civil War[1] .

I'm a big fan of Shelby Foote's three volume set on The Civil War. It's considerably longer than Weigley's work and some find it dense, but I love it.

u/ombudsmen · 13 pointsr/AskHistorians

Napolitano really sneaks in the "Lincoln tried to arm the slaves" line in the interview without much context. I was hoping to tackle this, but I'm not sure where he is coming from.

Can we speak to what position he might be making this claim from?

Lincoln dispels any notion of support for John Brown in his famous Cooper Union Speech on Feb. 27, 1860. There were some prominent Northern supporters and funders of Brown's (a few of whom fled to Canada after the raid on Harper's Ferry), but attempting to tie their ambitions of an armed slave uprising to Lincoln would be tenuous at best.

My reading and research into Brown hasn't shown any other connection there aside from the strange linkage of Lincoln's love of "Battle Hymn of the Republic," which was written to the tune of "John Brown's Body," which was written by Julia Ward Howe after visiting Lincoln in Washington. Howe was wife of Samuel Gridley Howe, who himself was one of the "Secret Six" funders of Brown's raid. This New York Times post recognizes this connection as fairly ironic given Lincoln's previous attempts to distance himself from Brown and concedes that Lincoln appears ignorant to the tune's origin. It's more of an interesting factoid than anything else.

More information of the Howes and Brown's supporters:
> Nora Titone, My Thoughts Be Bloody: The Bitter Rivalry That Led to the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln (New York: Free Press, 2011).

As an aside, there does appear to be well-researched documentation for the Confederacy's attempts to arm slaves. Near the end of the war as the military situation worsened for the South, there was support for allowing slaves to earn their freedom by fighting for the Confederacy. The first all-black company was formed in Richmond in late-March of 1865, then the capital city fell to the Union a week later.

Bruce Levine has written about this in "Confederate Emancipation: Southern Plans to Free and Arm Slaves during the Civil War." A quick journal review of his work is here for those interested.

u/HillaryBrokeTheLaw · 12 pointsr/WayOfTheBern

> And in response to the hordes of people who will insist that not voting is irresponsible and support the age old lie that if we just can get the right people in power then, then, the system will turn around – Such naive assertions should be met with a dose of reality which is glaringly clear through a cursory look at history. Such people should have to explain at what point in time there has been a sea change in our system from where it started from genocidal slavers to benevolent rulers, because such a change is nonexistent, and all one need do to figure this out is pick up a copy of Howard Zinn’s book A People’s History of the United States. What’s been there from the get go to present is abuse, stemming from the very origins of western civilization and top down social hierarchy.
>When the people claim they achieved a victory what they have really achieved amounts to a gesture that shuts them up. It’s analogous to hungry child crying that has just irritated their abusive parent enough they finally concede to give them an extra morsel of food. The child then celebrates like they won a battle however the child is still in the abusive state but now thinks their wails do something. What they don’t realize is if they get annoying enough what they will be met with is not another conciliatory gesture but a beating.

We live in a perpetual system of abuse.

u/[deleted] · 11 pointsr/EnoughLibertarianSpam

Once again I reference the /r/askhistorian thread and this great book recommendation. Every argument revolving around State's Rights, comes back to slavery.

I'm fed up with the petty, childish "souths" reinventing of a conflict they started and continue to hold onto despite losing over 100 years ago. Germany has had better standards dealing with post-WWII/WW1 than the southern half of the U.S.

u/M1k3yd33tofficial · 11 pointsr/pics
u/Devlar_Omica · 11 pointsr/changemyview

Link is to a book called Apostles of Disunion: Southern Secession Commissioners and the Causes of the Civil War.

Read the arguments of the men appointed by southern legislatures, men whose job it was to confer with other states and convince them of the need to maintain slavery. Their arguments are primarily, if not exclusively, about slavery and the necessity of maintaining the purity of the races and how intolerable it would be to permit their slaves to live normal lives as free persons. Even if we take them entirely at their word, states rights is far from their tongues and certainly not the top billing.

u/elos_ · 10 pointsr/SubredditDrama

Fun facts:

> Even more revealing was their attachment to slavery. Among the enlistees in 1861, slightly more than one in ten owned slaves personally. This compared favorably to the Confederacy as a whole, in which one in every twenty white persons owned slaves. Yet more than one in every four volunteers that first year lived with parents who were slaveholders. Combining those soldiers who owned slaves with those soldiers who lived with slaveholding family members, the proportion rose to 36 percent. That contrasted starkly with the 24.9 percent, or one in every four households, that owned slaves in the South, based on the 1860 census. Thus, volunteers in 1861 were 42 percent more likely to own slaves themselves or to live with family members who owned slaves than the general population.

> The attachment to slavery, though, was even more powerful. One in every ten volunteers in 1861 did not own slaves themselves but lived in households headed by non family members who did. This figure, combined with the 36 percent who owned or whose family members owned slaves, indicated that almost one of every two 1861 recruits lived with slaveholders. Nor did the direct exposure stop there. Untold numbers of enlistees rented land from, sold crops to, or worked for slaveholders. In the final tabulation, the vast majority of the volunteers of 1861 had a direct connection to slavery. For slaveholder and nonslaveholder alike, slavery lay at the heart of the Confederate nation. The fact that their paper notes frequently depicted scenes of slaves demonstrated the institution's central role and symbolic value to the Confederacy.

> More than half the officers in 1861 owned slaves, and none of them lived with family members who were slaveholders. Their substantial median combined wealth ($5,600) and average combined wealth ($8,979) mirrored that high proportion of slave ownership. By comparison, only one in twelve enlisted men owned slaves, but when those who lived with family slave owners were included, the ratio exceeded one in three. That was 40 percent above the tally for all households in the Old South. With the inclusion of those who resided in nonfamily slaveholding households, the direct exposure to bondage among enlisted personnel was four of every nine. Enlisted men owned less wealth, with combined levels of $1,125 for the median and $7,079 for the average, but those numbers indicated a fairly comfortable standard of living. Proportionately, far more officers were likely to be professionals in civil life, and their age difference, about four years older than enlisted men, reflected their greater accumulated wealth.


u/captmonkey · 10 pointsr/AskHistorians

It's a bit of fact and a bit of propaganda. There are many claims in here, so I'll probably miss some, but let me start with the first big red flag that's demonstrably not true:
>And in the blighting shadow of Slavery letters die and art cannot live. What book has the South ever given to the libraries of the world? What work of art has she ever added to its galleries? What artist has she produced…

There were several big names from the south in literature during the Antebellum period. The best example I can think of, William Gilmore Simms, whom Edgar Allen Poe praised as "the best novelist which this country, on the whole, has produced.". The south even had at least one literary magazine that I know of, The Southern Literary Messenger, also edited by Poe for a short time, coincidentally. It's safe to say the south was not suffering for lack of writers during that period.

As for fine arts, I'm struggling to come up with native southern painters who remained in the south through their lives, though I'm not well-versed in art history. If you expand that to painters born elsewhere who worked in the south, I can come up with some like John Audubon and George Caleb Bingham. There are probably others, but I have to admit that art history is totally out of my realm of knowledge.

As for the greater claim of the entire article:
>Possessed of all the raw materials of manufactures and the arts, its inhabitants look to the North for everything they need from the cradle to the coffin. Essentially agricultural in its constitution, with every blessing Nature can bestow upon it, the gross value of all its productions is less by millions than that of the simple grass of the field gathered into Northern barns. With all the means and materials of wealth, the South is poor.

There's some truth in that. No, the south did not have much industry outside of agriculture, save for a few places in eastern states like Virginia. However, I'd say it's a stretch to say that the South looked to the North for everything they needed. Most of the whites in the south weren't plantation owners, but subsistence farmers who mostly took care of their own needs. The claim that the difference in economy was due to slavery is mostly true. In order to support industry, you need people to sell things to. Slaves don't need that many goods, so producing goods to sell is less enticing in such a market.

>Why are they subjected to a censorship of the press, which dictates to them what they may or may not read, and which punishes booksellers with exile and ruin for keeping for sale what they want to buy? Why must Northern publishers expurgate and emasculate the literature of the world before it is permitted to reach them?

There's a small bit of truth to the censorship, but I only know of one very specific case of censorship. There was an outrage among southerners in 1835 over mailed abolitionist pamphlets, Post Master General Amos Kendall allowed them to be banned them from being mailed to the south. During this time, several southern states also passed laws against distributing abolitionist literature.

The bigger issue here might be that of self-censorship. I think this goes beyond people who might have believed in abolition privately, but publicly denounced it (although those certainly existed as well). Newspapers in the south, even those that took a more liberal stance, seemed unable to reconcile that the system of slavery their part of the country relied on was an inherent evil. A great example of this is Brownlow's Whig, a newspaper created by William Brownlow, who would eventually serve as governor and senator of TN, following the Civil War. I choose Brownlow because he's the perfect example of this confusing dichotomy and the shifting view of some southerners on slavery. When the paper begins in the 1830s, he is decidedly pro-slavery. As the war approaches, he continues to support slavery, but he is staunchly opposed to secession. During and after secession, he continues to oppose secession and in the meantime, his views on slavery shift. First, he begins to admit that Union is more important than slavery before finally taking a flat-out abolitionist stance by the end of the war.

From a transcript published in the July 2, 1864 issue of his paper, illustrating the strange position before advocating complete abolition:
>I do now know that I would be willing to go so far as probably he would. But I cordially agree with him in this -- I think, considering what has been done about slavery, taking the thing as it now stands, overlooking altogether, either in the way of condemnation or in the way of approval, any act that has brought us to the point where we are, but believing in my conscience and with all my heart, that what has brought us where we are in the matter of slavery, is the original sin and folly of treason and secession, because you remember that the Chicago Convention itself was understood today and I believe it virtually did explicitly say that they would not touch slavery in the States. ... We are prepared to demand not only that the whole territory of the United States shall not be made slave, but that the General Government, both the war power and the peace power, to put slavery as nearly possible back where it was -- for although that would be a fearful state of society, it is better than anarchy; or else use the whole power of the Government, both of war and peace, and all the practicable power that the people of the United States will give them to exterminate and extinguish slavery.

It's pretty clear that no one told Brownlow not to talk about abolition. His paper was known for being inflammatory and he didn't really care what the authorities had to say. It was shut down and reopened several times over the years as he fled from public backlash, assassination attempts, and eventually the Confederate army. It changed names almost as often as he changed locations including: Tennessee Whig, The Whig, The Jonesborough Whig, The Jonesborough Whig and Independent Journal, The Knoxville Whig and Independent Journal, and perhaps most colorfully, Brownlow's Knoxville Whig and Rebel Ventilator. My point being, it was pretty clear that he didn't care if he upset people and wasn't the type of man who wouldn't talk about abolition because it might against some regulation. He didn't believe in abolition for other, personal reasons until later on. I think this might be indicative of the more widespread form of "censorship" and not talking about abolition.

As far as the entire article, it seems to fall into the old view of looking reasons why the south was backward rather than seeing the north as revolutionary and the south as being more in step with other countries, like those in Europe and Russia. I agree with James McPherson's assessment in Battle Cry of Freedom that the war was the south's counter revolution to an economic, social, and political revolution that was happening in the north. In short: the article presents a heavily biased, though not completely untrue view of the south and its problems.

edit: added more sources and expanded a bit.

u/Pylons · 10 pointsr/pics

> I would love to see you source that number.

"Even more revealing was their attachment to slavery. Among the enlistees in 1861, slightly more than one in ten owned slaves personally. This compared favorably to the Confederacy as a whole, in which one in every twenty white persons owned slaves. Yet more than one in every four volunteers that first year lived with parents who were slaveholders. Combining those soldiers who owned slaves with those soldiers who lived with slaveholding family members, the proportion rose to 36 percent. That contrasted starkly with the 24.9 percent, or one in every four households, that owned slaves in the South, based on the 1860 census. Thus, volunteers in 1861 were 42 percent more likely to own slaves themselves or to live with family members who owned slaves than the general population.

The attachment to slavery, though, was even more powerful. One in every ten volunteers in 1861 did not own slaves themselves but lived in households headed by non family members who did. This figure, combined with the 36 percent who owned or whose family members owned slaves, indicated that almost one of every two 1861 recruits lived with slaveholders. Nor did the direct exposure stop there. Untold numbers of enlistees rented land from, sold crops to, or worked for slaveholders. In the final tabulation, the vast majority of the volunteers of 1861 had a direct connection to slavery. For slaveholder and nonslaveholder alike, slavery lay at the heart of the Confederate nation. The fact that their paper notes frequently depicted scenes of slaves demonstrated the institution's central role and symbolic value to the Confederacy.

More than half the officers in 1861 owned slaves, and none of them lived with family members who were slaveholders. Their substantial median combined wealth ($5,600) and average combined wealth ($8,979) mirrored that high proportion of slave ownership. By comparison, only one in twelve enlisted men owned slaves, but when those who lived with family slave owners were included, the ratio exceeded one in three. That was 40 percent above the tally for all households in the Old South. With the inclusion of those who resided in nonfamily slaveholding households, the direct exposure to bondage among enlisted personnel was four of every nine. Enlisted men owned less wealth, with combined levels of $1,125 for the median and $7,079 for the average, but those numbers indicated a fairly comfortable standard of living. Proportionately, far more officers were likely to be professionals in civil life, and their age difference, about four years older than enlisted men, reflected their greater accumulated wealth."

u/boyerling3 · 10 pointsr/Dallas

But that's not really accurate. There were no proposals in 1860 to abolish slavery. There were, however a few developments that were certainly anti-slavery (and not just anti-expansion of slavery) such as Harper's Ferry and opposition to the Fugitive Slave Act.

However most sectional tensions revolved around the fights and proposals in the antebellum period regarding the status of slavery in the West including:
-Annexation of Texas (1845)
-Mexican American War (46-48)
-Wilmot Proviso (46)
-Emergence of the Free-Soil Party (48-52)
-Compromise of 1850
-Lack of government support to the Filibusters in Central America (1850s)
-Creation of Republican Party (54)
-Failure of the Ostend Manifesto (54)
-Kansas-Nebraska act (56)
-Bleeding Kansas (55-56)
-Dred Scott Decision (57)
-Lecompton Constitution (1857)
-Lincoln-Douglas Debates (1858)

All of these events that increased sectionalism and contributed to secession were focused on the acquisition of more land and whether that land would be slave or free as well as who even would get to determine the slave/free status of that land.

I'm actually reading a great book about the period right now: The Impending Crisis: America Before the Civil War 1848-1861

u/sertorius42 · 10 pointsr/Dallas

Have you read any of the state's declarations of secession? Here's excerpts from Georgia's:

Opening lines: "The people of Georgia having dissolved their political connection with the Government of the United States of America, present to their confederates and the world the causes which have led to the separation. For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery."

It literally cites the growth of a political party committed to abolition of slavery as the main reason to break away from the Union: "The party of Lincoln, called the Republican party, under its present name and organization, is of recent origin. It is admitted to be an anti-slavery party. While it attracts to itself by its creed the scattered advocates of exploded political heresies, of condemned theories in political economy, the advocates of commercial restrictions, of protection, of special privileges, of waste and corruption in the administration of Government, anti-slavery is its mission and its purpose. By anti-slavery it is made a power in the state. The question of slavery was the great difficulty in the way of the formation of the Constitution. While the subordination and the political and social inequality of the African race was fully conceded by all, it was plainly apparent that slavery would soon disappear from what are now the non-slave-holding States of the original thirteen. The opposition to slavery was then, as now, general in those States and the Constitution was made with direct reference to that fact. But a distinct abolition party was not formed in the United States for more than half a century after the Government went into operation."

The big problem, according to Georgia, is that the North has become increasingly anti-slavery. They also cite the argument (a straw man, given how racist most everyone was in 1861) that abolitionists favor racial equality in addition to abolition. "The prohibition of slavery in the Territories, hostility to it everywhere, the equality of the black and white races, disregard of all constitutional guarantees it its favor, were boldly proclaimed by its leaders and applauded by its followers.

With these principles on their banners and these utterances on their lips the majority of the people of the North demand that we shall receive them as our rulers.

The prohibition of slavery in the Territories is the cardinal principle of this organization."

"Slave" or "slavery" appear 35 times in the document. "Right" appears only 7. "Nullification" appears 0. I'd be interested to hear any historians' opinions you can offer on the Nullification Crisis, which occurred in Andrew Jackson's presidency, was the main cause for a war 30 years later. I studied history in undergrad and took a Civil War history course. Almost every historian we read, especially anyone writing after 1930, cited slavery as the primary cause for the war. I would recommend anyone curious about what individual soldiers felt to check out Manning's What This Cruel War Was Over, which combs through hundreds of primary source letters, memoirs, etc. from soldiers and officers from both sides. Amazon link here.

u/zxlkho · 9 pointsr/ChapoTrapHouse
u/cloudatlas93 · 9 pointsr/socialism

This book is a great beginner's guide to Marx, very easy to understand and has all of the basics.

A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn is also a great socialist history of the US and includes some anecdotes about radical religious figures.

I would also point him towards anything by Father Dan Berrigan.

u/KretschmarSchuldorff · 8 pointsr/WarCollege

For the American Civil War:

Jean Edward Smith's Grant biography goes into some detail regarding logistics, as Grant's experience as a Quartermaster during the Mexican-American War, in particular when Scott's army was cut off from supplies during the Mexico City campaign, influenced actions like Grant's mule train to Chattanooga to relieve Rosecrans, and Sherman's March to the Sea.

However, it's not purely about the logistics of the war, which is covered in some more detail in McPherson's Battle Cry of Freedom, especially the comparisons of the economics of the Union and Confederate states.

And regarding World War II, the US Army Center of Military History has published two free books:

u/TOTES_NOT_SPAM · 8 pointsr/history

The authoritative documentary on the Civil War is definitely Ken Burns' "The Civil War". Extremely in depth, but some people aren't crazy about Ken Burns' style - mostly narration over historic images interspersed with interviews. It's also long - 9 episodes for a total of just under 12 hours. I'm sure you could find it online.

If you want more of a big picture view of the war, I'd recommend this book by Kenneth C. Davis). I read it on my own after high school and felt like I developed a better understanding of the war from just this book than I did from all of my high school history courses.

u/JimH10 · 7 pointsr/CIVILWAR

The most-often recommended single volume is Battle Cry of Freedom.

If Gettysburg is an interest, I found Hallowed Ground by the same author to be a good read. More exhaustive is Sears's Gettysburg, which helped me to understand a very dynamic picture.

Finally, we often get inquiries about the roots of the war. The Pulitzer Prize winning
Impending Crisis is first-rate.

u/taylororo · 7 pointsr/dataisbeautiful

Except your questions do have an answer. By real historians. And they agree that racism, the lost cause, and the white south's attempt to erase the idea that slavery was a cause of the ACW. These monuments were to justify the philosophical basis of Jim Crow and the white southern way of life (and to give norhterners an excuse not to care)

While it's cool that you question everything, the rest of reddit just jumped onto the first not racist sound theory. Even though the actual history - super racist.

u/NonHomogenized · 6 pointsr/SubredditDrama

> Lee didn't own slaves, his family freed them years before.

In 1857, George Washington Parke Custis - the father of Mary Custis Lee (the wife of Robert E. Lee) died. In his will, he stipulated that all of the Arlington slaves should be freed upon his death if the estate was found to be in good financial standing or within five years otherwise (technically, this was a court ruling interpreting the relevant clause).

Robert E. Lee was the executor of his estate, and his wife inherited the Arlington estate (and slaves).

Robert E. Lee issued his Emancipation Proclamation freeing those slaves on January 2, 1863. The day after Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. Regarding slaves on the Arlington estate in Northern Virginia, which had been in the hands of the Union since secession, and which had been occupied by Union troops since May 24, 1861.

> This is repeated again and again for many people fighting. People fought in that war for a bunch of reasons.

"Among the enlistees in 1861, slightly more than one in ten owned slaves personally. This compared favorably to the Confederacy as a whole, in which one in every twenty white persons owned slaves. Yet more than one in every four volunteers that first year lived with parents who were slaveholders. Combining those soldiers who owned slaves with those soldiers who lived with slaveholding family members, the proportion rose to 36 percent. That contrasted starkly with the 24.9 percent, or one in every four households, that owned slaves in the South, based on the 1860 census. Thus, volunteers in 1861 were 42 percent more likely to own slaves themselves or to live with family members who owned slaves than the general population.

The attachment to slavery, though, was even more powerful. One in every ten volunteers in 1861 did not own slaves themselves but lived in households headed by non family members who did. This figure, combined with the 36 percent who owned or whose family members owned slaves, indicated that almost one of every two 1861 recruits lived with slaveholders. Nor did the direct exposure stop there. Untold numbers of enlistees rented land from, sold crops to, or worked for slaveholders. In the final tabulation, the vast majority of the volunteers of 1861 had a direct connection to slavery. For slaveholder and nonslaveholder alike, slavery lay at the heart of the Confederate nation. The fact that their paper notes frequently depicted scenes of slaves demonstrated the institution’s central role and symbolic value to the Confederacy.

More than half the officers in 1861 owned slaves, and none of them lived with family members who were slaveholders." - historian Joseph T. Glatthaar, General Lee's Army: From Victory to Collapse

They may have fought for many reasons... but an awfully large portion of those reasons involved slavery.

u/barkevious2 · 6 pointsr/USCivilWar

> I've seen estimates indicating that around 10% of Confederate soldiers actually owned slaves.

Actual ownership of slaves is a poor metric. After all, slave renters, slave patrols, overseers, and the wives and children of slave-holders did not necessarily hold legal title to any slaves, either. Yet it would be foolish to suggest that they were not intimately involved in the institution.

I suppose that if you're trying to quantify the connection between Confederate soldiers and slavery, you could do worse than looking at the number of Confederate soldiers who came from slave-holding families. Glatthaar, in General Lee's Army, estimates that 25% of Confederate soldiers volunteering in 1861 (before the draft, and before the extension of enlistments for the duration of the war) came from such families, making them "42 percent more likely to own slaves themselves or to live with family members who owned slaves than the general population."

Of course, this quantification is all rather academic and irrelevant. As Christopher Graham at the American Civil War Museum explains, "[o]ne did not need to own slaves to commit to the broad Confederate national vision that was based on slavery, or to fear the outcome of slavery’s destruction." The Confederate South was, in its own mind, a Herrenvolk democracy in which every white man had an interest in the maintenance of a racial order defined by slavery and white supremacy, regardless of whether they owned slaves themselves.

> I tend to agree with Shelby Foote that the average Confederate soldier was fighting because the southern way of life, which clearly included an economy fueled by slave labor, was threatened, or, at least they perceived it to be under threat. So, there were a tapestry of reasons that can't just be distilled down to support for slavery or white supremacy (although, the vast majority clearly were both).

Sure. I agree.

> I think it's totally legitimate to discuss why the average Confederate soldier fought in the war because, without the formidable man power confronting the Union, there would have been no rebellion.

Of course it's legitimate. That's why prominent historians have been doing it for decades. But we have to draw a bright line of demarcation between talking about "the cause of the Civil War" and talking about "why the men fought." Those are two very different questions. Each has a distinct, if related, answer. Confusing the two is a common tactic of Lost Cause writers who either are not historians or are historians committing professional malpractice.

> Somehow, the cultural elites and the media were successful in mobilizing men to die for their individual states and /or the Confederacy itself.

This is exactly the sort of "incomplete picture" I talked about above. Seeing the Confederate story as one of common men mobilized by elites to fight a war removes moral and political agency from those common men. This is a dangerous oversimplification.

u/ZzzSleepyheadzzZ · 6 pointsr/AskAnAmerican

For a historical perspective, I highly recommend the book Americans in Paris by David McCullugh to see how France was a major magnet for Americans in the 19th century

As others mentioned, several Founding Fathers were influenced by French culture and philosophies.

Today, French cooking is considered a prestigious style, and French luxury brands are still popular in the United States.

u/aldenhg · 6 pointsr/news

Yeah, maybe they got bit by a pit once. My mom was attacked by a golden retriever and for a quite while afterwords she was understandably leery of goldies. The difference being that golden retrievers aren't vilified in popular culture due to their association with dog fighting.

Here's a really good book on the topic.

u/omaca · 6 pointsr/history

I'm going to be lazy and simply repost a post of mine from a year ago. :)

The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes is a well deserved winner of the Pulitzer Prize. A combination of history, science and biography and so very well written.

A few of my favourite biographies include the magisterial, and also Pulitzer Prize winning, Peter the Great by Robert Massie. He also wrote the wonderful Dreadnaught on the naval arms race between Britain and Germany just prior to WWI (a lot more interesting than it sounds!). Christopher Hibbert was one of the UK's much loved historians and biographers and amongst his many works his biography Queen Victoria - A Personal History is one of his best. Finally, perhaps my favourite biography of all is Everitt's Cicero - The Life and Times of Rome's Greatest Politician. This man was at the centre of the Fall of the Roman Republic; and indeed fell along with it.

Speaking of which, Rubicon - The Last Years of the Roman Republic is a recent and deserved best-seller on this fascinating period. Holland writes well and gives a great overview of the events, men (and women!) and unavoidable wars that accompanied the fall of the Republic, or the rise of the Empire (depending upon your perspective). :) Holland's Persian Fire on the Greco-Persian Wars (think Cyrus, Darius, Xerxes! Think of the Movie 300, if you must) is equally gripping.

Perhaps my favourite history book, or series, of all is Shelby Foote's magisterial trilogy on the American Civil War The Civil War - A Narrative. Quite simply one of the best books I've ever read.

If, like me, you're interested in teh history of Africa, start at the very beginning with The Wisdom of the Bones by Alan Walker and Pat Shipman (both famous paleoanthropologists). Whilst not the very latest in recent studies (nothing on Homo floresiensis for example), it is still perhaps the best introduction to human evolution available. Certainly the best I've come across. Then check out Africa - Biography of a Continent. Finish with the two masterpieces The Scramble for Africa on how European colonialism planted the seeds of the "dark continents" woes ever since, and The Washing of the Spears, a gripping history of the Anglo-Zulu wars of the 1870's. If you ever saw the movie Rorke's Drift or Zulu!, you will love this book.

Hopkirk's The Great Game - The Struggle for Empire in Central Asia teaches us that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

I should imagine that's enough to keep you going for the moment. I have plenty more suggestions if you want. :)

u/Kytescall · 6 pointsr/SubredditDrama

Lol. One reviewer is not happy about this book at all:

>VERY one-sided view of the War of Northern Aggression

>Sad to say, biased writers are still leaving out the facts. I was disappointed in this thick book with page after page of the same old revisionist history we've been fed since the North invaded the South and denied them their Constitutionally guaranteed State's Rights. The South had no desire to fight, they simply wanted to secede quietly, then live and let live. A better book to read that is succinct, completely factual and not nearly as drawn out is "Facts The Historians Leave Out" John S. Tilley : The author states his facts well and clearly. He acknowledges that both the North and the South were responsible for the Civil War. The book was thought-provoking, making me really consider what I believed.

Emphasis added for irony.

u/sedatemenow · 6 pointsr/BlackPeopleTwitter

All God’s Danger’s: The Life of Nate Shaw

Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution 1863-1877
All God’s Dangers is the first person story of a share cropper who was the son of a slave.
Reconstruction is a scholarly book on the period of US history directly after the civil war.

u/Solidarity_5_Ever · 5 pointsr/suggestmeabook

Lol no. D’Souza is a far right revisionist historian who literally argues FDR was a fascist and JFK was a Nazi. He’s a token of the alt right and makes a living churning out bullshit conspiracy theories.

Don’t read his books just because he’s an Indian guy who talk about politics. Read someone who actually understands history and speaks the truth.

I’d recommend three books, one short, two long: On Freedom by Cass Sunstein, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ‘72 by Hunter S. Thompson, and The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris by David McCullough.

u/unnatural_rights · 5 pointsr/imaginarymaps

> is it not true that the soldiers of the South, mostly poor, non slave owners, were fighting more for Southern pride and less for Slavery?

Honestly, not really. The idea of "Southern pride" as a principal motivator is correct in the abstract, inasmuch as individuals talked about the slights to Southern dignity and identity posed by the Union, but it has been greatly exaggerated in the years post-Appomattox compared to what folks actually said and wrote during the sectional conflict. We tend to underestimate the degree to which soldiers were aware of the conflict around them or motivated by "bigger" concepts that personal security or honor; the truth is that many Confederate soldiers were explicitly aware that slavery was the source of the division between North and South, and in particular that preserving slavery against Northern attempts to diminish it was the reason the Confederacy had seceded in the first place. The seceding states all said as much explicitly in their declarations of secession, which were widely published and disseminated among the Confederate civilian and military population.

Southern whites had a strong vested interest in the perpetuation of slavery as a foundation of their culture, because it gave them a) an explicit position in the social hierarchy that was above blacks, and b) was a possibility to which they could aspire economically. Even if they didn't own slaves, they were still better than slaves because they were free, and they could still treat slaves more poorly than they could fellow whites because slaves lacked rights. This was commonly understood and fairly deeply ingrained throughout Southern culture, which is everyone from merchants (exploiting cheap labor without compensation) to politicians (benefiting from the additional 60% boost in federal representation for the slave population granted by the Constitution) to religious leaders (preaching the Biblical justifications of slavery) throughout the South supporting the institution.

The "common man" was often fighting out of patriotism (both Northern and Southern soldiers write often about the feeling of national pride that compelled them to enlist), but also because of conscription. In either case, though, it's important to remember what that patriotism was founded in, and what conscripted soldiers thought they were being conscripted for. In the North, soldiers generally felt at the beginning that preserving the Union was the major reason they should fight, but the North had been radicalizing toward abolition through the 1850s, and by the middle of the war emancipation was an explicitly accepted and agreed-with goal for most Northern troops. Conscripts would have understood these causes as well, because they would have read what their governments told them.

Southern patriotism wasn't concerned with "regional pride" in the abstract, but with what Southern culture was - namely, an apartheid state based in the subjugation of blacks as a race. If Southerners were fighting for pride, that was what they were proud of. There wasn't really a "trick" insofar as the centrality of slavery is concerned, although we can have a question about whether poor Southern whites weren't better off after emancipation anyway because it robbed the plantation barons of their primary source of wealth (which was re-constituted anyway under Jim Crow sharecropping).

I highly recommend the book What This Cruel War Was Over, by Chandra Manning. From the book's description: "Manning ignores the writings of elites and emphasizes the opinions of common soldiers, North and South, white and black. [. . .] Although acknowledging that many Union soldiers enlisted to preserve the Union rather than to fight slavery, she asserts that both slavery and emancipation were constant topics of discussion as early as 1861. She disputes that nonslaveholding Confederate soldiers (who were the overwhelming majority) fought primarily to defend hearth and home from Yankee invaders. Rather, she maintains that the defense of slavery was intimately tied to their sense of manhood, honor, and their place in the Southern social structures." She pretty conclusively demonstrates that both North and South understood that they were fighting because of slavery, and that Southern soldiers believed that defending the slavery system was vital to their own self-interest.

As for the subject of respecting the soldiers who fought the war, I'm not particularly concerned. We can honor our ancestors without glorifying them, and monuments to Confederate soldiers end up implying that the cause of the conflict was worth honoring as much as the individuals. Bravery is cheap; when there are more monuments to Southern Unionists (of which there were many, almost never honored with monuments in the South today) or abolitionists (who risked everything for their ideals in a hostile region) or the slaves themselves (who are more deserving of honor than anyone), then perhaps it will be worth erecting a few for the Confederate soldiers who died fighting to preserve slavery.

u/Thucydides411 · 5 pointsr/technology

That would be news to the Confederates. They explicitly stated that their cause was slavery. Here's what the Mississippi declaration of secession had to say on the matter:
>Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery - the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin.

Still not convinced? Read the other slave states' declarations of secession. Or read a good review book on the Civil War, like McPherson's Battle Cry of Freedom.

P.S.: It's actually interesting to note that the slave states didn't support states' rights in their declarations, beyond the right of secession. They actually cite the refusal of certain Northern states to enforce the Fugitive Slave Act as a major cause of secession. Some Northern states had passed laws forbidding state officials from aiding in the capture and return of runaway slaves. South Carolina argued in its declaration of secession that by refusing to enforce federal laws, these Northern states were subverting the Union. They argued that this breach freed South Carolina of its obligations to the Union and justified secession.

u/gent2012 · 4 pointsr/AskHistorians

I respectfully disagree that this isn't a historical question, although whether this question falls in line with this sub-reddit's 20 years rule is another matter. I also think this type of question is a lot more relevant today than some question about, using a popular question from yesterday as an example, the origin of abbreviations for president's names. After all, history is completely useless unless it clarifies the present. The historical memory of events and people are a huge field within the academic historical community, and there's a lot of truly excellent stuff out there. For example, these books on the American memory of Pearl Harbor, or the Civil War, or the Oklahoma City Bombing are highly influential books. If these types of questions can be discussed--quite well--by academic historians, why not us? I, for one, am really interested in this question. Anyway, I imagine this question will be put up for deletion, but this is my attempt at arguing why we should keep it.

Edit: The deletion below is mine. I accidentally double-posted.

u/deathbatcountry · 4 pointsr/vegan

Check this book out for well researched and written information about myths and misconceptions about pitbulls.

u/KnightsFan · 4 pointsr/pitbulls

Check out Pit Bull: the Battle over an American Icon, it does a great job at explaining where all of those awful prejudices came from and how ineffective breed bans are.

It's a really good read, too. I've suggested to people in locales like yours to start a kickstarter to send the book to their municipal government, maybe change a few minds.

u/ZachWahls · 4 pointsr/Iowa

Good question. Some folks might be surprised to hear about white supremacist activity in Iowa, but there have been a bunch of high profile incidents lately, to show just a few:

u/TheHIV123 · 4 pointsr/USCivilWar

Pick up General Lee's Army: From Victory to Collapse. Very good book on the Army of Northern Virginia.

Here's a link:

u/quill65 · 3 pointsr/WayOfTheBern

Oh, I remember it. I was educated in California public schools, which were excellent before they were destroyed in the 80s.

And it worked for me: I've only missed voting in a few elections in my three plus decades of voting eligibility, when I was out of my state or the country.

But, the thing is, it's largely bullshit, and it wasn't until I was an older adult that I've learned how corrupt and undemocratic our political system really is. 2016 kicked it up a whole new notch. Here's what would convince me that whatever curriculum they impose on the kids isn't just exceptionalist propaganda: they adopt Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States as course curriculum.

u/General_Burnside · 3 pointsr/USHistory

This really depends on what aspects of the Civil War you are looking to learn about. If you're just looking for a general overview of the entire war it's hard to go wrong with James McPherson's Battle Cry of Freedom. If you're looking for a shorter read I would recommend Bruce Catton's single volume history called The Civil War. These are common recommendations, but for good reason.

If you're interested in specific battles or topics, let me know and I may be able to recommend something.

u/jimhodgson · 3 pointsr/writing

Those aren't one-liners. A one-liner is a joke that has a structure, and there is a technique to constructing them.

The sentences you posted are rhetoric of a different kind. If you're interested in learning more about rhetoric, I can recommend Farnsworth's Classical English Rhetoric book here:

If you're interested in composing one-liners, study Yogi Berra (classic), Rodney Rangerfield (classic), or Anthony Jeselnik (contemporary). To a lesser extent, there's also Mitch Hedberg. I say lesser because Mitch used a more rhetorical style than a classic one-liner, e.g. "Dogs are forever in the pushup position" is hilarious but not classic one-liner ski jump structure.

u/Borimi · 3 pointsr/history

This is the subject of a very interesting book by Bruce Levine, called Confederate Emancipation.

The skinny of it is that both the idea of emancipating the slaves as a war necessity (whether to help encourage European recognition or else to try and endear the slaves into joining the southern cause en masse) and of training slaves to fight for the Confederate Army, whether or not freedom was part of that enlistment, was talked about almost from day one of the war. However, it was only ever seriously supported by a fairly small minority among Confederates and in all cases encountered very, very strong opposition from most confederates. As things turned badly for the Confederacy during the war, Jefferson Davis began trying very hard to enlist black troops for the south and was heavily resisted. Ultimately a very small number of black troops were trained at the very end of the war, but they never saw actual combat. Predictably, black volunteers, even with the incentive of freedom, always came up short, and the number who actually got into uniforms is too small to be significant in any way. IIRC barely a company of black confederate troops was formed, but I can't confirm that at the moment.

That being said, black slaves were used by the army for support roles from day one as well. They tended soldiers in the camps, built defenses, and fulfilled many other roles, except fighting and soldiering. This led to the whole incident at Fort Monroe and the Confiscation Acts, which are quite worth researching.

u/Blaueziege · 3 pointsr/politics

Actually I think he's just an idiot. It links to his facebook page, and this is listed as one of his favorite books. Violence and whiskey are his two top activities, and he seems to have a hard-on for Tyler Durden. I know his type, grade A twit with a high horse and a book of conspiracy theories.

u/ASnugglyBear · 3 pointsr/suggestmeabook

There are several eras of US history and not many books that cover them all sadly:

  1. European Settlement of the continent (1492-1712)
  2. Rising Tensions (1712-1776)
  3. The Articles of Confederation/finding our way (1776-1800)
  4. Growth and peace (1800-1820)
  5. Lead up to the civil war (1820-1862)
  6. The Civil War and Reconstruction (1862-1873)
  7. The gilded age/expansion west (1873-1900)
  8. The progressive age (1900-1919)
  9. The roaring 20s (1920-1929)
  10. The great depression (1929-1941)
  11. WW2 (1941-1945)
  12. Early Cold War/Baby boom (1945-68)
  13. Nam and Stagflation (68-82)
  14. Regan, Greenspun and Deregulation (82-2001)
  15. War on terror (2001-today)

    If you want to listen: for the american episodes, go to the 2.x numbered ones in your podcast player to get the skinny on era 2 and 3 from my above list. Backstory Radio also has great stories about american history from all 15 eras on my list

    If you want to read: A People's History of the United States it is a survey of the history of the US. (from the left side of the political spectrum, but written as a corrective on all the OTHER books that were ignoring the common plight of the people)

    Additionally is good but long, is a midlength textbook.

    Lastly, easier than reading any of this (and targeted at HS students, but largely enjoyable by adults too): Crash Course US History
u/Batman_of_Zurenarrh · 3 pointsr/changemyview

You keep saying that the Muslim ban isn't as alienating as killing innocent people there for decades, but that doesn't mean the Muslim ban isn't bad! Is your argument that it doesn't affect our safety? The ban alienates the people that would be translators or partners in reconstruction and peace building in a fragile region. More worrisome: Trump ignored established legal precedents for this sort of thing, which implies he's testing what he can get away with. Classic dictator rehearsal.

Yeah, John Oliver is a comedian who's kind of preaching to his choir, but you dismiss him just because he's a comedian. There are good points in there, though this Adam Ruins Everything segment is probably more informative (and a bit less cloying than John Oliver, though still a comedy show).

Lots of people on this thread have said there are more effective, less expensive ways to secure the border (this person ran some numbers above). But you're like, meh, it will stop some people, maybe, so let's do it. That's such a flippant attitude towards fiscal responsibility, cost effectiveness and actually dealing with immigration.

You keep saying economics is an area where you have a lot to learn. A lot of people have been really polite to you on this thread, and you've matched their civility, and I want you to know it's very hard for me to not just heap disdain on you for your ignorance about economics. Please read more.

And while you're reading, check out The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. You keep saying there's more to life than politics, but when fascists consolidate power and slaughter their opponents, there isn't more to life. I'm 100% sure you're rolling your eyes, just like people rolled their eyes at Hitler.

War with China would be terrible and a net loss for both sides. Lots of wars started over small economic disputes and spiraled out of control.

You seem to have a vague idea that "open borders" are unquestionably bad. Why? I'm not being facetious. Undocumented people are doing backbreaking labor that white citizens wouldn't do. Our birth rates are not that high; immigration is a component of growing the workforce and the economy.

And look, at this point, I doubt you or anyone else is reading this comment, but I have to say: the problem is capitalism. The whole point of capitalism is exploitation. The capitalist owns the business, you do the labor, he pays you less than the value of your labor and he keeps the excess as profit. Then they hiss aspersions to set the white worker against the black and against the latino.

This country has been bickering about immigrants forever but in a few years AI is going to reshape workplace productivity so dramatically that we'll see widespread unemployment across the whole economy. Law firms will lay off paralegals when they have better algorithms to search and understand cases. Then those paralegals will try to drive for Uber, but Uber will have self-driving cars. The economic displacement will ripple out. Then everybody will be competing for fewer and fewer jobs without enough time to learn new marketable skills. It wouldn't matter if we let all the immigrants in; market forces will increasingly replace or augment workers with better and better software. So we're probably headed for a technological utopia for the elites and a Hunger Games hellscape for the rest. At that point, it's going to get more and more violent.

Trump is the symptom, capitalism is the disease, socialism is the cure.

If this all sounds like a lunatic ranting to you, please please please fan that flame of self-doubt and curiosity that prompted you to make this CMV. Read A People's History of the United States. Trump is probably more of an Andrew Jackson than a Hitler, I hope, but Andrew Jackson was also a fucking monster who left a lot of innocent people dead in his wake.

I get that you're not really worried about name-calling or "PC" stuff; you probably think it's a bit silly that so many of us get scared when such a petty bully has so much power. But I think you're deaf to the echoes of history. You're assuming that your normal life is a lot less fragile than it actually is. And once you make a choice, it's very psychologically difficult to admit you're wrong, so you keep plugging your ears to those echoes. You want to believe it's going to be okay because you want to believe you're a reasonable person and that other people are reasonable, but history holds horrors you haven't comprehended. And the dead had routines and hopes and relationships that were interrupted, bewilderingly, by unreasonable monsters. I believe Trump is an unreasonable monster.

[edited for typos]

u/ToranMallow · 3 pointsr/PoliticalHumor

Normally I'm completely opposed to burning books... But if this abomination calls itself a textbook, then chuck it in the fire. Instead, pick up a copy of A People's History of the United States.

u/fakejoebiden · 3 pointsr/NewOrleans

Race and Reunion by David Blight is an amazing book that very clearly traces the rise of the Lost Cause narrative of the Civil War and the incredible effort that Confederate veterans and, to a great extent, northern politicians put in to re-framing the meaning of the Civil War in the post-war period. It's a really amazing story, one that is woefully misunderstood today.

u/relevant_econ_meme · 3 pointsr/subredditoftheday

>That's why I initially asked if we're talking a specific band of time. It is UNDENIABLE that post Holodomor the Soviets were way better off than they were under the Czars. It's ALSO undeniable that one of the largest drops in standards of living in the history of the world without a domestic war was the fall of the USSR. I'm not some crazy tankie, Holodomor was a real ass thing, but so was the American genocide of 40-50m native americans and slave trade, both of which were classically liberal lines of enlightenment thinking that were precursors to neoliberal ideology.

Aside from this being a major whataboutism, source that precursor to neoliberalism claim.

>You literally denied slavery in tons of countries, including the US, and when presented with evidence of it you have no counter argument other than to cite that different sources cite different numbers on slavery in the same country, in large part because estimates and censuses are hard to find often due to the nature of it. Take some ownership of shit.

If you lie about one statistic, what else are you lying about? I'm not denying slavery doesn't exist. But it's an important normative value of all neoliberals to stop slavery. It's like trying to blame the northern states for slavery. they were the one against it.

>>If you were skilled labor pre-NAFTA and lived along the US border it was heaven, but for the vast majority of others it has meant ultimately lower wages or meager gains
>>Which is funny because if you look at literally any source, really most of the gains were made near the border.
>It has made it worse on both fronts

Citation needed.

> and the gains of it have gone almost entirely to people who were already well off.

Citation needed.

> income inequality has made it very easy to capture locals to make them sex slaves in both Mexico and the US as well as to own local governments and even buy legitimate businesses ala the Maquiadoras.

You're making so many claims you can't even keep up with the citations. Show me how income inequality causes all of that.

>There's literally no definition of poverty that's stable. It's almost always a relativistic metric. As such, income inequality is an aspect of it whether you deny it or not.

It doesn't matter how stable any of the other definitions are, income inequality is not a definition at all. Income inequality, in its own right, is not even a bad thing.

Before you keep going, might I remind you that literally all your citations so far in all your comments do not show what you claim. You need to focus not on the things happening, but the causal mechanism. So chop chop.

u/CTeam19 · 3 pointsr/BlackPeopleTwitter

The hard part for majority of people is that Historically events and the motives of individual's actions in those events are never "Black&White". Take the Civil War since that is the crux of this issue. In the book What They Fought For, 1861–1865 by James McPherson reported on his reading of hundreds of letters and diaries written by soldiers on both sides of the war on the question of what they believed they were fighting for. Not all Northerns cared for blacks in fact many were super racist they just didn't like slavery and in every major battle there were slave owning union soldiers fighting for the north, and non slave owning southern soldiers fighting for the south. On the other hand 80% of the Southern soldiers didn't own slaves and many felt that if slavery was to be ended it should like everyone born after 1/1/1861 are set free but given and education before hand.

“I was fighting for my home, and he had no business being there”
-Virginia confederate Solider Frank Potts

“We are fighting for the Union . . . a high and noble sentiment, but after all a sentiment. They are fighting for independence, and are animated by passion and hatred against invaders” - A Illinois officer.

“Believe me no solider on either side gave a **** about slaves, they were fighting for other reasons entirely in their minds. Southerns thought they were fighting the second American revolution norther's thought they were fighting to hold the union together [With a few abolitionist and fire eaters on both sides].”

  • Shelby Foote

    Robert E. Lee is the biggest and the greatest paradox. He was against Virginia leaving the Union but felt his loyalty and duty, like many, was to his home state above the country: “If Virginia stands by the old Union,” Lee told a friend, “so will I. But if she secedes (though I do not believe in secession as a constitutional right, nor that there is sufficient cause for revolution), then I will follow my native State with my sword, and, if need be, with my life.” While Lee never publicly came out on one side or the other of Slavery. In a letter to his Wife in 1856 he said “In this enlightened age, there are few I believe, but what will acknowledge, that slavery as an institution, is a moral & political evil in any Country. It is useless to expatiate on its disadvantages. I think it however a greater evil to the white than to the black race, & while my feelings are strongly enlisted in behalf of the latter, my sympathies are more strong for the former. The blacks are immeasurably better off here than in Africa, morally, socially & physically. The painful discipline they are undergoing, is necessary for their instruction as a race, & I hope will prepare & lead them to better things. How long their subjugation may be necessary is known & ordered by a wise Merciful Providence.” But Lee's wife and daughters taught the slaves to read and write which was against Virginia law and Lee officially freed his inherited slaves, he had no other slaves, on December 29, 1862 five years after his father-in-law Georgie Washington Custis' death as stated in his will. And yes Georgie Washington Custis is a descendant of President Georgie Washington.

    Besides once universal conscription was instituted by the Confederacy in 1862, it didn't matter what they fought for, whether they wanted to fight, or even if they supported the Confederacy they fought or become deserters and risk execution. The Union started conscription in 1863. One could argue those who were conscripted didn't care about slavery since if they did they would've volunteered earlier. Many were concerned more about their farms and family. One Confederate officer at the time noted, "The deserters belong almost entirely to the poorest class of non slave-holders whose labor is indispensable to the daily support of their families" and that "When the father, husband or son is forced into the service, the suffering at home with them is inevitable. It is not in the nature of these men to remain quiet in the ranks under such circumstances." Which was used by both sides trying to get them on their side the Union offered pardons and the Confederacy offered jobs or land in some cases.

    Now those caught deserted in the Union 147 were executed for desertion out of 200,000 deserters. In the Confederacy 229 were executed out of the 100,000 deserters. But since you can't kill off all the 300,000 men that deserted from both sides many were branded with a "D" on their hip. Many were just purely tortured:

    "One punishment much affected in the light artillery was called 'tying on the spare wheel.' Springing upward and rearward from the center rail of every cassion was a fifth axel and on it was a spare wheel. A soldier who had been insubordinate was taken to the spare wheel and made to step upon it. His legs were drawn apart until they spanned three spokes. His arms were stretched until there were three or four spokes between his hands. Then the feet and hands were firmly bound to the felloes of the wheel. If the soldier was to be punished moderately then he was left, bound in an upright position on the wheel for five or six hours. If the punishment was to be severe, the ponderous wheel was given a quarter turn after the soldier had been lashed to it, which changed the position of the man from upright to horizontal. Then the prisoner had to exert all his strength to keep his weight from pulling heavily and cuttingly on the cords that bound his upper arm and leg to the wheel." -- Frank Wilkeson, Army of the Potomac in the Union Army.

    In the end it is just easier for people paint with broad strokes the "good people"/The Union as saints and "bad guys"/The Confederacy as sinners. It is the same with all of those leaders/people we have had in History. In reality the Slavery had many shades of blue and grey and should be treated as such. There was good and bad in both the Union and the Confederacy.

    Sources and other reading material:

u/NeonSeal · 3 pointsr/changemyview

Man I just want to say that this is an incredibly white-washed view of modern racism. Throughout the course of American history, Black people have suffered from institutional racism that has barred their access to the voting process, property, land access, economic opportunity, social security access, veteran's rights, personal freedom, you name it. This continues into the modern day. These modern issues will not be fixed by colorblindness; instead, they can only be fixed through race conscious affirmative action.

Here are some great books if you want to get more informed on historical and modern racism, proper reactions to it, and why "colorblindness" is not an acceptable form of dealing with it:

u/from_gondolin · 3 pointsr/AskMen

If you're interested in rhetoric, Farnsworth's Classical English Rhetoric might be for you. I learned a lot from it!

u/Barnst · 3 pointsr/changemyview

It’s actually a myth that slaveowning was confined to the confederate elite. Sure, the elite 1% were the big plantation owners with dozens to hundreds of slaves, but upwards 30% of white families in the Confederate states owned slavery per the 1860 census, with that number climbing toward 50% in the most pro-secessionist states like South Carolina and Mississippi. Another sizable chunk of the population supported the slave economy in other ways even if they didn’t win slaves themselves.

The whole 1% thing comes from a somewhat willful misreading of the statistics to convince people that slavery wasn’t that big a deal. 1% of the US population owned slaves. Which includes the northern free states. About 3% of the Southern population owned slaves. But “Southern population” includes the slaves themselves. About 5% of free Southerns owned slaves. But only one person in the household usually “owned” the slaves, so (usually) the wife and children are excluded from that number too.

Looking specifically at volunteers for the Army of Northern Virginia in 1861, about 1 in 10 soldiers personally owned slaves and another 25% or so lived with parents who owned slaves. Still another 10% lived in households where a non-family member owned slaves, which usually meant they lived as workers on a slave-based farm. Source That means somewhere between 40 and 50% of the Confederate Army had a personal stake in preserving slavery, even before you count those that had a role in it without living in a household that owned spaces.

I’m sure far fewer Union soldiers had such a personal stake in “Northern industry” or “high tariffs,” which is what the neoconfederates try to say the war was all about.

u/vonHonkington · 3 pointsr/history

i would direct you to the fine book, battle cry of freedom.

two important things. one, many in the south realized that the slavery situation was not sustainable, and required expansion to survive. this meant slavery in new states was a necessity. northerners opposed this. two, it can be imagined that this is the time that states' rights and federal authority diverged. this is actually an illusion. the south wanted states' rights for slavery, but also demanded federal assistance to return escaped slaves from free territories. in my mind, the conflict is between an industrial, democratic society and a feudal one.

u/BrooklynBuckeye · 3 pointsr/AskReddit

I also grew up in a pretty racist community. Then I read "American Slavery, American Freedom" by Edmund S. Morgan. The basic thesis is that racism was perpetuated by the ruling elite in Colonial Virginia because they were afraid of white indentured servants and black slaves uniting to kill the wealthy. They had reason be afraid, because that is exactly what happened in 1676 (notice the symbolic, if random, year) during Bacon's Rebellion. After the British army invaded and put down the insurrection, they changed the laws to make slavery hereditary, interracial marriage illegal, etc. That was the start of a long line of racism between poor whites and blacks, and arguably the genesis of the entire Republican electoral strategy.

TL;DR- Racism was perpetuated by the rich to keep poor whites and blacks from uniting and changing things.

u/CovfefeAndDoughnuts · 3 pointsr/The_Donald

Well, actually they did. Manifest Destiny. It wasn't always sea to shining sea, it was by some , pole to pole. USA has no peasant population. Some saw Mexico, Central America and South America as a vast labor pool. There was even an incident where American adventures tried to invade Mexico but their ship was sunk by the British. It's mentioned in 'Battle Cry of Freedom'

Those adventures btw were Democrats

u/nosofaproblem · 3 pointsr/politics

Nope, it was created by Confederate veterans to kill and intimidate uppity black people, although to quote Eric Foner (historian who wrote Reconstruction):

"In effect, the Klan was a military force serving the interests of the Democratic party, the planter class, and all those who desired restoration of white supremacy. Its purposes were political, but political in the broadest sense, for it sought to affect power relations, both public and private, throughout Southern society. It aimed to reverse the interlocking changes sweeping over the South during Reconstruction: to destroy the Republican party's infrastructure, undermine the Reconstruction state, reestablish control of the black labor force, and restore racial subordination in every aspect of Southern life.[58] To that end they worked to curb the education, economic advancement, voting rights, and right to keep and bear arms of blacks.[58] The Klan soon spread into nearly every southern state, launching a "reign of terror against Republican leaders both black and white. Those political leaders assassinated during the campaign included Arkansas Congressman James M. Hinds, three members of the South Carolina legislature, and several men who served in constitutional conventions".

u/Cosmic_Charlie · 3 pointsr/AskHistorians

Read McPherson's Battle Cry of Freedom.

It's brilliantly written, engaging, authoritative, and generally accepted as "the book" for the Civil War in the minds of most historians.

You note you're a Tennessee boy. You may be interested in the older "New South" school vis-a-vis the War. Wm Dunning led a major push to view the War as one of Northern aggression. The Dunning School was quite influential until (roughly) the early Civil Rights Era.

There are also occasional, but lively debates on H-Net, South about how to view the Civil War.

As a side note, the whole Oxford History of the US series is worth reading. Some of the titles are dated, but they are all very good reads. (well, at least the ones I've read ;-) )

u/thats_a_big_twinkie · 3 pointsr/USHistory

Is Shelby Foote's Civil War still well-regarded? My dad's a civil war buff and he used to swear by these volumes (20 years ago).

u/r4ndpaulsbrilloballs · 3 pointsr/NorthernAggression

I love this idea.

I'll add some of my own, and I hope others do too:

u/PM_ME_A_PM_PLEASE_PM · 2 pointsr/neutralnews

Perhaps you'd enjoy some of the books from the host of that video? Here is his book on the british empire if you'd like more of his propaganda. Also, be sure to check out his book on what if the south won the civil war, that's full of more nonsense you'll be unable to discern as lies.

u/herple_derpskin · 2 pointsr/politics

I did some research and this is supposed to be one of the better comprehensive American Civil War books out there.

u/coachfortner · 2 pointsr/history

In reality, it was the discovery of tobacco in the New World that led to slavery, esp. in N. America. People would leave England & Europe for the early colonies and as a way to pay off the debt for the trip, would serve as "indentured servants" for a period of time.
England was so hooked on tobacco that early colonists would grow it instead of food. It helps to realize that corn (aka maize) was unknown in Europe. Colonists were unable to master growing their own food anyway. They traded with the native population who were more or less paripatetic and frequently treated poorly by the colonists anyway. This is all from my history class at UMichigan and draws heavily from American Slavery, American Freedom.

u/Chocolate_Cookie · 2 pointsr/badhistory

That was kind of a metaphorical throwaway phrase, but I did recently see multiple copies of The Real Lincoln in a little history sub-section that also held the Kennedy brothers and their South was Right nonsense.

Always one copy of the latter in the B&N I go to despite my many requests they recategorize that as horror. They don't think I'm very funny.

u/JMBlake · 2 pointsr/history
u/VanSlyck · 2 pointsr/suggestmeabook

Battle Cry of Freedom is widely regarded as one of the best SINGLE VOLUME treatments of the US Civil war. There are better multi volume sets, and better treatments of specific events, but as a general knowledge base, this is top shelf material.

The Idea of America Is a great, short read discussing the formative years of the United States.

Older editions of Western Civilizations are quite good and informative. Yes, they're actual college textbooks, but they're easy to follow and surprisingly concise. Pick up a used copy for under $20, ignore the full retail price.

I'd actually take that as advice for just about any book on history. Many university level courses use the sorts of books recommended on this thread, and any used copies Amazon sells through its Marketplace are more likely than not copies read through once for a college course, and sold back for a few extra dollars. I have a substantial collection of used non fiction purchased at a discount for this exact reason, and there's nothing wrong with a few marks in the book, or a crease in the cover. The content is what matters.

u/JimWilliams423 · 2 pointsr/Tennessee

So your position is that we should have monuments to monsters in places of high regard like the state house and public parks in order to remind us not to become monsters?

If that's the logic. It sure ain't working.

See the example of the klan standing with the bedford bust in the state house. Or the rally around the Robert E Lee monument in Charlottesville where they marched with torches shouting that the jews "will not replace us" and then murdered a woman.

The monuments aren't a deterrence to monsters, they are an incitement.

Should there be a monument to Osama bin Laden in order to remind us not to commit mass murder in the name of religious insanity? We consigned his corpse to the bottom of the ocean because we knew that was a bad idea.

> It was a different time which required different actions.

No, it wasn't a different time. There have always been people condemning white supremacy. The only difference now is that the white supremacists don't have quite as much power to muffle their critics as they used to.


> The common man fought that war and died never knowing what they were really fighting over.

No, they absolutely knew what they were fighting for. They weren't dummies. The average foot soldier was well aware they were fighting for white supremacy. The declarations of secession explicitly spelled out they were fighting for white supremacy and they used that to recruit the cannon fodder - if black people were equal to white people, then poor whites would no longer have anyone below them in the social hierarchy.

Here's a quote from The Battlecry of Freedom: Civil War Era by James McPherson:

> So they undertook a campaign to convince nonslaveholders that they too had a stake in disunion. The stake was white supremacy. In this view, the Black Republican program of abolition was the first step toward racial equality and amalgamation. Georgia’s Governor Brown carried this message to his native uplands of north Georgia whose voters idolized him. Slavery “is the poor man’s best Government,” said Brown. “Among us the poor white laborer . . . does not belong to the menial class. The negro is in no sense his equal. ... He belongs to the only true aristocracy, the race of white men” Thus yeoman farmers “will never consent to submit to abolition rule,” for they “know that in the event of the abolition of slavery, they would be greater sufferers than the rich, who would be able to protect themselves. . . . When it becomes necessary to defend our rights against so foul a domination, I would call upon the mountain boys as well as the people of the lowlands, and they would come down like an avalanche and swarm around the flag of Georgia.

u/buzzcut · 2 pointsr/writing

That's a good book. It's more of a reference.

You might also consider Farnsworth , or Arthur Quinn. Less of a guidebook, but interesting nonetheless is Words Like Loaded Pistols. This may be overkill for you, but there is a very good section in the last 1/3 of this book that is very good: Classical Rhetoric. There are lots and lots more depending how much you want to get into it.

u/babyhistoryteacher · 2 pointsr/politics

Anyone who wants to get a book that helps explain how this mentality came to be should pick up David Blight’s “Race and Reunion” In his book, he goes through the various “views” Civil War memory took and through various political actions and popularity, came to be the accepted story. He does a great job of using actual contemporary sources and not just a crazy white guys rumination from the 70’s. Amazon Link

u/Gunlord500 · 2 pointsr/AskHistorians

Hmm...that's an interesting question, friend. While I wasn't able to find controversy over the creation of a monument to an individual Union or Southern Unionist figure in a part of the former Confederacy, I did find this news article on a related issue you would likely find interesting:

Essentially, there was a monument to Confederate soldiers at a battleground in Florida. Some folks wanted to erect a monument to the Union dead as well (the Union lost that battle) but were vociferously opposed; organizations such as the Daughters of the Confederacy claimed they merely did not want to change an established historical site. My skepticism of such a claim is obvious (I've precious little sympathy for the Confederacy or its defenders), but I'll say no more than that, both to keep on-topic and to maintain civility, as the rules recommend we do. So I'll just note that this does seem to be an example of a Union monument being opposed on Confederate soil, but it's the only one I could find.

Now, I would wager that a monument to, say, William T. Sherman somewhere in the South would garner a lot of opposition, because his "March to the Sea" and the destruction it wrought are still controversial even today. However, I haven't been able to find much controversy over Union memorials of any type in Southern territory. See this JSTOR article:

Frank Wilson Kiel, "Treue der Union: Myths, Misrepresentations, and Misinterpretations" in The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Vol. 115, No. 3 (January, 2012), pp. 282-292,

>In fact, however, at least ten places in ex-Confederate states, four of them in Texas, have monuments to the Union.12 Greeneville in Greene County, Tennessee, has a courthouse monument to the Union, erected by Burnside Post No. 8 of the Grand Army of the Republic.13 Cleveland, Tennessee (near Chattanooga), at the entrance to the town's Fort Hill Cemetery, has a monument erected by the Grand Army of the Republic "to perpetuate the memory of the boys in blue in the war of 1861-65 who have lived in Bradley County." Denison, Texas, has a monument to the Union in Fairview Cemetery at the place of burial of six Union veterans who settled in Grayson County after the war, erected by Grand Army of the Republic of Denison.14 In New Braunfels, Texas, in a downtown park, there is a "Monument to the Memory of our Fallen Soldiers of the Civil War 1861-1865," which honors soldiers of both sides of the conflict.15 Greenwood Cemetery in Dallas has a memorial erected by the Grand Army of the Republic in association with the graves of Union soldiers.16

I haven't heard of any controversy swirling up over those places. I suppose--perhaps--reasons for a comparative lack of opposition to Union monuments on Rebel soil might be found in books such as David Blight's Race and Reunion and Nina Silber's Romance of Reunion, which each explore (to summarize very succinctly two very extensive works) how the Civil War was recast as a noble struggle in which both sides, blue and grey, displayed manly valor (making them both "good guys," so to speak) and that neither had anything to be ashamed of. As Blight makes clear, of course, this approach might have helped the two sections reconcile, but it also papered over the role of slavery in causing the war and contributed to the persistence of racism in the succeeding decades. links for the two books:

Hope this helps at least a little bit!

u/zazagooh · 2 pointsr/politics

I'd like to caution you that "reconstruction caused this mess in the first place" is a bit of a weird way to frame such a complicated political period.

If you want to get a good understanding of the period here are some good books you can read that are either on the period or have some material that overlaps with it.

Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution by Eric Foner. I've linked you the abridged version, but there is a 600p version if you're really interested.

Nothing But Freedom by Eric Foner.

Capitol Men by Philip Dray

Deep Souths: Delta, Piedmont and Sea Island Society by J William Harris

A Nation Under Our Feet by Steven Hahn

At the Hands of Persons Unknown by Phillip Dray

Black Reconstruction in America W. E. B Du Bois

u/cayleb · 2 pointsr/MaliciousCompliance

I have, actually. You might try a couple books I've found to be very helpful in that regard.

Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong

A People's History of the United States

I'm only halfway through the second one, but there's really nothing quite like reading history through the words of everyday people like you and me. Rather than the heroic narrative that glorifies and omits based upon the preferred narrative of the writer.

u/esclaveinnee · 2 pointsr/news

Oh I have a relevant study that absolutely demolishes this arguement

The relevant part from the article which comes from this book

>Even more revealing was their attachment to slavery. Among the enlistees in 1861, slightly more than one in ten owned slaves personally. This compared favorably to the Confederacy as a whole, in which one in every twenty white persons owned slaves. Yet more than one in every four volunteers that first year lived with parents who were slaveholders. Combining those soldiers who owned slaves with those soldiers who lived with slaveholding family members, the proportion rose to 36 percent. That contrasted starkly with the 24.9 percent, or one in every four households, that owned slaves in the South, based on the 1860 census. Thus, volunteers in 1861 were 42 percent more likely to own slaves themselves or to live with family members who owned slaves than the general population.

>The attachment to slavery, though, was even more powerful. One in every ten volunteers in 1861 did not own slaves themselves but lived in households headed by non family members who did. This figure, combined with the 36 percent who owned or whose family members owned slaves, indicated that almost one of every two 1861 recruits lived with slaveholders. Nor did the direct exposure stop there. Untold numbers of enlistees rented land from, sold crops to, or worked for slaveholders. In the final tabulation, the vast majority of the volunteers of 1861 had a direct connection to slavery. For slaveholder and nonslaveholder alike, slavery lay at the heart of the Confederate nation. The fact that their paper notes frequently depicted scenes of slaves demonstrated the institution’s central role and symbolic value to the Confederacy

It is not narrow to say that those that joined to resist the north were doing so motivated heavily by slavery

u/The_Thane_Of_Cawdor · 2 pointsr/AskHistory

If you are interested in what is academically called "civil war memory" I suggest the book Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory. David Blight makes a great case about how American memory of the war has taken 3 distinct tones. That in order to find a cultural acceptance as a society in the first generations after the war we have downplayed the slavery issue in favor of the emergence of the Union as a narrative for the war.

The book is fascinating, I actually took a course in college on civil war memory in american culture. In regards to your question the confederate battle flag has no one meaning and will always be viewed differently from different perspectives.

u/polarisrising · 2 pointsr/books

I'm want to suggest folks looking to read Shelby Foote's Civil War series, consider Battle Cry of Freddom instead. McPherson's book is Pulitzer Prize-winning, included in the Oxford history of the United States, highly praised, and is included (along with Foote's series) in the top books recommended by the Library of Congress on the subject.

u/I12curTTs · 2 pointsr/todayilearned

>Historian Joseph Glatthaar’s statistical analysis of the 1861 volunteers in what would become the Army of Northern Virginia reveals that one in 10 owned a slave and that one in four lived with parents who were slave-owners. Both exceeded ratios in the general population, in which one in 20 owned a slave and one in five lived in a slaveholding household. “Thus,” Glatthaar notes, “volunteers in 1861 were 42 percent more likely to own slaves themselves or to live with family members who owned slaves than the general population.” In short, Confederate volunteers actually owned more slaves than the general population.  

>In fact, non-slaveholding soldiers from regions with fewer African Americans likely received greater exposure to slavery for having joined the army. The military regularly used slaves and implemented proslavery policies. The army conscripted slave labor on a massive scale for transportation, and in construction of military defenses. It also captured and returned to slavery thousands of escaped and free black men and women. Soldiers acted on fears of “servile insurrection” when they summarily murdered United States Colored Troops at Fort Pillow and the Battle of the Crater.

u/AsleepAtKeyboard · 2 pointsr/AskHistory
u/bgause · 2 pointsr/PoliticalHumor


Read this. It'll change your perspective on the things you were taught in history class. It has a great chapter on Columbus, among others.

u/History_Legends76 · 2 pointsr/suggestmeabook

Cracks knuckles. I, as what Tony Horwitz calls, "A Civil War Bore" (But also one for the American War of Independence) can give you some recommendations. You gotta read Gen. Grant's memoirs. Out of all the memoirs by the major players, Grant is the most readable of them all, it is so well written. Ken Burns' famous Documentary introduced me to the memoirs of two common soldiers. "Company Aytch" follows Sam Watkins as he fights in the Western Theater, from Shiloh to Nashville, and "All for the Union" by Elisha Hunt Rhodes follows one Federal soldier as he survives the entire war in the East, from 1st Bull Run to Appomattox. For a general history, "Battle Cry of Freedom" by James McPherson is the absolute best. For more detailed studies on the lives of the individual soldiers, the two classic works "The Life of Johnny Reb" and "The Life of Johnny Yank" are fantastic. Similar works and more modern works include "Fighting Means Killing", a detailed study on Civil War combat, and "The War for the Common Soldier", basically a general summary of the life of the common lad during the war. Now, if you want legacy, there is but one place to go: Tony Horwitz's legendary 1998 Magnum Opus "Confederates in the Attic." Over the course of two years, Tony takes you all across the American South, running into everything as varied as the KKK one county over from where I live in Kentucky (Yeah, I apologize on behalf of South-Central Kentucky in advance, but at least they're in Todd County and not Logan!!!), a Scarlet O' Harra impersonator in Atlanta, and a massive Civil War road trip in Virginia with a reactor buddy. Well written, Mr. Horwitz can make you feel whatever he wants. Tony is was of the best writers out there, and it is a shame we lost him in May. May he rest in peace.

Edit: Amazon Links

The Complete Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant

Company Aytch

All For the Union

Battle Cry of Freedom

The Life of Johnny Reb

The Life of Billy Yank

Fighting Means Killing

The War for the Common Soldier

Confederates in the Attic (If you buy no other book from this list, buy Confederates in the Attic)

u/ALoudMouthBaby · 2 pointsr/history

> I have the same cognitive struggle.

If you have the time read this book and itll clear it right up for you.

u/panzermeyer · 2 pointsr/USCivilWar

It's very well written, reads like a novel. Goes into great detail about the man, his personality, his personal life. And of course his military career and exploits. Very good book.

Also, if you have the time, get yourself this:

Civil War - By Shelby Foote. Best Civil War books I have ever read!

u/tomtomglove · 2 pointsr/AskALiberal

you should read this book, to get a historical primer on Lost Cause ideology. Then you'll get a better sense of the symbolic meaning of confederate memorial, and how they've been used in the south to maintain a police state of terror from the end of reconstruction until very recently.

These statues have a lot more symbolic meaning, not just of slavery, but of 100 years of state sanctioned terror after the civil war, than Washington and Jefferson.

u/spartan2600 · 2 pointsr/pics

You cannot get more American than being racist.

The Union rehabilitated the Confederate leaders and put them in power instead of doing what they should have: hanging them all. During reconstruction the first public welfare programs were built and radical experiments in democracy kicked off, but then the ex-Confederate leaders killed that and began Jim Crow. The Confederates may have lost the battle for chattel slavery, but they won the war in racist domination. We are still living with that system, albeit in an advanced and evolved form.

Historian Eric Foner is the best on this topic:

>Lincoln did not live to preside over Reconstruction. That task fell to his successor, Andrew Johnson. Once lionized as a heroic defender of the Constitution against Radical Republicans, Johnson today is viewed by historians as one of the worst presidents to occupy the White House. He was incorrigibly racist, unwilling to listen to criticism and unable to work with Congress. Johnson set up new Southern governments controlled by ex-Confederates. They quickly enacted the Black Codes, laws that severely limited the freed people’s rights and sought, through vagrancy regulations, to force them back to work on the plantations.

Why Reconstruction Matters

His book, Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863 - 1877 is essential reading.

EDIT: I just remembered hearing an interview with James Q. Whitman, American lawyer and Ford Foundation Professor of Comparative and Foreign Law at Yale University on how the Nazis emulated the United States:

>Nazism triumphed in Germany during the high era of Jim Crow laws in the United States. Did the American regime of racial oppression in any way inspire the Nazis? The unsettling answer is yes. In Hitler's American Model, James Whitman presents a detailed investigation of the American impact on the notorious Nuremberg Laws, the centerpiece anti-Jewish legislation of the Nazi regime. Contrary to those who have insisted that there was no meaningful connection between American and German racial repression, Whitman demonstrates that the Nazis took a real, sustained, significant, and revealing interest in American race policies.

>As Whitman shows, the Nuremberg Laws were crafted in an atmosphere of considerable attention to the precedents American race laws had to offer. German praise for American practices, already found in Hitler's Mein Kampf, was continuous throughout the early 1930s, and the most radical Nazi lawyers were eager advocates of the use of American models. But while Jim Crow segregation was one aspect of American law that appealed to Nazi radicals, it was not the most consequential one. Rather, both American citizenship and antimiscegenation laws proved directly relevant to the two principal Nuremberg Laws―the Citizenship Law and the Blood Law. Whitman looks at the ultimate, ugly irony that when Nazis rejected American practices, it was sometimes not because they found them too enlightened, but too harsh.

>Indelibly linking American race laws to the shaping of Nazi policies in Germany, Hitler's American Model upends understandings of America's influence on racist practices in the wider world.

Interview with the author:

u/SelinaMeyer4Prez · 2 pointsr/history

Currently working my way through Shelby Foote's "The Civil War", (he's one of the featured narrators of Ken Burn's tv series on the civil war). It's an impressive compilation, three substantial volumes, which may be a little heavy on narrative for you but I've really appreciated how he lays out everything in kind of a 360 degree approach. I highly recommend it!

u/hieronymusbobo · 1 pointr/news

If you're interested to know why those statistics aren't valid and why everything surrounding pit bulls is as it is check out Pit Bull by Browen Dickey

u/Syringmineae · 1 pointr/worldnews

It depends on what you want to go into.

For a general history of colonization I can't recommend Alan Taylor's "American Colonies" enough. It's a good overview of European colonization in North America.

If you're mostly into Slavery (that sounds weird), Slave Ship. I definitely have some issues with things he says, but it's still a good beginning.

The Island of the Center of the World talks about the Dutch in North America.

If you want more about Slavery in what would become the U.S. you could get American Slavery American Freedom.

That's all I can think of off the top of my head. I'll edit more in later. But yeah, I'd start with Taylor's book first.

u/MoveAlongChandler · 1 pointr/tifu

This Vast Southern Empire is literally the best book written about the politics/economics behind slavery and everything surrounding the succession.

u/HighlandValley · 1 pointr/usa

I would highly recommend Thomas Jefferson: Author of America by Christopher Hitchens. Hitchens was a journalist and essayist, heavily influenced by George Orwell, Thomas Jefferson, and Leon Trotsky. He's one of the few people I can think of who described himself as a "socialist" of sorts who also admired the American Revolution. An interesting source, but he's a person who hugely admired Jefferson and was also willing to criticize his failings. Basically, you will get the general story that most Americans know, but Hitchens also writes about the more troubling/controversial aspects of Jefferson such as his ownership of slaves and his fathering of children with them.

Anyway, that's Jefferson. For general American history I would suggest reading both A People's History of the United States and A Patriot's History of the United States. Those books will provide general knowledge from two very distinct perspectives. People's is very critical of the country's past, while Patriot's is...well, patriotic.

u/Herbstein · 1 pointr/Denmark

Nu er jeg ikke historiker, men handlede det ikke om den kæmpe kløft mellem immigranterne og de indfødte, rent teknologisk?

Jeg er i gang med at lytte A People's History of the United States. Deri er der meget tydeligt beskrevet hvor stor en forskel der var på Columbus og de indfødte. Blandt andet kendte de indfødte ikke til metal, og skar sig på de sværd de prøvede at holde fordi de ikke forstod hvordan en klinge fungerede.

Hvis der er en kløft imellem immigranter og indfødte i vores nuværende tilfælde, er det da i høj grad os som har den klare fordel.

u/Trumpy_Poo_Poo · 1 pointr/AskTrumpSupporters

The purpose of history is to learn from it. To discover who we were, where we have made missteps, and to correct them. It’s Santaya’s quote “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” in vivo.
You said:
>My sense is that for conservatives, history is about monumentalization and triumphal identification, celebrating the achievements of great men (and sometimes women) who can set good moral examples.

I’d like to hear you say more, because my take on your perceptions is that they are reductivist, biased in the extreme (I’ll clarify when I share how you view the left), and not sufficiently broad to cover basic conservative principles like limited government, self-determination, and personal freedom.
Let’s take the commanding generals of the Union Army and Confederate States of America, Grant and Lee, as an example. Here’s an image to move along the discussion, based on historical fact: when Lee surrendered at Appomattox, he was dressed carefully in his uniform, neatly groomed, and did everything he could to lend honor and dignity to the proceedings. Grant showed up unshaved and slovenly. We can look at this and read into it a lot about the character of each general...but if you do this, you are missing a crucial bit of context: Grant looked unprepared because he didn’t want to keep Lee waiting. His appearance was actually a function of his desire to lend dignity to the general who he could have rightfully punished for being on the losing side. To put a very fine point on what I am trying to say: context matters.
Let me say a bit more about both generals before moving on to how you view the left...
Lee has been vilified in the recent past, hopelessly linked to the institution of slavery due to his southern heritage. Almost everyone who lives north of the Mason-Dixon Line looks at him, and what he accomplished with a jaundiced eye. People call him a “traitor” and worse. This interpretation follows logically from his place in history, since he fought on the losing side. But...
Lee was an amazing general, an outstanding field commander. He was educated at West Point, like almost every general during the Civil War, on both sides. He was a supremely capable leader, one who was able to get his men behind him, inspiring them to fight until they perished. I was looking for a quote from Jay Winik’s fantastic book, April 1865 that goes something like “I’ve heard about God, but I’ve seen General Lee!” to illustrate the fondness the soldiers under his command had for him when I found this quote from the General himself:
>It is well that war is so terrible, otherwise we should grow too fond of it. We must forgive our enemies. I can truly say that not a day has passed since the war began that I have not prayed for them. I cannot consent to place in the control of others one who cannot control himself.

And what I’m hoping you’ll get out of this is that he wasn’t someone who rebelled in armed insurrection against an oppressive government. He was just a damn good general. He was so good, in fact, that scholar James Macphearson has made the intriguing claim in his one volume history of the war that, had it not been for Lee, the war would have been over within six months and slavery would have remained as an institution.
Because I said context matters, and because I think it matters in a way that sometimes causes it to be overlooked, let me provide some context for Lee: He was from Virginia, which was a border state during the Civil War. That means it could have ended up with the Union, although it did not. Virginia was home to the Tredegar Iron Works, a massive asset that, by virtue of it’s capacity to churn out munitions, was a boon to the CSA. If Virginia has not succeeded, the war almost certainly would have been over in less than six months. Today, people in the north like to look down on people from the south, assuming that they have both cultural and moral superiority, simply because they have had the good fortune of being born in a part of the country where slavery was not practiced (because it wasn’t feasible, and really for no other reason). We treat Lee like an outlaw redneck, but there was this type called the “southern gentlemen” that Lee personified. Sir Walter Scott’s “Ivanhoe” was extremely popular during the era in which Lee lived. The story is a romance (literally featuring a main character who rescues a damsel in distress), and I want you to consider how it finds something noble in combat, while featuring a main character who is an exemplar of gentlemanly behavior.
Now for Grant, who was an alcoholic and has also been called an anti-semite. He was also a fantastic general. He was the only military figure on the Union side who was a match for Lee. Lincoln cycled through five generals before finding one who was willing to take massive casualties (the single factor that made Grant successful), telling one of the four who didn’t cut the mustard, “If you aren’t going to use The Army of the Potomac, do you mind if I borrow it?” This is what we would call a “sick burn” in modern parlance.
Now for some context on Grant: Asstated earlier, he had a drinking problem. There are reports of him being drunk during battle, even. But he was able to do the one thing that his predecessors wouldn’t: use the North’s manpower advantage and win through attrition. As for his alleged anti-semitism, he did sign Grant issued General Order No. 11, which expelled all Jews from Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi. But taking the order at face value and coming to the facile conclusion that he did this just to sock it to an ethic population isn’t fair to the historical circumstances that caused Grant to do this. According to his biographer, Ron Chernow, Grant issued the order after Jewish merchants used the high demand for cotton in the North to engage in profiteering, setting prices artificially high in a way that hurt the war effort. Yes, the order hurt Jewish families who were not merchants and had nothing to do with a small population of people who were being greedy, but calling Grant and anti-Semite and then calling it a day misses a very important nuance. Moreover, without Grant, the war drags on, and the outcome is uncertain. That is hard to fathom from our current perspective.
I’ll get to your view of the left in a moment, but first let me test what you said about those on the right against what I believe. And to make it more interesting, let’s take a modern moment and filter it through the perspective you offered: the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville was a reaction to the City Council in that town renaming “Lee Park” “Emancipation Park” and ordering the removal of a statue commemorating Lee. You said “For the right, history is about monumentalization and triumphal identification.” I have no problem with Lee being monumantalized and his efforts receiving recognition...but I don’t see this as a celebration of his “triumph.” He lost, after all. Instead, I see it as a pen acknowledgment that he was a central figure in this nation’s history. Removing the statue and renaming a park that had been named in his honor is an effort to whitewash the role he played, even if we today believe he stood for everything we detest, whether we are on the right or the left. It is important for me that we remember difficult times in American history. It is essential, even. If we fail to do this, it’s a form of hubris that allows us to believe that, because the “good guys” won, we have settled the issues that have plagued our nation through its formative years. Moreover, those statues and honorifics are a tribute to the man, not the things we think he stood for. Had I lived in Charlottesville, I would have proudly marched alongside people chanting “Jews will not replace us.” I’m Jewish. They are misguided. This is America...they have the right to be misguided in this country.
Now then, you wrote of the left:
>For the left, it's about unmasking and unveiling, interrogating and teasing out the complex social, cultural, and economic causes of injustice.

I have to note that this is an extremely rosy view of your own side. We can take the modern day historical phenomenon that is the 1619 project, and test it against what you wrote. Since I do not agree that one side is more virtuous than the other, I’m going to point out some flaws—obvious to me—with this project. The most glaring of which is that there has been a lot of history since slavery was outlawed in this land that has shaped us far more than the historical blight that is slavery: industrialization, globalization, the boom-and-bust of the information economy, as well as the rise-and-fall of American manufacturing to name as many as I can off the top of my head. My question to you is this: what exactly is being “uncovered” by revisiting the date that slaves arrived on American soil? A key follow-up question is from whence you gained these powers of perception.
Having said this, I don’t want you to think that I am dismissing or trying to poke holes in your position. I’m challenging it. I recognize that it is a proper, morally defensible, and self-contained position. It just happens to be one I disagree with. My main criticism of the argument is that it overlooks a lot of context, and basically starts with an answer and works back to an already-arrived-at conclusion. To me, a more valuable question to ask when considering the problems that black Americans face today, which they undeniably do, is “In what ways was slavery not a factor? Provocative, I suppose...but a completely fair question, and one that I feel deserves an answer.

u/unwholesome · 1 pointr/history

There's always Shelby Foote's epic three-volume The Civil War: A Narrative. A huge work that took me months to complete, but definitely worth it. Told mainly from a Southern perspective, but Foote keeps his objectivity throughout.

From the Northern perspective, you can't go wrong with James McPherson's Battle Cry of Freedom or Bruce Catton's many works on the war, especially the "Army of the Potomac" trilogy.

Right now I'm reading Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln and I'm digging it. One of the few books I've read that really gets into the social relations of the era.

From an autobiographical perspective, Sam Watkin's Company Aytch is one of the best memoirs of a Confederate soldier serving in the Western theater, even if you have to take some of his stories with a grain of salt. Or if you want to take a darker look at the world of the irregular troops fighting west of the Mississippi, there's the Autobiography of Sam Hildebrand for a confederate perspective or William Monks' A History of Southern Missouri and Northern Arkansas for the Union side of things. Monks' book is especially notable because it's the only first person account we have of a Union guerrilla soldier.

If you're looking for fiction, I love The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara about the Battle of Gettysburg. A more recent novel about Sherman's March, The March by E.L. Doctorow is also pretty stellar.

u/canseemoon · 1 pointr/history

James M. McPherson's Battle Cry of Freedom. This is the first thing I thought of when I read your request for a good single-volume treatment of an entire war. Good luck to her.

u/ekwcawaew · 1 pointr/USCivilWar

Two really good books on the topic are, The Gray and the Black and Confederate Emancipation: Southern Plans to Free and Arm Slaves during the Civil War.

u/bradmajors69 · 1 pointr/news

Most people think they're looking at a pit bull anytime they see a dog with short hair, muscular body, and a blocky head.

Even people who work with dogs for a living are unable to reliably identify breeds by sight ( What often happens is that a dog that has attacked is labeled a "pit bull" because people expect pit bulls to be vicious. The breed designation of the offending dog is most often made by a journalist, a cop or a witness, and almost never by genetic testing.

This exhaustive book outlines the many ways pit bulls are maligned in popular imagination, and gives a fascinating look back at the "bad dog" breeds of past generations, for any who have interest:

u/AHarshInquisitor · 1 pointr/politics

>We are not a nation of bullies, or zealots, or authoritarians.. they just got lucky.

Yes, we are. ^[1]

>Now they are scared. They are so scared that they will lose that hey are playing dirty. As long as we fight diligently we will win. It will take time.

No, they are not. They are so empowered, social security and Medicare are about to go bye-bye for an arms race.

u/mudsill · 1 pointr/AskHistorians

There was a pretty popular strain of opinion among Southern Whigs like Robert E. Lee that to modern readers sounds sorta like antislavery sentiment, but it actually wasn't. It was more like "Eh, it seems like a really bad institution, but what are ya gonna do?" This letter gets cited a lot by defenders of Lee, but if you read the whole thing, you'll notice he's actually angrier at abolitionists than he is at the slaveholders themselves, because he saw abolitionists as troublemakers and slavery as something that would be done away with when God willed it. He went on to inherit a couple hundred slaves from his in-laws, and tried to sue the state of Virginia to remove the manumission clause from the will. Where this idea came from that Lee never owned slaves and actively campaigned against slavery came from, I don't know.

At the start of the war, I think it's fair to say that being ardently pro-Confederate and anti-slavery wasn't as popular an opinion as Lost Cause people like to say it was. The reasoning behind secession gets pretty clear when you read what secessionists said to each other while they were lobbying other states to secede, like in this book here.

At the time the civil war started, slavery was the largest sector of the American economy, except for farmland and housing--worth more than all the factories and railroads in the country combined. The economic livelihood of the country, and South especially, was built on slavery, so I think it's really hard to separate it from the Confederate cause itself. People only really started to try to do that after slavery was abolished and everybody more or less agreed it was a bad idea.

u/dr_gonzo · 1 pointr/Libertarian

I did provide a source, in the very first comment I made here, which you responded to, with some nonsensical comment about wikipedia being unreliable and something nonsensical about fucking soup.

Here's a link again, with another quote:

> The primary catalyst for secession was slavery, most immediately the political battle over the right of Southerners to bring slavery into western territory that had hitherto been free under the terms of the Missouri Compromise or while part of Mexico. Another factor for secession and the formation of the Confederacy, was white Southern nationalism.

That wikipedia page has more than 150 sources in the event that you want rid yourself of your nativist ignorance. Personally, I'm a fan of David Potter's The Impeding Crisis, but there are plenty of other books and publications to chose from there. Potter's book might enlighten you about the basic historical facts of the antebellum period, which includes the Kansas revolts, John Brown, Lincoln's platform and election, the Dread Scott case and a long list of political conflicts attributable directly to slavery that drove the war.

Your argument here boils down to 1 part semantics. "It was about secession, not slavery", is a bit like saying "this person wasn't killed by that gun, it was the gunshot wound that killed them." It's moronic. But mostly, the argument you're making relies on verifiably false information.

The point you and others are making here boils down to the fact that you all are nativists, who are propagating a revisionist version of history. Take your bigotry to a more appropriate forum, or educate yourself. None of this issue is open to interpretation, there are verifiable historical facts here which you have chosen to willfully disregard.

u/diam0ndice9 · 1 pointr/Fuckthealtright

>Read a history book on the civil war.

I just finished reading The Battlecry For Freedom, actually, by James McPherson. Great book, and you should check it out. Sounds like you're the one who's never actually read a book about the civil war.

Regarding my idiocy, I'm not going to debate my intelligence with a stranger on the internet as I'm sure I've been called worse things by better people but below is a selection of quotes you that rebut your historical revisionism regarding the causes of the South's secession.

"No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves shall be passed."

~ Article IV of the Confederate Constitution

"The Confederate States may acquire new territory... In all such territory the institution of negro slavery, as it now exists in the Confederate States, shall be recognized and protected be Congress and by the Territorial government..."

~ Article IV Confederate Consitution

"We but imitate the policy of our fathers in dissolving a union with non-slaveholding confederates, and seeking a confederation with slaveholding States."

~ South Carolina's Dissolution of Union Statement.

"African slavery, as it exists in the United States, is a moral, a social, and a political blessing."

~ Jefferson Davis, CSA President

"Our new Government is founded... upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and moral condition. This, our new Government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth."

~ Alexander Stephens, CSA Vice President

And that's just a few.

The Civil War was a struggle over States' Rights inasmuch States had the right to enslave people and treat human beings like property. This whole "It wasn't about slavery," revisionism drives me up the wall. Gee well heck yeah the Federal Government SHOULD impugn upon your sovereignty if your soverignty is predicated upon something as immoral as slavery.

The Confederacy made clear in their very own founding documents that they wanted to enshrine human slavery as part of their society FOREVER. Anyone who wants to posit that the CSA seceded for other reasons, such as Federal tyranny, can get right TFOH with their apologetics for White Supremicism and enslavement of other human beings.

u/thinkingmans · 1 pointr/PublicFreakout

I've read books on it, here's a new comprehensive one you can buy right now!

u/having_said_that · 1 pointr/NewOrleans

You're so sensitive.

This thread among historians may be interesting to read:

I like this comment:

>I like to say that, to someone who learned about the civil from high school, the civil war was about slavery. To someone who took civil war history as an undergrad the war was about conflicting economic systems, tariffs, regional cultural differences, or something else. And that to the grad student studying the war, it was about slavery.

I've also heard good things about this book:

u/TheTrueAdonis · 1 pointr/The_Donald

You will LOVE this book if you want history without revisionism:

u/Mallardy · 1 pointr/nottheonion

> Here is a good video on this topic

No, it's not - it's by someone who has no idea what they're talking about, either.

Educating yourself via "Rebel Media" youtube videos isn't the wisest move: if you want to learn about the causes of the Civil War, why don't you read the actual words of the people who did the rebelling? You might start here with the 4 declarations regarding the causes of secession issued by seceding states, or with the Vice-President of the Confederacy's cornerstone speech. Or maybe you could just read what other Confederates were saying.

Or if the Confederates' own words aren't good enough, how about some basic reasoning: why do you think it is that all of the states which attempted to secede had more than 20% of their populations as slaves; that no state with more than 20% of the population enslaved attempted to secede; and that secession occurred directly in response to the election of the moderate Republican Abraham Lincoln?

Or if neither reasoning nor evidence helps you, how about math? According to the 1860 US census, among the states which attempted to secede, 30.8% of families owned slaves: according to the exhaustive study of the Army of Northern Virginia performed by historian Joseph Glatthaar, about 10% of the 1861 enlistees personally owned slaves (along with more than half of the officers), and very nearly half either owned slaves or lived in a slaveowning household. And that doesn't count the ones who merely had friends and neighbors who owned slaves; who ran businesses which rented slaves; who made their money by doing business with slaveowners; who aspired to own slaves; or who simply believed that slavery was morally right and liked having someone to feel superior to.

> Do you think with the recent wars the US has been involved in that the people fighting them were the bad guys?

I don't think there has to be only one set of 'bad guys'. And people who aren't particularly nice can still sometimes do the right thing.

u/Tupiekit · 1 pointr/history

This book was wrong.....on so so many levels.

u/johny5w · 1 pointr/books

I used some Christmas money to get The Civil War: A Narrative I believe I am set for reading the rest of the winter!

u/thubbeyo · 1 pointr/Denmark

Fik [A People's History of the United Stats] ( i julegave, og er lige gået igang med den. Jeg er vild med Amerikas historie, og kan ikke vente med at få den læst.

u/tempralanomaly · 1 pointr/politics

I would suggest reading "Don't Know Much About the Civil War".

"the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the Executive Government of the United States,"

Prior to this proclamation Lincoln had issued orders to his Generals countermanding their orders to free slaves in area's they had taken. Lincoln did his level best to keep the war about preservation of the union, and only changed tactics because of necessity.

The Emancipation Proclamation specifically targeted Slaves in Rebelling areas. It was an economic and political attack. It attacked the South's primary work force, and undermined foreign support.

u/thoumyvision · 1 pointr/Christianity

So you're telling me that if I pick up a history of the civil war, say this one: Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era by James M. McPherson, which was written in 1988, 123 years after the events it records, then I can't know anything about the Civil War because a scientist didn't bother to verify anything Mr. McPherson wrote?

It seems to me you don't even know what scientific evidence is. Scientific evidence is that which is testable. How, exactly, do you propose we test the events of 2000 years ago to determine if they happened? Or even 150 years ago?

Edit: Got the date of the book's publication wrong.

u/obijohn · 1 pointr/books

Well, since no one had said it, The Civil War: A Narrative by Shelby Foote. Amazing read.

u/Gr33n_Thumb · 1 pointr/AdviceAnimals

I learned more about US history from the books below than anything I learned from my high school teachers. I did have some good college professors - but they are the ones who recommended these books. Also, "Untold History of The United States" documentary by Oliver Stone on Netflix. If you like dry stuff any Ken Burns documentary.

Lies My Teach Told Me

People's History of the United States

u/kdoubledogg · 1 pointr/Catholicism

The beauty of /r/AskHistorians is that is an academic subreddit with sourcing built in. But, here are two things that I would read:

  1. The Myth of the Lost Cause and Civil War History edited by Gary W. Gallagher and Alan T. Nolan. Now this is actually just nine essays on basically this subject with a good overview. Keep in mind also that Gary W. Gallagher has written extensively fighting against Union revisionist history that attempts to portray the primary motivation of the Union as the abolition of slavery. But as many historians note, there is a fallacy in thinking that just because the Union's goal was not ending slavery, then the Confederate's goal was not about preserving it, which is certainly not the case.

  2. A Short History of Reconstruction, Updated Edition by Eric Foner. The preeminent scholar on Reconstruction history, he is also a very engaging speaker that I saw once. Though not specifically on the Civil War, it does do a good job of touching on how the Civil War was reimagined during the period and the rise of histories that downplayed the centrality of slavery to Confederate states.

    In general, I would very much agree with your proposed "midway view," which is a far cry from your original statement that South Carolina was not succeeding to protect slavery. This "midway view" recognizes that the fundamental reason for Southern secession was slavery and then there was a reaction to Lincoln's attempt to preserve the Union. There are very few reputable scholars who go so far to say that state's rights or anything else besides slavery were the dominant cause of secession (Donald Livingston comes to mind). Again, if you were to read any mainstream history, they would all focus on the centrality of slavery to the creation of the CSA.

    So what you really have here is the Confederacy, a regime that stood for the preservation of slavery. Certainly, I cannot read the consciences of every person who waves a Confederate flag, nor did I ever claim to. But again with the question of monuments, I see little reason as a Catholic to defend a bygone regime that was created to protect a horrible sin. Honor fallen soldiers? Sure. Put up statues of Jefferson Davis in your town square? No.
u/tenent808 · 1 pointr/AskHistorians

James McPherson’s Battle Cry of Freedom is immediately the first book that comes to mind. As mentioned elsewhere in this thread, it is “the book” to read on the Civil War. It is a highly readable account of the build-up to the Civil War, causes, and the war itself. It also won a Pulitzer Prize. For more, I’d also check out Ta-Nehisi Coate’s online book club on Battle Cry of Freedom over at The Atlantic.

Other excellent works on the period I would recommend are:

  • Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin: an account of the Lincoln administration during the war years

  • The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery by Eric Foner: details Lincoln’s career and his relationship and views on slavery.

  • Fall of the House of Dixie by Bruce Levine: takes a look at the southern plantation economy and its destruction in the Civil War

  • This Republic of Suffering by Drew Gilpin Faust: Harvard President and historian Faust looks at how the nation collectively dealt with the death of 600,000 young men and the national trauma of the war

  • Lincoln and His Generals by T. Harry Williams: an older book, but still a classic on the Union command structure and Lincoln’s difficulty in choosing an effective commander for the Union Army

  • Shelby Foote’s Civil War trilogy: for the military side of the conflict without much historiography

    Also, the Civil War produced some of the greatest memoirs in American letters:

  • Grant’s Memoirs: written after his presidency with the assistance of Mark Twain, who later compared them to Caesar’s Commentaries

  • Sherman’s Memoirs: called by literary critic Edmund Wilson a fascinating and disturbing account of an "appetite for warfare" that "grows as it feeds on the South"

  • The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government by Jefferson Davis: a massive tome of a book in which Davis lays out his rational for secession (in hindsight) and upon which much of the Lost Cause mythology would later be based

    And, I always recommend reading poetry and fiction, so I would also encourage you to look at Stephen Crane’s The Red Badge of Courage, as well as the war poetry of Walt Whitman and Herman Melville, particularly Melville’s poem The Martyr, written days after Lincoln’s assassination. More contemporary fiction would be Michael Shaara’s The Killer Angels, or EL Doctorow’s The March.

    Finally, check out David Blight’s Open Yale Lectures on the Civil War. Prof. Blight is a fantastic lecturer. They are free, and the course syllabus is online, and in 26 hours you can take a full Yale course completely on your own.
u/Billy_Fish · 1 pointr/books

If you have the patience and the time, and are really interested in learning about the Civil War, I cannot recommend Shelby Foote's The Civil War - A Narrative enough. It is an absolute masterpiece.

Another that is definitely worth reading is Battle Cry of Freedom by James McPherson.

If you want to stick with Shaara, read his son's Gods and Generals and The Last Full Measure.

u/MisterFalcon7 · 1 pointr/books

The American Civil War is a goldmine for books.

For an interesting read about the impact of the Civil War even to this day read:
[Confederates in the Attic] (

if you want something in depth read:
[Battle Cry of Freedom] (

u/The_DanceCommander · 1 pointr/todayilearned

The vast majority of southern citizens wouldn't have even thought to make the states rights argument at the time of the civil war, the lose of their labor force was a much, much bigger factor in deciding to secede after Abraham Lincoln was elected (on a ticket which specifically promised to do something about slavery).

Many southern state governments even sent people who basically acted as secession ambassadors to the other states, and tried to get them to leave the union. The principle argument these guy would use was the lose of slavery. Great book about this, rooted heavily in primary sources.

The states rights argument existed sure, but much of the prominence of that argument arose after the war, as historians of the "Lost Cause" mindset tried to romanticize the war for the South. From this tradition we get things like "The War of Northern Aggression", the South's noble lose, the South's heroic generals, the barbarism of the Union armies, and of course, states rights being a principal driver for secession.

u/pferrix · 1 pointr/ChapoTrapHouse

Moderators, we need to get the list nailed down and stickied or on sidebar.

Oh yeah, we need to add Matt Karp. This Vast Southern Empire: Slaveholders at the Helm of American Foreign Policy.

u/mrsamsa · 1 pointr/SubredditDrama

I think trying to equate the prejudice towards dogs over the discrimination actual people face is at best tone deaf and at worst a bit insulting, but the general idea is actually a fairly accepted history of why views towards pitbulls shifted.

There's a good book here that examines this issue and explains how the rise of pitbull popularity among black and latino groups corresponded to the rise in negative attitudes towards pitbulls, and they note a lot of the parallels of how they're characterised as a result of this association.

u/studentsofhistory · 1 pointr/historyteachers

Congrats on getting hired!!! I'd recommend a mix of PD/teaching books and content. When you get bored of one switch to the other. Both are equally important (unless you feel stronger in one area than the other).

For PD, I'd recommend: Teach Like a Pirate, Blended, The Wild Card, and the classic Essential 55. Another one on grading is Fair Isn't Always Equal - this one really changed how I thought about grading in my classes.

As far as content, you have a couple ways to go - review an overview of history like Lies My Teacher Told Me, the classic People's History, or Teaching What Really Happened, or you can go with a really good book on a specific event or time period to make that unit really pop in the classroom. The Ron Chernow books on Hamilton, Washington, or Grant would be great (but long). I loved Undaunted Courage about Lewis & Clark and turned that into a really great lesson.

Have a great summer and best of luck next year!!

u/farcebook · 1 pointr/booksuggestions

I love your question! /u/dick_long_wigwam and /u/ty_bombadil seem to have most of your "Golden Age" books covered, so here's my offering:

If you want to get into the "Belle Epoch" that Adriana finds so arresting, you ought to read The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris by David McCullough. It offers a brilliant look into the Paris of the 19th century and features a brilliant cast of historical American and French characters.

Happy Reading!

u/Emderp · 1 pointr/AdviceAnimals

I can't tell if you're being sarcastic... first you tell me that Virginia had outlawed slavery prior to the Civil War, and now this?

No, the book Davis wrote in 1881 as an apologia for his causes isn't a good source of Civil War history. The guy wrote the book after the civil war had been lost, and during the Jim Crow era when black citizens were being systematically disenfranchised and denied rights throughout the south. He wrote it to justify these things. It's an argument for why secession was legal, and why the northerners were hypocrites for abolishing slavery.

Seriously, read a history book. Battle Cry of Freedom is an excellent one-volume history.

u/kingraoul3 · 0 pointsr/worldnews

No, slavery was the over-riding issue, and States Rights was a justification. How could you expect anything else when an entire economic structure is challenged? Ideas like States Rights come from the material world, not the other way around. To start a discussion with an idea, and proceed to its affects is to turn the entire dialectical exchange on its head.

Regarding the "many" blacks who served in the Confederate Army: Where are the enlistment records for black confederates? Where are the muster rolls? Where are the reliable eyewitness accounts? Why did the Confederate Congress debate recruiting blacks and authorized that recruitment, in the closing days of the war, if there were already black regiments?

Here's a book and a comic.

u/ReckZero · 0 pointsr/stateball

I know, but it's fun to talk about these things. Plus I want to get this saved somewhere so I can use it on my Libertarian friends.

Everything about the war was about slavery. What you had was a pervasive, white-superiority culture (that generally pervaded the nation at the time, but especially slave states) that believed that white men were freed to be wealthy, productive aristocrats who could be thinkers, intellectuals and equals to European courtiers by being given the free time they needed to pursue these things on the backs of black slave labor. By given white men the freedom to not be "wage slaves," as they claimed northern men were by working in factories, they were given the chance to truly pursue their superiority. Even poor whites agreed this was a goal, either through loyalty, racism or just conformity to local culture. Everyone sought to protect this at all costs.

State sovereignty was a defense of the right of slave states to continue to own and exploit slaves. This neo-Confederate belief that it has to do with states rights is a construction to water down the fact that these states' citizens, almost uniformly, extolled the virtues of slavery every chance they got. It became such a contentious issue that every time a new state was admitted into the union, it had to have another state of opposing view on the matter added as well to maintain balance. In the case of Kansas, Missouri (Which had a much lower slave ownership rate than even Texas did - 8 percent to Texas's 28 percent at the time of the war) mobilized men to cross the border and stuff ballots to ensure the state entered the Union pro-slavery. Blood was shed in the process. This inter-state war can be considered the first major fight of the Civil War.

Further, after the start of the war, it was an express objective of Southern leadership to eventually establish a pro-slave empire across the Americas, beginning with Cuba. Cuba had experienced a number of invasions of these American military expeditions before the war. Invaders were called filibusters.

I think the strongest evidence of this is in the way Confederate forces treated black prisoners of war: They were usually enslaved, sometimes executed, on the spot. This treatment spurred outrage from Northerners, even back then.

I'd recommend the Battlecry of Freedom, by James McPhearson. The first half is devoted to the political situation and motivations of the war. It's well documented that the South had slavery and belief in the value of slavery as a primary motivator, and this was true across the board. Few Southerners would have denied this at the time. Any claim they weren't is after-the-fact revisionism. The rest of the book is a narrative of the battles, which is fun to read.

u/Khaemwaset · 0 pointsr/gaming

Primary documents in isolation of context that flame the passions of your position is confirmation bias. The position I stated is in agreement with the community of professional historians, including a former professor of mine who is the George Henry Davis '86 Professor Emeritus of United States History at Princeton University. If you would like to actually educate yourself on the subject, you can read the book for which he won a Pulitzer Prize on the topic:

But it's historical revisionism because it doesn't sync with your little-boy, pop-culture, history by feeling opinion.

u/Living_like_a_ · 0 pointsr/politics

Are you asking a question, or making a statement? Would you like to define what you mean by "other stuff"?

If you want to know where I derived the ideas that I formed my comment from. It was mainly from reading these three books -

Security Analysis, 6th edition, by Graham & Dodd

The Intelligent Investor, by Graham

A People's History of the United States, by Zinn

u/iloveamericandsocanu · 0 pointsr/politics

Saying that we may need violence to solve our political crisis is instigating violence.

Here are some good books for you and others to read

u/QRobo · 0 pointsr/HistoryMemes

All of it, hence the line:

Frantically starts flipping through pages, "oh oh. oh no. no no no. oh oh."

But if you really want to know specifics:

u/RufusSaysMeow · -1 pointsr/AskHistorians

I've spent a lot of time dealing with this question and have even written on the subject. I believe a "good" piece of historical writing needs to be able to capture the mind and attention of common people and historians alike. Pure scholarly historical work serves a purpose and has to be inherently accurate, but it does nothing to further the field and bring it to a wider audience. A balance needs to be struck between keeping the information accurate and the story line intriguing. Check out Battle Cry of Freedom by James McPherson if you haven't already. It is known as one of, if not the best historical books in terms of accuracy and reader interest.

u/IIlllIllIIIllIl · -1 pointsr/theredpillright
u/joe19d · -3 pointsr/pics

You have no idea how poorly minorities are treated in this country by whites and the ruling nb g ckass. You should read this book.