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Legacy of Disunion

The Enduring Significance of the American Civil War

Conflicting Worlds: New Dimensions of the American Civil War

267 pages / 6.00 x 9.00 inches / None

Civil War

  Hardcover / 9780807128473 / March 2003

The conviction that the American Civil War left a massive legacy to the country has generally been much clearer than the definition of what that legacy is. Did the was, as Ulysses S. Grant believed, bequeath power, intelligence, and sectional harmony to America, or did it, as many have argued since, sow racial and regional bitterness that has blighted the nation since 1865? What, exactly, was the legacy of disunion?

This collection explores that question from a variety of angles, showcasing the work of twelve scholars from the United States and the United Kingdom. The essays ponder the role of history, myth, and media in sustaining the memory of the war and its racial implications in the South; Abraham Lincoln's legacy; and the war's consequences in less studied areas, such as civil-military relations and constitutional and legal history. By juxtaposing American and non-American interpretations, this stimulating volume reveals aspects of the war's legacy that from a purely American viewpoint are sometimes too close for comfort.

Contributors: Bruce Collins, Robert Cook, Richard N. Current, Susan-Mary Grant, Charles W. Joyner, Patricia Lucie, James M. McPherson, Peter J. Parish, Brian Holden Reid, Jeffrey Leigh Sedgwick, Adam P. Smith, Melvyn Stokes.

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