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The Enigmatic South

Toward Civil War and Its Legacies

256 pages / 6.00 x 9.00 inches / no illustrations

ebook available

Civil War | Southern History

  Hardcover / 9780807156940 / November 2014
The Enigmatic South brings together leading scholars of the Civil War period to challenge existing perceptions of the advance to secession, the Civil War, and its aftermath. The pioneering research and innovative arguments of these historians bring crucial insights to the study of this era in American history.
Christopher Childers, Sarah L. Hyde, and Julia Huston Nguyen consider the ways politics, religion, and education contributed to southern attitudes toward secession in the antebellum period. George C. Rable, Paul F. Paskoff, and John M. Sacher delve into the challenges the Confederate South faced as it sought legitimacy for its cause and military strength for the coming war with the North. Richard Follett, Samuel C. Hyde, Jr., and Eric H. Walther offer new perspectives on the changes the Civil War wrought on the economic and ideological landscape of the South.
The essays in The Enigmatic South speak eloquently to previously unconsidered aspects and legacies of the Civil War and make a major contribution to our understanding of the rich history of a conflict whose aftereffects still linger in American culture and memory.

Samuel C. Hyde, Jr., is Leon Ford professor of history at Southeastern Louisiana University and the director of the Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies. He is the author and editor of numerous books about the history of Louisiana's Florida Parishes, including, A Fierce and Fractious Frontier. The Curious Development of Louisiana's Florida Parishes, 1699-2000.

Praise for The Enigmatic South

“In this collection of essays, well-edited by Samuel C. Hyde, Jr., Cooper’s former students and colleagues express their gratitude to [William Cooper Jr.] and also demonstrate the remarkable range of his influence. . . . Well-written, carefully researched, and Cooperian in the vigor of their arguments, these essays are a fitting tribute to a master teacher and scholar, and – not incidentally – friend.”—Civil War Book Review

“An interesting and varied festschrift to the eminent historian of the South William J. Cooper Jr. . . . Each essay within The Enigmatic South is an original, thoughtful, and thought-provoking contribution, rendering the whole even more than the sum of its parts.”—Journal of American History

“Each of the nine essayists manages to explore scholarly interests central to Cooper’s career and simultaneously challenge a number of preconceptions about the South in unique ways. . . . The essays in The Enigmatic South are perceptive, illuminating, thoughtful, and generally persuasive. Moreover, they manage to breathe life and freshness into the history of the nineteenth-century South while doing honor to Cooper’s distinguished career and wide-ranging scholarship.”—Journal of Southern History

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