Consolidating one of the most complex and multi-faceted eras in American History, this new edition of Jonathan Wells’s A House Divided unifies the broad and varied scholarship on the American Civil War. Amassing a variety of research, this accessible and readable text introduces readers to both the war and the Reconstruction period, and how Americans lived during this time of great upheaval in the country's history. Designed for a variety of subjects and teaching styles, this text not only looks at the Civil War from a historical perspective, but also analyzes its ramifications on the United States and American identities through the present day. This second edition has been updated throughout, incorporating new scholarship from recent studies on the Civil War era, and includes additional photographs and maps (now incorporated throughout the text), updated bibliographies, and a supplementary companion website.
Table of Contents
Introduction: War: The Red Animal
Chapter One: Slavery and the Long-Term Roots of the Civil War
Chapter Two: The Sectional Crisis, 1830-1850
Chapter Three: The 1850s, Secession, and the Start of War
Chapter Four: The War Begins
Chapter Five: Organizing and Mobilizing War
Chapter Six: In the Grip of War
Chapter Seven: Turning Points
Chapter Eight: War on the Homefront
Chapter Nine: The Union Grinds toward Victory
Chapter Ten: Union Victory and African American Freedom
Chapter Eleven: Reconstruction Begins
Chapter Twelve: Collapse of Reconstruction
Chapter Thirteen: America in the Late Ninteenth-Century
A House Divided offers students of the Civil War era a sweeping interpretation of the defining crisis of America’s past that is readable and engaging from the first page to the last.
- Don H. Doyle, University of South Carolina, author of The Cause of All Nations: An International History of the American Civil War (2014).
Jonathan Wells’ A House Divided expertly introduces readers to one of the most complex eras in American history. Wells’s engaging, comprehensive, and balanced text, peopled with a broad range of actors, guides us through the changes and the continuities of the Civil War. He explains the causes, nature, and outcomes of the conflict with remarkable cogency, guiding readers through historians’ debates, and rooting his story in the words and actions of the era’s most important voices.
- Aaron Sheehan-Dean, Fred C. Frey Professor of Southern Studies, Louisiana State University
Jonathan Wells' textbook synthesis of the Civil War era succeeds in the difficult task of incorporating new research with traditional themes. As a consequence, students get a readable, state-of-the-art survey of the Civil War era in its full complexity.
- Frank Towers, University of Calgary, author of Confederate Cities (2015)