Themes of the American Civil War : The War Between the States book cover
1st Edition

Themes of the American Civil War
The War Between the States

ISBN 9780415990875
Published August 6, 2009 by Routledge
424 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations

SAVE $15.89
was $52.95
USD $37.06

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Themes of the American Civil War offers a timely and useful guide to this vast topic for a new generation of students. The volume provides a broad-ranging assessment of the causes, complexities, and consequences of America’s most destructive conflict to date. The essays, written by top scholars in the field, and reworked for this new edition, explore how, and in what ways, differing interpretations of the war have arisen, and explains clearly why the American Civil War remains a subject of enduring interest. It includes chapters covering four broad areas, including The Political Front, The Military Front, The Race Front, and The Ideological Front.

Additions to the second edition include a new introduction – added to the current introduction by James McPherson – a chapter on gender, as well as information on the remembrance of the war (historical memory). The addition of several maps, a timeline, and an appendix listing further reading, battlefield statistics, and battle/regiment/general names focuses the book squarely at undergraduates in both the US and abroad.

Table of Contents


Introduction to the 2009 edition: Susan-Mary Grant

Introduction to the 2000 Edition: James M. McPherson



Part I: One and Inseparable

Chapter 1: The State of the Union, 1776-1860

Donald Ratcliffe

Part II: And the War Came…

Chapter 2: Southern Secession in 1860-1861

Bruce Collins

Chapter 3: The First of the Modern Wars?

Joseph G. Dawson III

Chapter 4: The Experience of the Civil War: Men at Arms

Andrew Haughton

Chapter 5: Command and Leadership in the Civil War, 1861-1865

Brian Holden Reid

Chapter 6: Abraham Lincoln, the Presidency, and the Mobilization of Union Sentiment

Richard Carwardine

Chapter 7: Jefferson Davis and the Confederacy

Martin Crawford

Chapter 8: Capitalism and the Civil War

John Ashworth

Part III: Emancipation: Race and Gender in the Civil War

Chapter 9: Fighting for Freedom: African-American Soldiers in the Civil War

Susan-Mary Grant

Chapter 10: The Fight for Black Suffrage in the War of the Rebellion

Robert Cook

Chapter 11: ‘What did we go to war for?’ Confederate Emancipation and its Meaning

Bruce Levine

Chapter 12: Slavery and Emancipation: the African-American Experience during the Civil War

David Turley

Chapter 13: ‘To Bind up the Nation’s Wounds’: Women and the American Civil War.

Susan-Mary Grant

Part IV: Legacy

Chapter 14: From Union to Nation? The Civil War and the Development of American Nationalism.

Susan-Mary Grant

Chapter 15: Individual Rights and Constitutional Powers: the impact of the Civil War

Pat Lucie

Guide to Further Reading

Notes on Contributors


View More



Susan-Mary Grant is Professor of American History at Newcastle University, UK. She is the author of The War for a Nation: The American Civil War (Routledge), and current editor of the journal American Nineteenth Century History.

Brian Holden Reid is Professor of American History and Military Institutions, King’s College London. He is the author of America's Civil War: The Operational Battlefield, 1861-1863 and Robert E. Lee: Icon for a Nation.


"For college history professors who teach that the Civil War is more than just drums and guns, as I do, this book presents a nice introduction to the Civil War’s complexities. ... The 15 finely-crafted essays in this book ... offer fresh insight into important topics. They also include examinations of historiography that allow the reader to understand the genesis of particular debates."
– Jonathan A. Noyalas, Lord Fairfax Community College, Civil War News