Battle Cry of Freedom

The Civil War Era

By James M. McPherson
(Oxford University Press, USA, Paperback, 9780195168952, 909pp.)

Publication Date: December 2003

List Price: $19.95*
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Description
Filled with fresh interpretations and information, puncturing old myths and challenging new ones, Battle Cry of Freedom will unquestionably become the standard one-volume history of the Civil War.
James McPherson's fast-paced narrative fully integrates the political, social, and military events that crowded the two decades from the outbreak of one war in Mexico to the ending of another at Appomattox. Packed with drama and analytical insight, the book vividly recounts the momentous episodes that preceded the Civil War--the Dred Scott decision, the Lincoln-Douglas debates, John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry--and then moves into a masterful chronicle of the war itself--the battles, the strategic maneuvering on both sides, the politics, and the personalities. Particularly notable are McPherson's new views on such matters as the slavery expansion issue in the 1850s, the origins of the Republican Party, the causes of secession, internal dissent and anti-war opposition in the North and the South, and the reasons for the Union's victory.
The book's title refers to the sentiments that informed both the Northern and Southern views of the conflict: the South seceded in the name of that freedom of self-determination and self-government for which their fathers had fought in 1776, while the North stood fast in defense of the Union founded by those fathers as the bulwark of American liberty. Eventually, the North had to grapple with the underlying cause of the war--slavery--and adopt a policy of emancipation as a second war aim. This "new birth of freedom," as Lincoln called it, constitutes the proudest legacy of America's bloodiest conflict.
This authoritative volume makes sense of that vast and confusing "second American Revolution" we call the Civil War, a war that transformed a nation and expanded our heritage of liberty.



About the Author
James M. McPherson is a distinguished Civil War historian. He won the 1989 Pulitzer Prize for his book BATTLE CRY OF FREEDOM: THE CIVIL WAR ERA. His other publications include MARCHING TOWARD FREEDOM: BLACKS IN THE CIVIL WAR, Second Edition (1991); ORDEAL BY FIRE: THE CIVIL WAR AND RECONSTRUCTION, Third Edition (2001); ABRAHAM LINCOLN AND THE SECOND AMERICAN REVOLUTION (1991); FOR CAUSE AND COMRADES: WHY MEN FOUGHT IN THE CIVIL WAR (1997), which won the Lincoln Prize in 1998; CROSSROADS OF FREEDOM: ANTIETAM (2002); HALLOWED GROUND: A WALK AT GETTYSBURG (2003); and TRIED BY WAR: ABRAHAM LINCOLN AS COMMANDER IN CHIEF (2008), which won the Lincoln Prize for 2009. Professor McPherson served as president of the American Historical Association (2003-2004).


NPR
Tuesday, Nov 6, 2012

Politicians love to invoke Honest Abe Lincoln, often while twisting his legacy to fit their own purposes. But who was the man, really? Steve Inskeep talks to three Lincoln historians � Andy Ferguson, of the Weekly Standard, and Doris Kearns Goodwin and Eric Foner � about the books they think best capture the former president's character. (This piece initially aired April 10, 2012 on Morning Edition.) More at NPR.org

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NPR
Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012

Politicians love to invoke Honest Abe, often while twisting his legacy to fit their own purposes. But who was the man, really? Three Lincoln historians discuss the books they think best capture the president's character. More at NPR.org

NPR Audio Player Requires Flash Upgrade: Please upgrade your plug-in to view this content.

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