A Great Civil War: A Military and Political History, 1861-1865

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Indiana University Press, Jan 1, 2000 - History - 612 pages
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A Great Civil War is a major new interpretation of the events which continue to dominate the American imagination and identity nearly 150 years after the war's end. In personal as well as historical terms, more even than the war for independence, the Civil War has been the defining experience of American democracy.

A lifelong student of both strategy and tactics, Weigley also brings to his account a deep understanding of the importance of individuals from generals to captains to privates. He can put the reader on the battlefield as well as anyone who has ever written about war. All of the important engagements are covered, and he does it countless times in A Great Civil War. From Fort Sumter to the early clashes in the West and border states to the naval encounters in the East and on through the great and horrible battles whose names resound in American history—Shiloh, Corinth, Bull Run, Gettysburg, Vicksburg, Chickamauga, Antietam, Wilderness, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Appomattox. A brilliant narrator of battle action and historical events, Weigley is never content merely to tell a good story. Every student of war will find new insights and interpretations at the strategic and the tactical level. There are firm judgments throughout of the leaders on both sides of the conflict.

A Great Civil War also analyzes the politics of both sides in relationship to battlefield situations. Weigley is unique in his ability to put all of the pieces on the board at once; the reader understands as never before how war and politics (and individuals) interacted to produce the infinitely complex story which is the Civil War.

As with any major work, there are themes and subtexts, explicit and implicit:

Both sides began the war with strategic and tactical concepts based on Napoleon which were already obsolete because of changes in technology—and both sides struggled throughout the war to develop new strategic and tactical procedures.

The Civil War was great not only in the massiveness of the slaughter and destruction. It was, for all its horror, a war about values—democracy and the freeing of the slaves—that was worth the effort.

The South, despite its powerful defense, was ultimately ambivalent about leaving the Union and gave up more easily than might have been expected.

Finally, there is an intimacy, a sense of personal urgency, in Weigley's grand account. He is connected by blood as well as profession. Jacob Weigley, the author's great grandfather, visited Gettysburg soon after the battle and wrote about it to his brother Francis, who was serving with the 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry; Francis later died in a Confederate prison camp. Then and now the Weigleys live in Pennsylvania, and the war and its lessons remain part of the family's living memory, as it is also the nation's.

  

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User Review  - waltzmn - LibraryThing

Quirky is as quirky does. This book definitely has its oddities -- as when the author insists on identifying generals as being generals U.S.A. or U.S.V., i.e. as generals in the regular army or the ... Read full review

A great Civil War: a military and political history, 1861-1865

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In this in-depth review of the much-discussed War Between the States, Weigley (Eisenhower's Lieutenants: The Campaign of France and Germany, 1944-1945) takes an original tact. Rather than provide a ... Read full review

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Contents

VI
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VII
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VIII
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LVI
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LXV
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LXVI
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LXVII
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LXVIII
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LXX
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LXXI
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LXXVII
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LXXVIII
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LXXIX
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LXXX
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C
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CIII
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CIV
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CV
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CVI
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CVII
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Copyright

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A Great Civil War: A Military and Political History, 1861-1865 ...
A Great Civil War: A Military and Political History, 1861-1865.
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JSTOR: A Great Civil War: A Military and Political History, 1861-1865
A Great Civil War: A Military and Political History, 1861-1865. By Rus- sell F. Weigley. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2000. ISBN 0-253- 3378-0. ...
links.jstor.org/ sici?sici=0899-3718(200101)65%3A1%3C199%3AAGCWAM%3E2.0.CO%3B2-1

Kliatt: Weigley, Russell F. A great Civil War; a military and ...
WEIGLEY, Russell F. A great Civil War; a military and political history, 1861-1865. Indiana University Press. 612p. maps. notes, bibliog, index, c2000, ...
findarticles.com/ p/ articles/ mi_m0PBX/ is_4_38/ ai_n6123060/ print

A Great Civil War / Indiana University Press
A major new narrative interpretation of the American Civil War by a well-known military historian
www.iupress.indiana.edu/ catalog/ product_info.php?products_id=19956

American Civil War :: Overviews -- Britannica Online Encyclopedia
Russell F. Weigley, A Great Civil War: A Military and Political History, 1861–1865 (2000), is equally good. Frank E. Vandiver, Their Tattered Flags: The ...
www.britannica.com/ eb/ article-229886/ American-Civil-War

Gettysburg College - Lincoln Prize Past Winners
First Place: Russell F. Weigley, A Great Civil War: A Military and Political History, 1861-1865 (Indiana University Press). ...
www.gettysburg.edu/ about/ offices/ provost/ cwi/ lincoln_prize/ lincoln_prizepastwinner.dot

Civil War Preservation
Russell F. Weigley who wrote A Great Civil War:A Military and Political History, 1861-1865 died in March, and Rich Sokup of Freeport, Ill., President of The ...
www.civilwarnews.com/ preservation/ lincolnwilliams.htm

Russell F. Weigley, Historian Who Studied Wars, Dies at 73 - New ...
In his book ''A Great Civil War: A Military and Political History, 1861-1865'' (Indiana University Press, 2000), he looked at events from several ...
query.nytimes.com/ gst/ fullpage.html?res=9E0CE0D9133EF931A25750C0A9629C8B63

WE/SE 571 THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR
Master of American History and Government. Ashland University. AHG 504:. THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR AND RECONSTRUCTION. Professors Mackubin Thomas Owens and ...
mahg.ashland.edu/ schedule/ 2006/ 504.pdf

Books on the American Civil War
Browse our Book Shop. American Civil War General Works Contemporary Accounts. Battles Antietam Second Bull Run Gettysburg. Biographies Grant, Ulysses S. ...
www.historyofwar.org/ bookshop/ books_american_civil_war.html

About the author (2000)

Russell F. Weigley (1930-2004) was Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus at Temple University. He is author of numerous books, including The American Way of War, Eisenhower's Lieutenants, and The Age of Battles: The Quest for Decisive Warfare from Breitenfeld to Waterloo, all available from Indiana University Press.

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