Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, Jun 16, 1988 - History - 904 pages
406 Reviews
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.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
275
4 stars
105
3 stars
20
2 stars
5
1 star
1

Great insight and story telling. - Goodreads
Great coverage of the Civil War in one volume. - Goodreads
This book is well written and exceptionally researched. - Goodreads
Excellent overview of the Civil War - Goodreads
Very good overview of the war. - Goodreads
A great writer, and an fabulous researcher. - Goodreads

Review: Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era (Oxford History of the United States #6)

User Review  - Anthony Ryan - Goodreads

Probably the best one volume account of the pivotal era in the American story and a fine example of the narrative historian's art. McPherson pulls off the difficult task of capturing the details that ... Read full review

Review: Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era (Oxford History of the United States #6)

User Review  - Alex Teich - Goodreads

Must read single volume of the War Between the Sections. Great for a first time Civil War reader. bound to give you leads in your endeavors to understand the Civil War. McPherson shits on all other ... Read full review

Contents

From the Halls of Montezuma
3
The United States at Midcentury
6
Mexico Will Poison Us
47
An Empire for Slavery
78
Maps
101
Slavery Rum and Romanism
117
The Crime Against Kansas
145
Mudsills and Greasy Mechanics for A Lincoln
170
Carry Me Back to Old Virginny
511
The Battle of Second Manassas Bull Run
530
Antietam September 17 1862
542
John Bulls Virginia Reel
546
Three Rivers in Winter 18621863
568
Fredericksburg December 13 1862
573
Fire in the Rear
591
The Summer of63
626

The Revolution of 1860
202
The Counterrevolution of 1861
234
The Election of 1860 and Southern Secession
236
The Upper Souths Dilemma
276
Amateurs Go to War
308
The Battle of Bull Run Manassas 343
309
Farewell to the Ninety Days War
339
The SaltWater War 18611862
369
The River War in 1862
392
The Sinews of War
428
Billy Yanks Chickahominy Blues
454
Jacksons Shenandoah Valley Campaign MayJune 1862
459
The Peninsula Campaign AprilMay 1862
465
The Seven Days Battles
472
We Must Free the Slaves or Be Ourselves Subdued
490
Johnny Rebs Chattanooga Blues
666
When This Cruel War Is Over
689
If It Takes All Summer
718
The Wilderness and Spotsylvania May 512 1864
730
The Campaign for Atlanta MaySept 1864
746
After Four Years of Failure
751
We Are Going To Be Wiped Off the Earth
774
South Carolina Must Be Destroyed
807
We Are All Americans
831
To the Shoals of Victory
853
Abbreviated Titles
863
Bibliographic Note
865
Index
883
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

Meanings of Life
Roy F. Baumeister
Limited preview - 1991
All Book Search results »

About the author (1988)


James M. McPherson is Edwards Professor of American History at Princeton University. His books include The Struggle for Equality, Marching Toward Freedom, and Ordeal by Fire.