A People's History of the Civil War: Struggles for the Meaning of Freedom

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New Press, Sep 1, 2006 - History - 594 pages
The acclaimed sweeping history of a nation at war with itself, told here for the first time by the people who lived it.

Bottom-up history at its very best, A People's History of the Civil War "does for the Civil War period what Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States did for the study of American history in general" (Library Journal). Widely praised upon its initial release, it was described as "meticulously researched and persuasively argued" by the Atlanta Journal- Constitution.

Historian David Williams has written the first account of the American Civil War though the eyes of ordinary peoplefoot soldiers, slaves, women, prisoners of war, draft resisters, Native Americans, and others. Richly illustrated with little-known anecdotes and first-hand testimony, this pathbreaking narrative moves beyond presidents and generals to tell a new and powerful story about America's most destructive conflict.

A People's History of the Civil War is "readable social history" which "sheds fascinating light" (Publishers Weekly) on this crucial period. In so doing it recovers the long-overlooked perspectives and forgotten voices of one of the defining chapters of American history. Forty b/w images.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jgeneric - LibraryThing

For a long time, the American Civil War became a war of valiant white Southerners fighting for "their way of life". History was re-written to be not about slavery or profits, but about "state's rights ... Read full review

A People's History of the Civil War: Struggles for the Meaning of Freedom

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Stereotypical images of patriotic men who unblinkingly fought to the death to defend the Union and Confederacy, women who remained at home encouraging enlistment and otherwise supporting the cause ... Read full review

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About the author (2006)

David Williams is a professor of history at Valdosta State University, where he teaches courses on the history of Georgia, the Old South, and the Civil War era. He is the author of A People's History of the Civil War: Struggles for the Meaning of Freedom and Bitterly Divided: The South's Inner Civil War, both published by The New Press. He lives in Valdosta, Georgia.

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