Jones analyzes the conduct of the American Civil War. He argues that Presidents Lincoln and Davis, and their Generals, showed a firm grasp of established military strategy as well as an ability to innovate. He believes the war was decided by strategic skill rather than industrial might. Jones argues that the industrial dominance of the North was offset by the territorial vastness of the South, the difficulties in supplying a distant army, and by the fact that the man with the rifle was the basic and decisive unit of combat rather than large military machinery. He analyzes a variety of strategic manoeuvres - turns, concentration of forces and raids - and relates them to the outcome of the war.
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A skillfully argued if not always convincing explanation of how Union and Confederate political and military leaders executed their respective game plans for winning the Civil War. Here, Jones (History/North Dakota State Univ.; The Art of War in the Western World, 1987) expands on the major ideas in his essay in Gabor S. Boritt's Why the Confederacy Lost (p. 151). One reason why the war was so protracted, he says, was that the antagonists were so evenly matched: ``With sophisticated tactics, logistics, and strategy adapted to the industrial revolution and low population density, and political aims and strategic means usually well harmonized, the combatants conducted their war well.'' At times, such conclusions leave the reader at a loss as to how the North ever won. More importantly, this eagle's-nest view is weakened by its sympathy for such oft-maligned figures as Jefferson Davis, timorous Union Chief of Staff Henry Halleck, and pompous Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard, as well as by its inadequate treatment of how evolving weaponry turned the conflict into a blood bath that generals could not begin to comprehend. Yet these deficiencies are more than offset by Jones's impressive erudition and clear explanations. At his best, in his description of such strategic concepts as the turning movement (used with varying degrees of success by both sides), concentration of force in space and time, and the raid (exploited by Grant and Sherman with devastating results), Jones masterfully illustrates how North and South adapted Napoleonic maneuvers to such recent inventions as the steamboat, the telegraph, and the railroad. Provocative and illuminating. (Twenty pages of maps.) -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Library Journal:
In this masterful reappraisal of the Civil War commanders and the effectiveness of their strategies for attaining victory, Jones forcefully develops the revisionist concepts about Civil War leadership initially advanced in his and Herman Hattaway's How the North Won (Univ. of Illinois Pr., 1983). Informed readers conversant with Jones's sources will be challenged by his persuasive reevaluation of the performance of Halleck and Beauregard, among others. Likewise, those holding conventional notions about the military conduct of the Civil War will be startled or provoked by his singularly unconventional analysis of the strategies employed. Highly recommended for college and university libraries supporting military studies. History Book Club main selection.
- Lawrence E. Ellis, Broward Community Coll. Lib., Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
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Book Description Free Press, 1992. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. First. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0029166357
Book Description Free Press, New York, 1992. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. CIVIL WAR-NEW regular size hardcover in its jacket. brown w/white lettering Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # Sept18-15top8
Book Description Free Press, 1992. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110029166357
Book Description Free Press, 1992. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0029166357
Book Description Free Press. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0029166357 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW6.0007441
Book Description Mar 16, 1992. Book Condition: New. BEST BUY.OFX/DD. Bookseller Inventory # 800962