The Civil War: Parts 1 & 2 (United States at War- Audio Classics series)

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9780786168972: The Civil War: Parts 1 & 2 (United States at War- Audio Classics series)
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[Read by George C. Scott]

**This volume contains both -- PART 1 and PART 2 -- of The Civil War by Jeffrey Rogers Hummel.**

The United States at War Series is a collection of presentations that review the political, economic, and social forces that have erupted in military conflict.

PART I

From 1861 to 1865 America was caught in the convulsions of war -- The Civil War. No historical event, short of the American Revolution itself, has so deeply affected the United States.

The Civil War is often called the War between the States by Southern historians. Thus, even terminology illustrates the political question underpinning the war. Was the United States one nation, or were the United States a group of sovereign states that could choose to disassociate? If America was a union rather than a confederacy of states then the powerful North could abolish slavery and impose tariffs on the slave-holding, agricultural South. If America was a confederacy, then Southern states could preserve their institutions by withdrawing from the union.

What provoked this bloodletting? Both sides honored the same Constitution, spoke the same language and worshipped the same God. But neither side could agree on whether America was a union or a compact of states.

PART II

With the advent of war, the Confederate States of America faced serious problems. The Confederate population was 9.1 million compared to the Union's 19.1 million. The South controlled only one quarter of America's wealth. It had half the railroad mileage of the Union, and its Navy was badly outnumbered. Nevertheless, the South was fighting a defensive war on its own soil. Military theorists agree that such a war requires a three to one superiority for an aggressor to win. Many believed the South could prevail.

Nevertheless, on April 9, 1865, General Lee surrendered what remained of his Confederate Army. But what had the North won?

The United States of America was now one nation under God. But that nation was crippled by the economic costs of war: wholesale destruction, inflation, and poverty. The political costs were no less. Abraham Lincoln had been assassinated. Southern leaders were in jail.

The Federal government had swollen in size and power. Northern politicians now began to ''reconstruct'' the South, to build state governments that would be loyal to the union. But the conquered South simmered with resentments that could not be legislated out of existence.

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About the Author:

Jeffrey Rogers Hummel is the author of Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men: A History of the American Civil War. He teaches economics and history at San Jose State University. Before joining the SJSU economics faculty, he lectured as an adjunct at Golden Gate University and Santa Clara University. Hummel served as a tank platoon leader in the US Army during the early seventies; was publications director for the Independent Institute in Oakland, California, in the late eighties; and was a National Fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution for the 2001/02 academic year.

From AudioFile:

One of eight programs in the series, The United States at War, this audio program focuses on the political events and issues that built up to the Civil War. George C. Scott narrates a script which quotes proclamations, speeches and excerpts from corre-spondence. A cast of actors take the roles of the speakers--Lincoln, Seward, Harriet Beecher Stowe. Scott's low, gravelly voice is a good contrast to the clear voices of the historical figures. While the cast reads the lines clearly, members add little character to them beyond slight accents or inflection. The script is well-crafted and will interest listeners who find history appealing in this format. R.F.W. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine

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