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What They Fought For 1861-1865

McPherson, James M.

356 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0807119040 / ISBN 13: 9780807119044
Published by Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 1994
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Black Falcon Books (Wellesley, MA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

First printing, stated; full number line. Inscribed and signed by the author on the half-title page: "To Hank / Best wishes from / James McPherson." Book is square and unmarked; corners sharp, spine ends unbumped. The dust jacket is not price-clipped (original price $16.95); Brodart protected. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 007048

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Bibliographic Details

Title: What They Fought For 1861-1865

Publisher: Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Publication Date: 1994

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine

Signed: Signed by Author

Edition: First Edition.

About this title


Examines the letters and diaries of nearly one thousand soldiers to investigate what motivated those who fought in the Civil War, concluding that they were driven by a keen sense of patriotic and ideological commitment

From Publishers Weekly:

McPherson ( Battle Cry of Freedom ), a Pulitzer Prize-winning Civil War scholar, here calls on letters and diaries, many unpublished, to present a strong case that both Union and Confederate soldiers made war motivated primarily by considerations of principle. Slavery was a crucial factor, he observes: Southerners regarded it as part of their way of life. Northerners, on the other hand, combined morality and pragmatism in their acceptance of abolition as essential in preserving the Union. McPherson, however, perceives the Civil War basically as a struggle for the heritage of 1776, a struggle in which Southerners sought freedom from a tyrannical government, while Northerners believed the republican experiment could not survive if the legitimacy of secession were established. More than 80% of the war's combatants were literate, which may help to explain why McPherson's sources convincingly reflect the character and experience of the armies. Frontline idealism seemed to prevail on both sides, perhaps to the surprise of a more cynical 20th century. McPherson's emphasis on moral and ideological factors in war gives his book a significance well beyond its specific subject.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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