A SHORT HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR by Roy P. Basler

A SHORT HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The Civil War in one brief volume demands sharp concentration of facts or omission of a proper frame of reference. The author has chosen to limit military proceedings to a chronology and a succinct record of the tragic years of bloody combat outlining the strategy of each side, the victories and defeats, the gradual military coordination that led to the inevitable result. The major portion of his work establishes his view of seeing human events as the product of the past, the forecast of the future. Natural forces and scientific laws he sees as taking precedence over the old religious ethical view. Once the South refused to accept the Declaration of Independence as applicable to all men the end was certain. Material differences, town vs. plantation, social and economic problems, slavery as a way of life built up to secession and it was too late when Lincoln came in as a minority president, a sectional choice. Later what he could have contributed to Reconstruction was negated first by his assassination, then by selfish interests. He had, however, repaired and strengthened an intellectual and moral conviction of faith in the Union. He had molded the Federal Government to fulfill its role. The balance sheet shows no opinion changed for the failures of reconstruction laid the groundwork for today's unrest. The South had become a political and economic backwater.

Publisher: Basic Books