Call Number: Valley City State University 3rd Floor (306.362 B2293h )
Publication Date: 2016-11-01
Americans tend to cast slavery as a pre-modern institution--the nation’s original sin, perhaps, but isolated in time and divorced from America’s later success. But to do so robs the millions who suffered in bondage of their full legacy. As historian Edward E. Baptist reveals inThe Half Has Never Been Told, the expansion of slavery in the first eight decades after American independence drove the evolution and modernization of the United States. In the span of a single lifetime, the South grew from a narrow coastal strip of worn-out tobacco plantations to a continental cotton empire, and the United States grew into a modern, industrial, and capitalist economy. Told through intimate slave narratives, plantation records, newspapers, and the words of politicians, entrepreneurs, and escaped slaves,The Half Has Never Been Told offers a radical new interpretation of American history. Winner of the 2015 Avery O. Craven Prize from the Organization of American Historians Winner of the 2015 Sidney Hillman Prize Bloomberg View Top Ten Nonfiction Books of 2014 Daily Beast Best Nonfiction Books of 2014
Call Number: Valley City State University Lower Level (973.8 F7326r )
Publication Date: 2014-12-02
Newly Reissued with a New Introduction: From the "preeminent historian of Reconstruction" (New York Times Book Review), a newly updated edition of the prize-winning classic work on the post-Civil War period which shaped modern America. Eric Foner's "masterful treatment of one of the most complex periods of American history" (New Republic) redefined how the post-Civil War period was viewed. Reconstruction chronicles the way in which Americans—black and white—responded to the unprecedented changes unleashed by the war and the end of slavery. It addresses the ways in which the emancipated slaves' quest for economic autonomy and equal citizenship shaped the political agenda of Reconstruction; the remodeling of Southern society and the place of planters, merchants, and small farmers within it; the evolution of racial attitudes and patterns of race relations; and the emergence of a national state possessing vastly expanded authority and committed, for a time, to the principle of equal rights for all Americans. This "smart book of enormous strengths" (Boston Globe) remains the standard work on the wrenching post-Civil War period—an era whose legacy still reverberates in the United States today.
Call Number: Valley City State University Lower Level (973.8 Eg26w )
Publication Date: 2015-10-13
By 1870, just five years after Confederate surrender and thirteen years after the Dred Scott decision ruled blacks ineligible for citizenship, Congressional action had ended slavery and given the vote to black men. That same year, Hiram Revels and Joseph Hayne Rainey became the first African-American U.S. senator and congressman respectively. In South Carolina, only twenty years after the death of arch-secessionist John C. Calhoun, a black man, Jasper J. Wright, took a seat on the state's Supreme Court. Not even the most optimistic abolitionists had thought such milestones would occur in their lifetimes. The brief years of Reconstruction marked the United States' most progressive moment prior to the civil rights movement.Previous histories of Reconstruction have focused on Washington politics. But in this sweeping, prodigiously researched narrative, Douglas Egerton brings a much bigger, even more dramatic story into view, exploring state and local politics and tracing the struggles of some fifteen hundred African-American officeholders, in both the North and South, who fought entrenched white resistance. Tragically, their movement was met by ruthless violence--not just riotous mobs, but also targeted assassination. With stark evidence, Egerton shows that Reconstruction, often cast as a "failure" or a doomed experiment, was rolled back by murderous force. The Wars of Reconstruction is a major and provocative contribution to American history.
Call Number: Valley City State University Lower Level (973.8 Su647o )
Publication Date: 2014-10-27
For a generation, scholarship on the Reconstruction era has rightly focused on the struggles of the recently emancipated for a meaningful freedom and defined its success or failure largely in those terms. In The Ordeal of the Reunion, Mark Wahlgren Summers goes beyond this vitally important question, focusing on Reconstruction's need to form an enduring Union without sacrificing the framework of federalism and republican democracy. Assessing the era nationally, Summers emphasizes the variety of conservative strains that confined the scope of change, highlights the war's impact and its aftermath, and brings the West and foreign policy into an integrated narrative. In sum, this book offers a fresh explanation for Reconstruction's demise and a case for its essential successes as well as its great failures. Indeed, this book demonstrates the extent to which the victors' aims in 1865 were met--and at what cost. Summers depicts not just a heroic, tragic moment with equal rights advanced and then betrayed but a time of achievement and consolidation, in which nationhood and emancipation were placed beyond repeal and the groundwork was laid for a stronger, if not better, America to come.
Call Number: Valley City State University Lower Level (973.711 G618c )
Publication Date: 2012-02-21
An epic of courage and heroism beyond the battlefields, 1861 is Adam Goodheart's account of how the Civil War began and a second American revolution unfolded, setting Abraham Lincoln on the path to greatness and millions of slaves on the road to freedom. In this gripping and original book, Goodheart introduces us to a heretofore little-known cast of Civil War heroes--among them an acrobatic militia colonel, an explorer's wife, an idealistic band of German immigrants, a regiment of New York City firemen, a community of Virginia slaves, and a young college professor who would one day become president. Their stories take us from the corridors of the White House to the slums of Manhattan, from the waters of the Chesapeake to the deserts of Nevada, from Boston Common to Alcatraz Island, vividly evoking the Union at its moment of ultimate crisis and decision.
Call Number: Valley City State University Lower Level (973.7 F621r )
Publication Date: 2012-03-01
It was no coincidence that the Civil War occurred during an age of violent political upheaval in Europe and the Americas. Grounding the causes and philosophies of the Civil War in an international context, Andre M. Fleche examines how questions of national self-determination, race, class, and labor the world over influenced American interpretations of the strains on the Union and the growing differences between North and South. Setting familiar events in an international context, Fleche enlarges our understanding of nationalism in the nineteenth century, with startling implications for our understanding of the Civil War. Confederates argued that European nationalist movements provided models for their efforts to establish a new nation-state, while Unionists stressed the role of the state in balancing order and liberty in a revolutionary age. Diplomats and politicians used such arguments to explain their causes to thinkers throughout the world. Fleche maintains that the fight over the future of republican government in America was also a battle over the meaning of revolution in the Atlantic world and, as such, can be fully understood only as a part of the world-historical context in which it was fought.
Call Number: Valley City State University Lower Level (973.7 W2193w )
Publication Date: 2013-11-01
Winner of the 2014 Oklahoma Book Award for nonfiction Winner of the 2014 Pate Award from the Fort Worth Civil War Round Table. When the peoples of the Indian Territory found themselves in the midst of the American Civil War, squeezed between Union Kansas and Confederate Texas and Arkansas, they had no way to escape a conflict not of their choosing--and no alternative but to suffer its consequences. When the Wolf Came explores how the war in the Indian Territory involved almost every resident, killed many civilians as well as soldiers, left the country stripped and devastated, and cost Indian nations millions of acres of land. Using a solid foundation of both published and unpublished sources, including the records of Cherokee, Choctaw, and Creek nations, Mary Jane Warde details how the coming of the war set off a wave of migration into neighboring Kansas, the Red River Valley, and Texas. She describes how Indian Territory troops in Unionist regiments or as Confederate allies battled enemies--some from their own nations--in the territory and in neighboring Kansas, Missouri, and Arkansas. And she shows how post-war land cessions forced by the federal government on Indian nations formerly allied with the Confederacy allowed the removal of still more tribes to the Indian Territory, leaving millions of acres open for homesteads, railroads, and development in at least ten states. Enhanced by maps and photographs from the Oklahoma Historical Society's photographic archives, When the Wolf Came will be welcomed by both general readers and scholars interested in the signal public events that marked that tumultuous era and the consequences for the territory's tens of thousands of native peoples.
Call Number: Valley City State University Lower Level (973.711 F6298d )
Publication Date: 2013-05-07
By the time John Brown hung from the gallows for his crimes at Harper’s Ferry, Northern abolitionists had made him a "holy martyr” in their campaign against Southern slave owners. This Northern hatred for Southerners long predated their objections to slavery. They were convinced that New England, whose spokesmen had begun the American Revolution, should have been the leader of the new nation. Instead, they had been displaced by Southern "slavocrats” like Thomas Jefferson. This malevolent envy exacerbated the South’s greatest fear: a race war. Jefferson’s cry, "We are truly to be pitied,” summed up their dread. For decades, extremists in both regions flung insults and threats, creating intractable enmities. By 1861, only a civil war that would kill a million men could save the Union.
Call Number: Valley City State University Lower Level (973.711 C7882w )
Publication Date: 2013-06-04
In this carefully researched book William J. Cooper gives us a fresh perspective on the period between Abraham Lincoln's election in November 1860 and the firing on Fort Sumter in April 1861, during which all efforts to avoid or impede secession and prevent war failed. Here is the story of the men whose decisions and actions during the crisis of the Union resulted in the outbreak of the Civil War. Sectional compromise had been critical in the history of the country, from the Constitutional Convention of 1787 through to 1860, and was a hallmark of the nation. On several volatile occasions political leaders had crafted solutions to the vexing problems dividing North and South. During the postelection crisis many Americans assumed that once again a political compromise would settle yet another dispute. Instead, in those crucial months leading up to the clash at Fort Sumter, that tradition of compromise broke down and a rapid succession of events led to the great cataclysm in American history, the Civil War. All Americans did not view this crisis from the same perspective. Strutting southern fire-eaters designed to break up the Union. Some Republicans, crowing over their electoral triumph, evinced little concern about the threatened dismemberment of the country. Still others--northerners and southerners, antislave and proslave alike--strove to find an equitable settlement that would maintain the Union whole. Cooper captures the sense of contingency, showing Americans in these months as not knowing where decisions would lead, how events would unfold. The people who populate these pages could not foresee what war, if it came, would mean, much less predict its outcome. We Have the War Upon Us helps us understand what the major actors said and did: the Republican party, the Democratic party, southern secessionists, southern Unionists; why the pro-compromise forces lost; and why the American tradition of sectional compromise failed. It reveals how the major actors perceived what was happening and the reasons they gave for their actions: Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, Stephen A. Douglas, William Henry Seward, John J. Crittenden, Charles Francis Adams, John Tyler, James Buchanan, and a host of others. William J. Cooper has written a full account of the North and the South, Republicans and Democrats, sectional radicals and sectional conservatives that deepens our insight into what is still one of the most controversial periods in American history.
Call Number: Valley City State University Lower Level (973.711 V434d )
Publication Date: 2010-09-15
In the decades of the early republic, Americans debating the fate of slavery often invoked the specter of disunion to frighten their opponents. As Elizabeth Varon shows, "disunion" connoted the dissolution of the republic--the failure of the founders' effort to establish a stable and lasting representative government. For many Americans in both the North and the South, disunion was a nightmare, a cataclysm that would plunge the nation into the kind of fear and misery that seemed to pervade the rest of the world. For many others, however, disunion was seen as the main instrument by which they could achieve their partisan and sectional goals. Varon blends political history with intellectual, cultural, and gender history to examine the ongoing debates over disunion that long preceded the secession crisis of 1860-61.
Call Number: Valley City State University Lower Level (973.7092 L638d )
Publication Date: 2015-06-19
As "Savior of the Union" and the "Great Emancipator," Abraham Lincoln has been lauded for his courage, wisdom, and moral fiber. Yet Frederick Douglass's assertion that Lincoln was the "white man's president" has been used by some detractors as proof of his fundamentally racist character. Viewed objectively, Lincoln was a white man's president by virtue of his own whiteness and that of the culture that produced him. Until now, however, historians have rarely explored just what this means for our understanding of the man and his actions. Writing at the vanguard of "whiteness studies," Brian Dirck considers Lincoln as a typical American white man of his time who bore the multiple assumptions, prejudices, and limitations of his own racial identity. He shows us a Lincoln less willing or able to transcend those limitations than his more heroic persona might suggest but also contends that Lincoln's understanding and approach to racial bigotry was more enlightened than those of most of his white contemporaries. Blazing a new trail in Lincoln studies, Dirck reveals that Lincoln was well aware of and sympathetic to white fears, especially that of descending into "white trash," a notion that gnawed at a man eager to distance himself from his own coarse origins. But he also shows that after Lincoln crossed the Rubicon of black emancipation, he continued to grow beyond such cultural constraints, as seen in his seven recorded encounters with nonwhites. Dirck probes more deeply into what "white" meant in Lincoln's time and what it meant to Lincoln himself, and from this perspective he proposes a new understanding of how Lincoln viewed whiteness as a distinct racial category that influenced his policies. As Dirck ably demonstrates, Lincoln rose far enough above the confines of his culture to accomplish deeds still worthy of our admiration, and he calls for a more critically informed admiration of Lincoln that allows us to celebrate his considerable accomplishments while simultaneously recognizing his limitations. When Douglass observed that Lincoln was the white man's president, he may not have intended it as a serious analytical category. But, as Dirck shows, perhaps we should do so—the better to understand not just the Lincoln presidency, but the man himself.
Call Number: Valley City State University 3rd Floor (342.73029 N293L )
Publication Date: 2011-11-21
The Civil War placed the U.S. Constitution under unprecedented--and, to this day, still unmatched--strain. In Lincoln and the Triumph of the Nation, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Mark Neely examines for the first time in one book the U.S. Constitution and its often overlooked cousin, the Confederate Constitution, and the ways the documents shaped the struggle for national survival. Previous scholars have examined wartime challenges to civil liberties and questions of presidential power, but Neely argues that the constitutional conflict extended to the largest questions of national existence. Drawing on judicial opinions, presidential state papers, and political pamphlets spiced with the everyday immediacy of the partisan press, Neely reveals how judges, lawyers, editors, politicians, and government officials, both North and South, used their constitutions to fight the war and save, or create, their nation. Lincoln and the Triumph of the Nation illuminates how the U.S. Constitution not only survived its greatest test but emerged stronger after the war. That this happened at a time when the nation's very existence was threatened, Neely argues, speaks ultimately to the wisdom of the Union leadership, notably President Lincoln and his vision of the American nation.
Call Number: Valley City State University Lower Level (973.71 J263r )
Publication Date: 2013-06-03
As early as 1865, survivors of the Civil War were acutely aware that people were purposefully shaping what would be remembered about the war and what would be omitted from the historical record. In Remembering the Civil War, Caroline E. Janney examines how the war generation--men and women, black and white, Unionists and Confederates--crafted and protected their memories of the nation's greatest conflict. Janney maintains that the participants never fully embraced the reconciliation so famously represented in handshakes across stone walls. Instead, both Union and Confederate veterans, and most especially their respective women's organizations, clung tenaciously to their own causes well into the twentieth century. Janney explores the subtle yet important differences between reunion and reconciliation and argues that the Unionist and Emancipationist memories of the war never completely gave way to the story Confederates told. She challenges the idea that white northerners and southerners salved their war wounds through shared ideas about race and shows that debates about slavery often proved to be among the most powerful obstacles to reconciliation.
Call Number: Valley City State University Lower Level (973.734 H4631c )
Publication Date: 2015-02-01
The Western theater of the Civil War, rich in agricultural resources and manpower and home to a large number of slaves, stretched 600 miles north to south and 450 miles east to west from the Appalachians to the Mississippi. If the South lost the West, there would be little hope of preserving the Confederacy. Earl J. Hess's comprehensive study of how Federal forces conquered and held the West examines the geographical difficulties of conducting campaigns in a vast land, as well as the toll irregular warfare took on soldiers and civilians alike. Hess balances a thorough knowledge of the battle lines with a deep understanding of what was happening within the occupied territories. In addition to a mastery of logistics, Union victory hinged on making use of black manpower and developing policies for controlling constant unrest while winning campaigns. Effective use of technology, superior resource management, and an aggressive confidence went hand in hand with Federal success on the battlefield. In the end, Confederates did not have the manpower, supplies, transportation potential, or leadership to counter Union initiatives in this critical arena.
Call Number: Valley City State University Lower Level (973.713 D2943co )
Publication Date: 2013-01-02
In his masterpiece, Jefferson Davis, American, William J. Cooper, Jr., crafted a sweeping, definitive biography and established himself as the foremost scholar on the intriguing Confederate president. Cooper narrows his focus considerably in Jefferson Davis and the Civil War Era, training his expert eye specifically on Davis's participation in and influence on events central to the American Civil War. Nine self-contained essays address how Davis reacted to and dealt with a variety of issues that were key to the coming of the war, the war itself, or in memorializing the war, sharply illuminating Davis's role during those turbulent years. Cooper opens with an analysis of Davis as an antebellum politician, challenging the standard view of Davis as either a dogmatic priest of principle or an inept bureaucrat. Next, he looks closely at Davis's complex association with secession, which included, surprisingly, a profound devotion to the Union. Six studies explore Davis and the Confederate experience, with topics including states' rights, the politics of command and strategic decisions, Davis in the role of war leader, the war in the West, and the meaning of the war. The final essay compares and contrasts Davis's first inauguration in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1861 with a little-known dedication of a monument to Confederate soldiers in the same city twenty-five years later. In 1886, Davis -- an old man of seventy-eight and in poor health -- had himself become a living monument, Cooper explains, and was an essential element in the formation of the Lost Cause ideology. Cooper's succinct interpretations provide straightforward, compact, and deceptively deep new approaches to understanding Davis during the most critical time in his life. Certain to stimulate further thought and spark debate, Jefferson Davis and the Civil War Era offers rare insight into one of American history's most complicated and provocative figures.
Call Number: Valley City State University Lower Level (973.6 H2493b )
Publication Date: 2010-11-08
During the 1840s and 1850s, a dangerous ferment afflicted the North-South border region, pitting the slave states of Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, and Missouri against the free states of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. Aspects of this struggle--the underground railroad, enforcement of the fugitive slave laws, mob actions, and sectional politics--are well known as parts of other stories. Here, Stanley Harrold explores the border struggle itself, the dramatic incidents that comprised it, and its role in the complex dynamics leading to the Civil War.