At once a grand tour of the battlefields of North America and an unabashedly personal tribute to the military prowess of an essentially unwarlike people, Fields of Battle spans more than two centuries and the expanse of a continent to show how the immense spaces of North America shaped the wars that were fought on its soil. of photos.
From one of the world's preeminent and bestselling military historians comes a vivid history of war on our own continent. John Keegan has visited battlefields throughout the world, but finds himself constantly returning to North America which he loves. Here, geography and climate have shaped the course of military history as they have nowhere else in the world. Guided by his central wisdom, Keegan takes us on a tour of every major fortification and scene of battle on the continent, from the arrival of the Europeans in the sixteenth century to the establishment of New France on the shores of the St. Lawrence River, and from the French conflicts with the British of the Atlantic colonies to the battles with the Native populations in the nineteenth century. Part military history, part travelogue, "Warpaths allows us to see how war in Canada and America shaped and was shaped by the land. John Keegan's matchless insight allows us to discover how strife and battle crated our heritage.
In this classic text, Peter Maguire follows America's legal relationship with war, both before and after the Nuremberg trials of the 1940s. Maguire argues that the precedents set by the trials were nothing less than revolutionary, and he traces the development of these new attitudes throughout American history. The text has been revised throughout, with a new preface and postscript discussing the George W. Bush administration's attempt to rewrite the laws of war after 9/11. Maguire connects these efforts to the decline in American power and reputation. Praise for the previous edition: "[An] intriguing historical analysis."—Harvard Law Review "Outstanding... impressive... a terrific book."—American Historical Review "A five-star accomplishment that will intrigue the reader and prove that, in history, truth is often more fascinating than fiction."—H. W. William Caming, former Nuremberg prosecutor "Perceptive."—Journal of American History "An important and fascinating study, marked by impressive research and moral passion."—Ronald Steel, University of Southern California "A 'must read' for all those interested in international criminal law, war crimes, and war crime trials."—J. C. Watkins Jr., University of Alabama "A sobering exploration of the hypocrisy and double standards that shape the laws of war. Maguire reveals the conflict between American ideology and American imperialism, the Faustian compromises made by our leaders during their elusive quest for justice."—Iris Chang, author of The Rape of Nanking "A pioneering account.... Law and War goes back to the middle of the nineteenth century to trace the history of modern war crimes, their shock value, and the efforts made to bring their perpetrators to account."—Thomas Keenan, Bardian
A personal history of war from bestselling authors John McCain and Mark Salter, told through the stories of thirteen remarkable American soldiers who fought in the nation’s major military conflicts, from the Revolution of 1776 through the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. As a veteran himself, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and a long-time student of history, John McCain brings a distinctive perspective to the experience of war. With Mark Salter, Thirteen Soldiers tells the stories of real soldiers who personify valor, obedience, enterprise, and love. You’ll meet Joseph Plumb Martin, who at the tender age of fifteen fought in the Revolutionary War; Charles Black, a freeborn African American sailor in the War of 1812; and Sam Chamberlain, of the Mexican American War, whose life inspired novelist Cormac McCarthy. Then there’s Oliver Wendell Holmes, an aristocratic idealist disillusioned by the Civil War, and Littleton “Tony” Waller, court-martialed for refusing to massacre Filipino civilians. Each story illustrates a particular aspect of war, such as Mary Rhoads, an Army reservist forever changed by an Iraqi scud missile attack during the Persian Gulf War; Monica Lin Brown, a frontline medic in rural Afghanistan who saved several lives in a convoy ambush; and Michael Monsoor, a Navy SEAL, who smothered a grenade before it could detonate on his men in Iraq. From their acts of self-sacrifice to their astonishing valor in the face of unimaginable danger, these “inspirational accounts of thirteen Americans who fought in various wars…aptly reveal humanizing moments in such theaters of cruelty” (Publishers Weekly).
From respected historian John S. D. Eisenhower comes a surprising portrait of William Tecumseh Sherman, the Civil War general whose path of destruction cut the Confederacy in two, broke the will of the Southern population, and earned him a place in history as “the first modern general.” Yet behind his reputation as a fierce warrior was a sympathetic man of complex character. A century and a half after the Civil War, Sherman remains one of its most controversial figures—the soldier who brought the fight not only to the Confederate Army, but to Confederate civilians as well. Yet Eisenhower, a West Point graduate and a retired brigadier general (Army Reserves), finds in Sherman a man of startling contrasts, not at all defined by the implications of “total war.” His scruffy, disheveled appearance belied an unconventional and unyielding intellect. Intensely loyal to superior officers, especially Ulysses S. Grant, he was also a stalwart individualist. Confident enough to make demands face-to-face with President Lincoln, he sympathetically listened to the problems of newly freed slaves on his famed march from Atlanta to Savannah. Dubbed “no soldier” during his years at West Point, Sherman later rose to the rank of General of the Army, and though deeply committed to the Union cause, he held the people of the South in great affection. In this remarkable reassessment of Sherman’s life and career, Eisenhower takes readers from Sherman’s Ohio origins and his fledgling first stint in the Army, to his years as a businessman in California and his hurried return to uniform at the outbreak of the war. From Bull Run through Sherman’s epic March to the Sea, Eisenhower offers up a fascinating narrative of a military genius whose influence helped preserve the Union—and forever changed war.
Pearl Harbor, the Rose Bowl, and the Boys Who Went to War
Author: Brian Curtis
Publisher: Flatiron Books
In the wake of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the 1942 Rose Bowl was moved from Pasadena to Durham, North Carolina, out of fear of Japanese attacks on the West Coast. It remains the only Rose Bowl game to ever be played outside of Pasadena. Duke University, led by legendary coach Wallace Wade Sr., faced off against underdog Oregon State College, with both teams preparing for a grueling fight on the football field while their thoughts wandered to the battlefields they would soon be on. As the players and coaches prepared for the game, America was preparing for war. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill met to discuss the Allied strategy in Europe; a discussion that would change the lives of the boys and men on the field in Durham. Finally, on New Year’s Day 1942, under dark gray skies and occasional rain, the two teams clashed on the gridiron in front of a crowd of 56,000, playing one of the most unforgettable games in history. Shortly afterward, many of the players and coaches entered the military and would quickly become brothers on the battlefield. Scattered around the globe, the lives of Rose Bowl participants would intersect in surprising ways, as they served in Iwo Jima and Normandy, Guadalcanal and the Battle of the Bulge. Four players from that Rose Bowl game would lose their lives, while many more were severely wounded. In one powerful encounter on the battlefield, OSC’s Frank Parker saved the life of Duke’s Charles Haynes as he lay dying on a hill in Italy. And one OSC player, Jack Yoshihara, a Japanese-American, never had the chance to play in the game or serve his country, as he was sent to an internment camp in Idaho. In this riveting an emotional tale, Brian Curtis sheds light on a little-known slice of American history and captures in gripping detail an intimate account of the teamwork, grit, and determination that took place on both the football fields and the battlefields of World War II. It was a game created by infamy and a war fought by ordinary boys who did the extraordinary.
The electrifying story of Abraham Lincoln's rise to greatness during the most perilous year in our nation's history As 1862 dawned, the American republic was at death's door. The federal government appeared overwhelmed, the U.S. Treasury was broke, and the Union's top general was gravely ill. The Confederacy—with its booming economy, expert military leadership, and commanding position on the battlefield—had a clear view to victory. To a remarkable extent, the survival of the country depended on the judgment, cunning, and resilience of the unschooled frontier lawyer who had recently been elected president. Twelve months later, the Civil War had become a cataclysm but the tide had turned. The Union generals who would win the war had at last emerged, and the Confederate Army had suffered the key losses that would lead to its doom. The blueprint of modern America—an expanding colossus of industrial and financial might—had been indelibly inked. And the man who brought the nation through its darkest hour, Abraham Lincoln, had been forged into a singular leader. In Rise to Greatness, acclaimed author David Von Drehle has created both a deeply human portrait of America's greatest president and a rich, dramatic narrative about our most fateful year.
William Shea offers a gripping narrative of the events surrounding Prairie Grove, Arkansas, one of the great unsung battles of the Civil War that effectively ended Confederate offensive operations west of the Mississippi River. Shea provides a colorful account of a grueling campaign that lasted five months and covered hundreds of miles of rugged Ozark terrain. In a fascinating analysis of the personal, geographical, and strategic elements that led to the fateful clash in northwest Arkansas, he describes a campaign notable for rapid marching, bold movements, hard fighting, and the most remarkable raid of the Civil War.
Terrain has a profound effect upon the strategy and tactics of any military engagement and has consequently played an important role in determining history. In addition, the landscapes of battle, and the geology which underlies them, has helped shape the cultural iconography of battle certainly within the 20th century. In the last few years this has become a fertile topic of scientific and historical exploration and has given rise to a number of conferences and books. The current volume stems from the international Terrain in Military History conference held in association with the Imperial War Museum, London and the Royal Engineers Museum, Chatham, at the University of Greenwich in January 2000. This conference brought together historians, geologists, military enthusiasts and terrain analysts from military, academic and amateur backgrounds with the aim of exploring the application of modem tools of landscape visualisation to understanding historical battlefields. This theme was the subject of a Leverhulme Trust grant (F/345/E) awarded to the University of Greenwich and administered by us in 1998, which aimed to use the tools of modem landscape visualisation in understanding the influence of terrain in the First World War. This volume forms part of the output from this grant and is part of our wider exploration of the role of terrain in military history. Many individuals contributed to the organisation of the original conference and to the production of this volume.
BOOK DESCRIPTION In American Battlefields of World War I: Château-Thierry—Then and Now, David Homsher provides the traveler with a comprehensive guidebook to the early-on American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) battlefields of 1918 in France. This guidebook is intended for the few living veterans of World War I, the student of military history, and the traveler to Europe and to France, in fact or imagination, who has an interest in the Allied and American effort to defeat the German Army in Western Europe.The first of a projected series of AEF battlefield guidebooks, this initial volume, Château-Thierry, describes, by text, maps and 'then-and-now- photographs, the AEF battlefields and sites ranging from the Charles de Gaulle International Airport to the City of Château-Thierry. It was at Château-Thierry in late May, 1918, that the 7th Motorized Machine Gun Battalion, U.S. 3rd Division, having raced to the city in their Ford motor-trucks, turned their machine-guns on the advancing German Army and decisively stopped the German march towards Paris. Château-Thierry is the one city in all of France that was best known and loved by the Doughboys of the AEF. About 200,000 American soldiers passed through this city on their way to the battles in the Marne Salient of 1918, that large salient formed by Rheims, Soissons and Château-Thierry. It was just outside of Château-Thierry that the Battle of Belleau Wood was fought. Thus, Château-Thierry became a post-war Mecca for veterans and civilians who wanted to visit the AEF battlefields of the 2nd battle of the Marne in the southern part of the Marne Salient of 1918.Specifically written about is the initial effort northwest of Chateau-Thierry by the U.S. 2nd, 3rd, and 26th Divisions to stem and finally stop the final German drives for Paris between 27 May and 16 July 1918 during the Chateau-Thierry Operation and the Aisne-Marne Defensive Campaign. Hundreds of photographs and drawings show the battlefields as they look today and as they were in 1918. The battlefield maps enable the readers to orient themselves easily and to visualize the battlefields as they unfolded. This book combines eye-witness accounts of the battles, directions to key points on the battlefield as well as maps depicting the action and details of troop positions as they were eighty six years ago. In this easy-to-follow guide, David Homsher explains how travelers can relive history by visiting the Western Front. The battlefields, cemeteries, towns, villages and memorials all have their tales to tell of the passage of American soldiers in 1918, and this excellent guide will help visitors to interpret their findings. Belleau Wood, Chateau-Thierry, Torcy, Vaux, Belleau, Bouresches, and many other such places still bear witness to the bloody battles of the AEF in this area of France. The editor, David Homsher has traveled extensively over the battlefields where the American Expeditionary Forces fought. The result of his many visits to the AEF battlefields and of ten years of research is this guidebook, made up of `then-and-now' photographs and vignettes of stories, all told in the words of the soldiers themselves. In this book you will walk the fields, see the sights, visit the many places where American soldiers fought, and in a then-and-now context where past and present intersect. The historical significance of each site is described in detail with the aid of maps and photographs. This combination guidebook, anthology and photographic essay is the most thorough, detailed and accurate book of its kind. Indeed, it is unique in that it is the first such AEF battlefield guidebook ever published. The tours describe the battlefields and the exploits of particular individuals and units, identifies relics in the field and locates monuments. Each tour is preceded by an overview of the battle, which establishes a context for, and allows a better understanding of what you will see. The book contains suggested itineraries, historical backgrounds, detailed routes for the motorist and an outline of the events that occurred in each place. The book takes a close and detailed look at individuals and events in a magnificent collection of colorful pen-pictures each supported by maps and photographs. The reader is transported to the battlefield by the photographs. The book brings to life the characters and types of men who were involved in combat with the AEF in 1918. It also covers subjects and specific areas frequently neglected by writers and historians of the American involvement in World War I. The guide can be enjoyed without ever leaving the easy chair, or it can become an indispensable companion on tramps over the scene of some of the greatest engagements of the AEF in World War I. Invaluable for planning a day's outing from Paris or an entire vacation, Homsher's superbly organized guide provides, in rich detail, a wealth of both practical and descriptive information about each battle site, town, village and memorial including: detailed descriptions, history of the site, town or village, and driving directions. There is also extensive guidance on how to make the most of your battlefield visit, both before you go and while you are there. The book contains an unparalleled blend of hundreds of wartime photographs and right-on-target accounts from the soldiers who fought the battles of 1918. Many of the photos in this volume have not been published before and were acquired from government and private collections, for exclusive use in this book, by the editor. The then-and-now photos are amazing and the text is nothing short of compelling. Ideal for use as a guidebook; fascinating as an illustrated history. In short, this is a 'crossover' book in that it serves dual purposes, as a guidebook and as an informal battle history of the AEF. This book will be a perennial best-seller in both the American and European book markets. The history of the American Expeditionary Forces and the hallowed grounds on which they fought must be preserved and shared with future generations so they better understand how and why the war was fought and the sacrifices they made.8-1/2 x 11 inches, 336 pages, profusely illustrated with photographs and many maps. Available from Battleground Productions, 85 Tilton Avenue, # 4, San Mateo, California 94401 or P.O. Box 624, San Mateo, California 94401. $39.95 plus $2.99 shipping per single book. $1.99 for each additional book. California residents add 8-1/4 % tax ($3.30). Dealers inquiries invited.BOOK DESCRIPTION In American Battlefields of World War I: Château-Thierry—Then and Now, David Homsher provides the traveler with a comprehensive guidebook to the early-on American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) battlefields of 1918 in France. This guidebook is intended for the few living veterans of World War I, the student of military history, and the traveler to Europe and to France, in fact or imagination, who has an interest in the Allied and American effort to defeat the German Army in Western Europe.The first of a projected series of AEF battlefield guidebooks, this initial volume, Château-Thierry, describes, by text, maps and 'then-and-now- photographs, the AEF battlefields and sites ranging from the Charles de Gaulle International Airport to the City of Château-Thierry. It was at Château-Thierry in late May, 1918, that the 7th Motorized Machine Gun Battalion, U.S. 3rd Division, having raced to the city in their Ford motor-trucks, turned their machine-guns on the advancing German Army and decisively stopped the German march towards Paris. Château-Thierry is the one city in all of France that was best known and loved by the Doughboys of the AEF. About 200,000 American soldiers passed through this city on their way to the battles in the Marne Salient of 1918, that large salient formed by Rheims, Soissons and Château-Thierry. It was just outside of Château-Thierry that the Battle of Belleau Wood was fought. Thus, Château-Thierry became a post-war Mecca for veterans and civilians who wanted to visit the AEF battlefields of the 2nd battle of the Marne in the southern part of the Marne Salient of 1918.Specifically written about is the initial effort northwest of Chateau-Thierry by the U.S. 2nd, 3rd, and 26th Divisions to stem and finally stop the final German drives for Paris between 27 May and 16 July 1918 during the Chateau-Thierry Operation and the Aisne-Marne Defensive Campaign. Hundreds of photographs and drawings show the battlefields as they look today and as they were in 1918. The battlefield maps enable the readers to orient themselves easily and to visualize the battlefields as they unfolded. This book combines eye-witness accounts of the battles, directions to key points on the battlefield as well as maps depicting the action and details of troop positions as they were eighty six years ago. In this easy-to-follow guide, David Homsher explains how travelers can relive history by visiting the Western Front. The battlefields, cemeteries, towns, villages and memorials all have their tales to tell of the passage of American soldiers in 1918, and this excellent guide will help visitors to interpret their findings. Belleau Wood, Chateau-Thierry, Torcy, Vaux, Belleau, Bouresches, and many other such places still bear witness to the bloody battles of the AEF in this area of France. The editor, David Homsher has traveled extensively over the battlefields where the American Expeditionary Forces fought. The result of his many visits to the AEF battlefields and of ten years of research is this guidebook, made up of `then-and-now' photographs and vignettes of stories, all told in the words of the soldiers themselves. In this book you will walk the fields, see the sights, visit the many places where American soldiers fought, and in a then-and-now context where past and present intersect. The historical significance of each site is described in detail with the aid of maps and photographs. This combination g0973368500\\Balancing Client and Staff Fulfillment in Faith-based Not-for-profit Organizations. Finally! One model for governance, leadership and management built on a foundation of biblical values and common sense. This book puts the pieces together with clarity and conviction. Governance Matters is an extensive 356 pages of practical application built on a solid conceptual framework covering everything you need to know to build a solid governing board. It even includes a complete governance manual and a model strategic plan. This book works for secular not-for-profit as well as for faith-based organizations.
"Powerline describes the opposition of rural Minnesotans to the building of a high voltage powerline across 430 miles of farmland from central North Dakota to the Twin Cities suburbs. Convinced that the safety of their families and the health of their land was disregarded in favor of the gluttonous energy consumption of cities, the farmer-led revolt began as questioning and escalated to rampant civil disobedience, peaking in 1978 when nearly half of Minnesota's state highway patrol was engaged in stopping sabotage of the project."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Colonial Conflict Along the Hudson-Champlain Corridor, 1609-1760
Author: Michael G. Laramie
This comprehensive resource follows the pivotal and often overlooked efforts of the Iroquois Confederacy, the Dutch, the French, and the English colonies to control the strategic waterways of the Hudson-Champlain corridor from their discovery to the fall of New France. * 39 chronologically organized chapters ranging from the founding of New France to the conclusion of the French and Indian War 150 years later * 300 primary sources, including letters, journal entries, official diplomatic and military correspondence, and other firsthand accounts * Biographical sketches of key figures, including Stuyvesant, Frontenac, Shirley, Vaudreuil, Loudoun, Montcalm, and Amherst * 30 maps and illustrations showing the principal figures, and the changing boundaries and the progress of major armed conflicts in the Champlain-Hudson Valleys * A comprehensive index
Rural Community and Authority in Britain During the Second World War
Author: Brian Short
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer Ltd
This book will appeal not only to historians and geographers, but to many who maintain a deep interest in the British countryside and its past, and to those who continue to share a fascination for the Second World War, in particular the 'home front'. It will also demonstrate to all who are anxious about food security in the modern age how this question was dealt with 70 years ago.
The Battle of the Plains of Abraham and the Making of the American Revolution
Author: D. Peter MacLeod
A huge, ambitious re-creation of the eighteenth-century Battle of the Plains of Abraham, the pivotal battle in the Seven Years’ War (1754–1763) to win control of the trans-Appalachian region of North America, a battle consisting of the British and American colonists on one side and the French and the Iroquois Confederacy on the other, and leading directly to the colonial War of Independence and the creation of Canada. It took five years of warfare fought on three continents—Europe, Asia, and North America—to bring the forces arrayed against one another—Britain, Prussia, and Hanover against France, Austria, Sweden, Saxony, Russia, and Spain (Churchill called it “the first world war”)—to the plateau outside Quebec City, on September 13, 1759, on fields owned a century before by a fisherman named Abraham Martin . . . It was the final battle of a three-month siege by the British Army and Navy of Quebec, the walled city that controlled access to the St. Lawrence River and the continent’s entire network of waterways; a battle with the British utilizing 15,000 soldiers, employing 186 ships, with hundreds of colonists aboard British warships and transports from Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, with France sending in a mere 400 reinforcements in addition to its 3,500 soldiers. The battle on the Plains of Abraham lasted twenty minutes, and at its finish the course of a continent was changed forever . . . New military tactics were used for the first time against standard European formations . . . Generals Wolfe and Montcalm each died of gunshot wounds . . . France surrendered Quebec to the British, setting the course for the future of Canada, paving the way for the signing of the Treaty of Paris that gave the British control of North America east of the Mississippi, and forcing France to relinquish its claims on New Orleans and to give the lands west of the Mississippi to Spain for surrendering Florida to the British. After the decisive battle, Britain’s maritime and colonial supremacy was assured, its hold on the thirteen American colonies tightened. The American participation in ousting the French as a North American power spurred the confidence of the people of New York, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts, who began to agitate for independence from Great Britain. Sixteen years later, France, still bitter over the loss of most of its colonial empire, intervened on behalf of the patriots in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783). In Northern Armageddon, Peter MacLeod, using original research—diaries, journals, letters, and firsthand accounts—and bringing to bear all of his extensive knowledge and grasp of warfare and colonial North American history, tells the epic story on a human scale. He writes of the British at Quebec through the eyes of a master’s mate on one of the ships embroiled in the battle. And from the French perspective, as the British bombarded Quebec, of four residents of the city—a priest, a clerk, a nun, and a notary—caught in the crossfire. MacLeod gives us as well the large-scale ramifications of this clash of armies, not only on the shape of North America, but on the history of Europe itself. A stunning work of military history.
Polk, Clay, Lincoln, and the 1846 U.S. Invasion of Mexico
Author: Amy S. Greenberg
Often forgotten and overlooked, the U.S.-Mexican War featured false starts, atrocities, and daring back-channel negotiations as it divided the nation, paved the way for the Civil War a generation later, and launched the career of Abraham Lincoln. Amy S. Greenberg’s skilled storytelling and rigorous scholarship bring this American war for empire to life with memorable characters, plotlines, and legacies. When President James K. Polk compelled a divided Congress to support his war with Mexico, it was the first time that the young American nation would engage another republic in battle. Caught up in the conflict and the political furor surrounding it were Abraham Lincoln, then a new congressman; Polk, the dour president committed to territorial expansion at any cost; and Henry Clay, the aging statesman whose presidential hopes had been frustrated once again, but who still harbored influence and had one last great speech up his sleeve. Beyond these illustrious figures, A Wicked War follows several fascinating and long-neglected characters: Lincoln’s archrival John Hardin, whose death opened the door to Lincoln’s rise; Nicholas Trist, gentleman diplomat and secret negotiator, who broke with his president to negotiate a fair peace; and Polk’s wife, Sarah, whose shrewd politicking was crucial in the Oval Office. This definitive history of the 1846 conflict paints an intimate portrait of the major players and their world. It is a story of Indian fights, Manifest Destiny, secret military maneuvers, gunshot wounds, and political spin. Along the way it captures a young Lincoln mismatching his clothes, the lasting influence of the Founding Fathers, the birth of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and America’s first national antiwar movement. A key chapter in the creation of the United States, it is the story of a burgeoning nation and an unforgettable conflict that has shaped American history.
A Historical Guide to the Battlefields of the War of American Independence
Author: Norman Desmarais,June Fritchman
Publisher: Busca Incorporated
Battlegrounds of Freedom is a fascinating travelogue through the battles of the American Revolutionary War, inviting readers to re-enact each battle vicariously exactly where and how it was fought. Norman Desmarais carefully lays out the geographic and strategic contexts of each struggle, and he develops their human dimensions with anecdotes and stories. Conveniently organized by geographic location Maps and photos help retrace each battle in detail Websites noted for numerous historical organizations Abundant references to visitor centers, museums, and actual battleground sites Norman Desmarais is an active re-enactor (center in front cover photo) and a librarian at Providence College in Rhode Island. He has authored many articles, books, and multimedia projects in the fields of history and computer science.
A photographic odyssey through the modern-day landscape of the Civil War pairs historical images of the conflict from sixty-two battle sites with the author's own photographs of the same locations today, many of which depict such unexpected scenes as department stores and fast-food restaurants.
The American Civil War (1861-65) was the bloodiest war of the nineteenth century and its impact continues to be felt today. It, and its origins have been studied more intensively than any other period in American history, yet it remains profoundly controversial. Brian Holden Reid's formidable volume is a major contribution to this ongoing historical debate. Based on a wealth of primary research, it examines every aspect of the origins of the conflict and addresses key questions such as was it an avoidable tragedy, or a necessary catharsis for a divided nation? How far was slavery the central issue? Why should the conflict have errupted into violence and why did it not escalate into world war?