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Professor Gallagher is aleading authority on the Civil War. He is the author of several books and dozens of scholarly articles, most recently, The Confederate War. He is a founder and was first president of the Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites. Between 1861 and 1865, the clash of the greatest armies the Western hemisphere had ever seen turned small towns Professor Gallagher is aleading authority on the Civil War. He is the author of several books and dozens of scholarly articles, most recently, The Confederate War. He is a founder and was first president of the Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites. Between 1861 and 1865, the clash of the greatest armies the Western hemisphere had ever seen turned small towns, little-known streams, and obscure meadows in the American countryside into names we will always remember. In those great battles streams ran red with blood, and the United States was truly born. Leading Civil War historian Professor Gary W. Gallagher richly details the effects of the Civil War on all Americans. You'll learn how armies were recruited, equipped, and trained. You'll learn about the hard lot of prisoners. You'll hear how soldiers on both sides dealt with the rigors of camp life, campaigns, and the terror of combat. You'll understand how slaves and their falling masters responded to the advancing war. And you will see the desperate price paid by the families so many left behind.


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Professor Gallagher is aleading authority on the Civil War. He is the author of several books and dozens of scholarly articles, most recently, The Confederate War. He is a founder and was first president of the Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites. Between 1861 and 1865, the clash of the greatest armies the Western hemisphere had ever seen turned small towns Professor Gallagher is aleading authority on the Civil War. He is the author of several books and dozens of scholarly articles, most recently, The Confederate War. He is a founder and was first president of the Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites. Between 1861 and 1865, the clash of the greatest armies the Western hemisphere had ever seen turned small towns, little-known streams, and obscure meadows in the American countryside into names we will always remember. In those great battles streams ran red with blood, and the United States was truly born. Leading Civil War historian Professor Gary W. Gallagher richly details the effects of the Civil War on all Americans. You'll learn how armies were recruited, equipped, and trained. You'll learn about the hard lot of prisoners. You'll hear how soldiers on both sides dealt with the rigors of camp life, campaigns, and the terror of combat. You'll understand how slaves and their falling masters responded to the advancing war. And you will see the desperate price paid by the families so many left behind.

14 review for The American Civil War

  1. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Smith

    Garry Gallagher is Professor of History at the University of Virginia and the author and editor of many books on the American Civil War. In this book (I listened to it on audio) he delivers a series of 48 lectures examining on the background to the war, the repercussions following Northern victory and how the conflict affected all people in America. Along the way he delves into some pretty deep detail on how armies were recruited, strategic breakdowns of key battles, pen pictures of leading figu Garry Gallagher is Professor of History at the University of Virginia and the author and editor of many books on the American Civil War. In this book (I listened to it on audio) he delivers a series of 48 lectures examining on the background to the war, the repercussions following Northern victory and how the conflict affected all people in America. Along the way he delves into some pretty deep detail on how armies were recruited, strategic breakdowns of key battles, pen pictures of leading figures and many more related topics. The audiobook was accompanied by a comprehensive word document aimed at helping the listener fully get to grips with the subject matter. Although this is effectively a course designed for students or others wishing to study the war, it’s actually pretty easy listening. Gary has an engaging and enthusiastic delivery and the information is very well structured into bite sized chunks. I liked too that the author/presenter is prepared to nail his colours to the mast on some much debated and contentious issues. And although I did occasionally refer to the word document (and sometimes other sources) I felt that the only reason for me to do this was an occasional desire to refresh, ingrain or further explore particular elements covered in the lectures. This is clearly a massive subject and to undertake an exhaustive review it would be necessary to augment the information contained herein with additional study on the detail of the many components of the war, but I believe that the material here is comprehensive enough to satisfy the interest of all but serious students of the conflict. I started out with only a very rudimentary knowledge of some key events and in the course of imbibing the the 24 hours or so of information supplied it certainly fleshed out my knowledge considerably and, for me, it also threw up a number of surprises, namely: - I’d always been led to believe that the United States had, from the very start of the war, held an overpowering superiority over the Confederacy. However, Gary’s assertion is that at the outset, when the various advantages and disadvantages were taken into account, the chances of either side winning was relatively equal. The North had money and numbers heavily weighted in their favour but this was somewhat negated by the home field advantage held by the South. In terms of senior military figures, both had sets of Generals who had been trained at West Point and blooded in the Mexican War. - I hadn’t realised that Maryland, bordering the nations capital, was at the time of the war a slave state and early in the conflict it remained quite possible that this state could itself have chosen to declare secession from the Union. I was also surprised to learn that at one-point Confederate troops ventured as far north as the suburbs of Washington D.C. - I’d no idea that President Lincoln’s preferred way of dealing with freed African American slaves was to have them removed from the American continent and shipped to to Africa or the Caribbean. Or that he had trialled this concept in an ill fated venture using Haiti as the haven for this colonization experiment. In summary, I found this to be an excellent way of gaining a good overview of the war and all associated elements. I’d certainly be encouraged to explore this way of learning about other key historical events.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kaila

    I read The Killer Angels in 8th grade and I’ve been obsessed with Gettysburg and the Civil War ever since. I have a 20-minute-long “If I were ever on Drunk History this would be my story” tirade I go on occasionally, when I’ve had some drinks and the people around me don’t know the entire history of the HL Hunley, which of course they don’t. It’s a great story, I promise. I imagine watching a mid-30s woman from Oregon suddenly burst into a detailed history of the Civil War takes people aback. I I read The Killer Angels in 8th grade and I’ve been obsessed with Gettysburg and the Civil War ever since. I have a 20-minute-long “If I were ever on Drunk History this would be my story” tirade I go on occasionally, when I’ve had some drinks and the people around me don’t know the entire history of the HL Hunley, which of course they don’t. It’s a great story, I promise. I imagine watching a mid-30s woman from Oregon suddenly burst into a detailed history of the Civil War takes people aback. I recently had a conversation with an old co-worker who I’ve known for years, but the Civil War has never come up before with us, because…why would it? Then he said he was going home to Franklin, Tennessee for Christmas and I said, “Oh, there was a great Civil War battle there! Totally useless, lots of generals died.” He looked at me and said, “Where the hell did that come from?” I’m no Civil War scholar, but I obviously enjoy it. I was the perfect audience for this lecture from the Great Courses. I can’t imagine who else it would be good for. There was so much information here, it seemed like you needed at least a passing knowledge of the Civil War in order to learn about the Civil War. About half the lectures were straight up battle history, about flanking maneuvers and digging trenches and full-frontal assaults. I loved it, but I’m not an objective opinion. I don’t know who else would like it. The narrator, Professor Gallagher, had a great point of view of the whole war and I loved hearing his opinions. I especially loved his use of primary sources and his constant refrain of “look at what people thought at the time.” The dichotomy of Confederate arguments pre- vs. post-war was disheartening. I have a pity for the South I’ve never felt before. I don’t think it has ever really recovered from this war, a wound in its side that has festered for the last 150 years. I want to visit a battlefield more than anything now. How have I never been to one? The best I can claim is Arlington Cemetery and Robert E. Lee’s house. Update: I have now been to a battlefield!! YAY!! The Battle of Stones River outside Murfreesboro, TN. Check out this anachronistic photo I took during the maneuvers of the day. Doesn't that just scream "AMERICAN SOUTH"?

  3. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

    Nice coverage of a vast and complex subject. I'd give it a solid 3 1/2 stars that were an option. The American Civil War, a subject so impressed on the popular imagination, even up here in Canada, that we just call it “the Civil War,” as if it were the only one. There have been countless books written about it or various parts of it. Like World War II, it’s been picked over so thoroughly that one wonders if there’s much left to be said on the subject. Of course, there is and I’ve probably not fin Nice coverage of a vast and complex subject. I'd give it a solid 3 1/2 stars that were an option. The American Civil War, a subject so impressed on the popular imagination, even up here in Canada, that we just call it “the Civil War,” as if it were the only one. There have been countless books written about it or various parts of it. Like World War II, it’s been picked over so thoroughly that one wonders if there’s much left to be said on the subject. Of course, there is and I’ve probably not finished reading about it myself. War is such a fascinatingly bizarre subject that military history is always going to be on my reading list somewhere. I saw what war did to my dad, so I’m always going to want to know more about it in all its variations. This is a nice overview of the subject. It covers all the maneuverings and the battles, the victories and the defeats without getting too up close and personal with the blood and gore. There are plenty of books that do that and I’ve read a few of them. It gives you a nice summary to demystify the events. I guess for most of us it’s like the U.S. Army marches forth to suppress the rebellion, gets driven back by the rebels and the fight is on. Then they spent four years having big set-piece battles until the South gives up and it’s over. Clearly there is a lot more to it than that and you get a pretty good sense of how it all unfolded here. Plenty of other stuff is covered too. You get the politics and the economic policies and the debates (Oh the endless debates!) and all the other less interesting minutia that is needed if you’re going to have a proper war. It’s all here. There is the preamble and the aftermath and all that stuff too. There’s a nice selection of information about the home front and the experience of the war from the point of view of that other half of the population that mostly wasn’t shooting at each other, that being the female half. And, of course, there is the great subject at the center of it all, slavery. Yes, folks, slavery and its attendant racism was at the heart of everything here without question. Yeah, I’d say it’s a pretty thorough coverage for the amount of time available for these lectures. If you’re interested in a solid overview of the American Civil War, this will fit the bill nicely.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Clif Hostetler

    I found these 48 lectures to be an interesting way to learn about events during the American Civil War. The narrative thread supplied more than descriptions of battles by also including lectures on civilian life, women, politics, and economics. The everyday camp life of the common soldier, fate of prisoners, and African Americans (both slave and free) were also covered. Additionally the lectures included brief biographical sketches of several dozen key actors of the era as well as occasional sto I found these 48 lectures to be an interesting way to learn about events during the American Civil War. The narrative thread supplied more than descriptions of battles by also including lectures on civilian life, women, politics, and economics. The everyday camp life of the common soldier, fate of prisoners, and African Americans (both slave and free) were also covered. Additionally the lectures included brief biographical sketches of several dozen key actors of the era as well as occasional stories and quotes of interest. In particular I appreciated Gallagher's emphasis on quotations dating from the time of the war, not quotations from after the war. Often the view of participants were quite different when view from the vantage of years later. There was limited coverage of the conditions leading to war and reconstruction after the war. Obviously, there isn't time enough for everything to be included. Here's a trivia question and answer I learned from these lectures:Question: When and where was the last shot fired in the American Civil War? Answer: The last shot fired in defense of the South was fired from the deck of the CSS Shenandoah on June 22, 1865 in the act of capturing whalers off the Alaskan coast near the Arctic circle. Comment: This was over a month later than the last meeting of Confederal executive Cabinet on May 5, 1865 when the Confederate Government was declared dissolved.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Joe Vigil

    Finally finished it! Before this course, the Civil War was a blur to me. All I knew was North v South, Union v Confederacy, and of course, slavery. Professor Gallagher does a tremendous job of laying out all the major and minor characters of the war. He takes you to the battlefields and the skirmishes, into the halls of congress and the senate, and into the lives of the presidents of the U.S. and the Confederate states of America. He dispels the myths of men like Grant, Lee, Jackson and Sherman. Finally finished it! Before this course, the Civil War was a blur to me. All I knew was North v South, Union v Confederacy, and of course, slavery. Professor Gallagher does a tremendous job of laying out all the major and minor characters of the war. He takes you to the battlefields and the skirmishes, into the halls of congress and the senate, and into the lives of the presidents of the U.S. and the Confederate states of America. He dispels the myths of men like Grant, Lee, Jackson and Sherman. He teaches us about how these men, along with many other commanders and politicians, pulled the strings in what many Americans at the time called the "Rich mans war and the poor mans fight". This course helped me see more clearly the movements of troops throughout these legendary battles and the timelines. I also learned a great deal about Lincoln and his true motives for the Emancipation Proclamation, the 13th amendment, and just how hypocritical Jefferson Davis and Alexander Stephens were from the very start of secession. The American Civil War is a really fascinating history. There are so many great stories that go largely unheard of. Stories of endurance, courage, cowardice, horror, comedy, defeat and victory. I highly recommend this Great Course to any history buff and especially anyone who is fascinated with the history of the American Civil War. If you don't want to trudge through the flourishing language of McPherson's "Battle Cry of Freedom", if you want the facts in a more concise delivery, then this Great Course is for you. I absolutely loved it!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    Prof Gary Gallagher presents a thorough survey of the American Civil War, concentrating almost exclusively on the period between 1861 and 1865. His lectures (clearly and strongly presented) deal briefly with the causes leading up to this horrendous conflict, including brief bios of some of the key historic figures, from Henry Clay's Missouri Compromise in the 1840's to Dred Scott and Charles Sumner in 1857 and finally the election of Abraham Lincoln. The next 44 lectures deal with the war itself Prof Gary Gallagher presents a thorough survey of the American Civil War, concentrating almost exclusively on the period between 1861 and 1865. His lectures (clearly and strongly presented) deal briefly with the causes leading up to this horrendous conflict, including brief bios of some of the key historic figures, from Henry Clay's Missouri Compromise in the 1840's to Dred Scott and Charles Sumner in 1857 and finally the election of Abraham Lincoln. The next 44 lectures deal with the war itself...battles (including strategies, maneuvers and personalities), examination of the economic situations in the North and South, discussions of what the conflict meant to African Americans (both free and enslaved), as well as 2 hours of lectures explaining the views and roles of women in the North and South. The final lectures deal with the implications of this conflict in which more than 600,000 men were killed and nearly 4,000,000 enslaved blacks were freed. Within each lectures the fact presented are supported by letters and journals from generals, soldiers, wives and loved ones that reflect the thoughts and fact (as they knew them) for the cause for and progress of the war. This emphasis on the context of the time eases concerns about any revisionist 'twisting' the facts. One of my major motivations to review the history of the Civil War was to more clearly understand the bases of current racial controversies that swirl about our country, stemming from displays of flags and statuary from the Confederacy. At the same time I revisited the novels 'A Team of Rivals' and 'Lincoln' (Gore Vidal) as well as Spielberg's film 'Lincoln'. These lectures served to stitch the myriad of stories with the equal myriad of facts. All this lead to an historian Gallagher very frequently cites, James M McPherson, who has written award-winning books about the war ("Battle Cry for Freedom"), and is the considered an (the?) expert on the Civil War. Clearly, the conclusions reached by Dr Gallagher in the last lecture regarding the “Myth of the Lost Cause” are influenced by McPherson's views that he (McPherson) had expressed citing concerns about neo-Confederates in Arlington National Cemetery. I'll go no further here... These lectures are top notch and very much recommended...a coupon, when on sale, will soften the blow...money well spent.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Wade

    I really enjoyed this lecture series, and it was fairly unbelievably timed. I started it about a week before the protests started for the removal of the statues of Jackson and Lee in Charlottesville. I knew the basics of the civil war, but Gallagher did an excellent job of going into enough to properly fill in so much of the pertinent information and then tying it all together in a way that was quite enlightening; especially given these current events. He starts with the build up to war and the s I really enjoyed this lecture series, and it was fairly unbelievably timed. I started it about a week before the protests started for the removal of the statues of Jackson and Lee in Charlottesville. I knew the basics of the civil war, but Gallagher did an excellent job of going into enough to properly fill in so much of the pertinent information and then tying it all together in a way that was quite enlightening; especially given these current events. He starts with the build up to war and the sentiments on either side that moved us all in that direction, both on the legislative and popular levels. I found myself regularly surprised by the mixture of complexity and simplicity of what was actually going one; for example, there were so many things that contributed to the beginning of the war that you would be hard pressed to even compile an exhaustive list, all those things were exasperated by the physical and cultural separation between the north and the south so it became easy to villainize and, essentially dehumanise, your opponents to the point where war became palatable, but had the issue of slavery not been there, had there not been this central disunity, there would not have been a war. Gallagher did a great job of describing many opposing views on the various, more controversial aspects of the war, but then he would err on the side of going with actual writings during the time as opposed to later interpretations, and when there was general uncertainty, he would not put much weight on the topic. He also did a good job of spending time discussing the war itself, intermingled with political impetuses, popular opinions, international opinions, and the impact that the war had on the various aspects of the civilian population as well as on those actually involved. I highly recommend this series as it was enlightening, engaging, and very apt during our current time. ***Spoiler Alert*** The North wins, but Lincoln is assassinated.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I listened to this Great Course. It was wide and sweeping, but at times I had trouble following aurally because Gallagher included an unclear antecedent. I understand that it is a lecture, and there are probably diagrams and slides and note outlines, but during the time I was listening (vehicular commute), I did not have access to any of these materials. That said, I have a greater appreciation for the "softer" side of the American Civil War, the intangibles. What people thought before the war, a I listened to this Great Course. It was wide and sweeping, but at times I had trouble following aurally because Gallagher included an unclear antecedent. I understand that it is a lecture, and there are probably diagrams and slides and note outlines, but during the time I was listening (vehicular commute), I did not have access to any of these materials. That said, I have a greater appreciation for the "softer" side of the American Civil War, the intangibles. What people thought before the war, and how they thought it was going to be a few brief skirmishes. How entire towns were decimated, because their young men from the same geographic region were put into the same companies. Women's and black's perspectives on the war. There's so much to talk about, and still yet I feel I could listen to another 48 lectures on the Civil War.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Joe

    This is an excellent series of lectures (48 in all) covering the American Civil War. I "read" it as an audiobook while working out at the gym. Gallagher covers, at a high level the major military actions of the war. But I really enjoyed a review of the events leading to the war, periodic asides to describe what was happening at the home fronts in the North and the South, the political events internally and internationally, description of conditions in POW camps and a review of northern and south This is an excellent series of lectures (48 in all) covering the American Civil War. I "read" it as an audiobook while working out at the gym. Gallagher covers, at a high level the major military actions of the war. But I really enjoyed a review of the events leading to the war, periodic asides to describe what was happening at the home fronts in the North and the South, the political events internally and internationally, description of conditions in POW camps and a review of northern and southern remembrances of the war. This is a very good Lecture Series and I highly recommend it!

  10. 5 out of 5

    littlemiao

    Excellent overview course of the civil war. Gallagher has an engaging lecture style and manages to deliver a highly digestible balance of historical chronology and battlefield manueuverings together with broader overviews of societal issues and trends. I particularly appreciated his attention to historiographical issues. His lectures are carefully crafted so that they impart a depth of understanding while remaining accessible.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jay

    One couldn't really ask much more out of a macro-level Civil War course than what's here. A fair and detailed overview of the timeline, causes, battles, major players, and sentiments. I bought this course with a desire to learn more about the Civil War and now I know more.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Alison Sullivan

    A long study on the Civil War, narrated by bonafide professors, experts on the subject and excited. I enjoyed it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nolan Martin

    An excellent course by a very talented, knowledgeable, and engaging teacher. Professor Gallagner does a wonderful job of trying to present the conflict in terms of how both the North and the South thought of it before, during, and immediately after the war. He does a great job of explaining the battles both tactically and strategically. He also touches on how the North moved from fighting a war almost solely to preserve the Union to fighting a war to end slavery. He also presents the Confederate An excellent course by a very talented, knowledgeable, and engaging teacher. Professor Gallagner does a wonderful job of trying to present the conflict in terms of how both the North and the South thought of it before, during, and immediately after the war. He does a great job of explaining the battles both tactically and strategically. He also touches on how the North moved from fighting a war almost solely to preserve the Union to fighting a war to end slavery. He also presents the Confederate perspective, from fighting to be able to expand slavery to at war's end realising that society's views on slavery were changing and the need to paint their struggle as one for state's rights and freedom...hence the Lost Cause writings. However, Professor Gallagner gives the Southern perspective in a way that while it calls them out for their racism and for the Lost Cause writer's largely sucessful attempt to bend history, it does not protray them as the American Nazis, a viewpoint that seems to be increasingly popular today. A course well worth your time.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Hank Pharis

    (NOTE: I'm stingy with stars. For me 2 stars means a good book or a B. 3 stars means a very good book or a B+. 4 stars means an outstanding book or an A {only about 5% of the books I read merit 4 stars}. 5 stars means an all time favorite or an A+ {Only one of 400 or 500 books rates this!).I very much enjoyed these lectures. Gallagher states that “the principal goal is to convey an understanding of the scope and consequences of the bloodiest war in our nation’s history—a struggle that claimed mo (NOTE: I'm stingy with stars. For me 2 stars means a good book or a B. 3 stars means a very good book or a B+. 4 stars means an outstanding book or an A {only about 5% of the books I read merit 4 stars}. 5 stars means an all time favorite or an A+ {Only one of 400 or 500 books rates this!).I very much enjoyed these lectures. Gallagher states that “the principal goal is to convey an understanding of the scope and consequences of the bloodiest war in our nation’s history—a struggle that claimed more than 600,000 lives, freed nearly 4,000,000 enslaved African Americans, and settled defi“The South between 1788 and 1860 offered many contrasts to the North. The population grew less rapidly. The South was not as urban, and public works were not as extensive. The biggest city in 1861 was New Orleans, with 160,000 people. Because of its smaller population, the South was falling behind in the House of Representatives. About 80 percent of the economy in the South was focus on agriculture, and slavery exerted a major influence on economic development. Leaders were large, wealthy landowners and slaveholders. Only 25 percent of the population held slaves, and only about 12 percent had twelve or more slaves. However, all Southern whites had a stake in slavery, because it gave them status, regardless of their economic position. Agrarian dominance was based on cash crops, and ‘King Cotton’ was the most important.” (4-5)“Southern religion differed from that in the North in important ways. It was more personal. It was less interested in societal reform and more interested in personal salvation. And education and reform movements did not thrive in the South. Many people in the South held negative perceptions about the North. They viewed Northerners as cold, grasping people. They thought Northerners were more interested in money than anything else.” (15)“At the importance of the fact that the outcome of the war was not predetermined. Either side could have won, and the Confederacy more than once came close to persuading the Northern people that the contest was too costly in lives and treasure.’ (21)“The North had an edge of about War; between 750,000 and 850,000 served in the Confederate Army.” (21-22)“The Northern economy, boasting approximately 110,000 businesses involving 1.3 million workers, dwarfed that of the Confederacy (with 18,000 business employing 110,000 workers). The North had as many manufacturing establishments as the Confederacy had factory workers. The Northern railroad network was more extensive and modern, with 22,000 miles of track, compared to only 9,000 in the Confederacy. And the Northern production of iron, ships, textiles, weapons, draft animals, and other crucial items far outstripped that in the South.” (22) “The North began the war with a professional army and navy, although this advantage was less important than might be assumed. The United States Army was only 15,000 strong and was spread across the continent; most units were west of the Mississippi. The United States Navy had only 42 vessels in commission, and most of these were patrolling far from the South. It was a deep-water cruising navy not skilled in coastal or riverine warfare.” (22)“However, the Confederacy also possessed significant advantages. War aims favored the Confederacy, which only had to defend itself to win independence. The American Revolution offered an example of a weaker power winning over a stronger power. The Confederacy could win just by demoralizing the Northern people.” (22)“Defending home ground conveyed advantages to the Confederacy. The side defending its homes often exhibits greater motivation than an invader. Geography often favored the Confederacy as well. The sheer size of the Confederacy (more than 750,000 square miles with 3,500 miles of coastline) posed a daunting obstacle to the North. And Confederates generally knew the terrain and roads better than Northerners. Access for commerce was provided by more than 200 mouths of rivers and bays. The Appalachian Mountains presented an obstacle, and the Shenandoah Valley provided a protected corridor for military action against the North. Rivers were a mixed bag—they sometimes served as avenues of advance for the Federals (as in the Western Theater along the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers) and at other times posed barriers to Northern armies (as in Virginia).” (23)“The poor Southern transportation network would also complicate Northern logistics. The Vicksburg campaign of 1863 is one example, and the infamous “mud march” in Virginia (January 1863) is another.” (23)“In terms of political leadership, I will argue that Jefferson Davis provided capable direction to the Confederate war effort, although his performance inevitably suffers in comparison to Lincoln’s deft leadership. Unknown at the time hostilities began—and a subject of intense Union and Confederate interest for at least two years thereafter—were the attitudes abroad. England and France represented a potentially signicy win the kind of support the colonies received from France during the Revolution, the entire balance sheet of the war would be upset. Absent major intervention from abroad, the victory would go to the side that mustered its resources and exploited its advantages most effectively to maintain national morale and purpose while convincing the opposing population that the war was not worth the cost.” (24)“There were 824 officers on the active list at the outbreak of the war. Of this total, 640 stayed with the North and only 184 went with the Confederacy. Of the approximately 900 professional officers in private life, 114 served the North while 99 served the South. Several factors largely offset the fact that roughly three-quarters of all West Pointers and other pre-war professional officers fought for the North.” (24-25)“A total of 2,000 men had trained at VMI, and about 1,700 served in the Confederate States Army (CSA), especially in the Army of Northern Virginia.” (25)“Political realities forced both sides to use politicians as generals. Lincoln appointed these “political generals” based on party affiliation and nationality. There were many famous, albeit not overly capable, political generals during the Civil War.” (25)However, Lincoln and Davis both did well as war leaders.” (25)“… some observations about how modern Americans should try to understand the people and events of 1861–1865. The North remained focused on war-related issues for some time. During the twelve years of Reconstruction, Republicans followed through on emancipation by adding the fourteenth and fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution and trying to build their party in the former Confederate states using black voters and white allies.” (186)“Republicans waved the “bloody shirt” in labeling the Democrats a party of treason responsible for the suffering of the war. Republican military leaders and other veterans often ran successfully for ofce (four former generals— Grant, Hayes, Gareld, and Benjamin Harrisonwon the presidency between 1868 and 1888). The Democrats struggled to regain their position as the majority party in national politics. They did elect Grover Cleveland twice, followed by then Woodrow Wilson in 1912.” (186)“The North erected monuments and wrote accounts of the war but gradually turned away from the conflict and focused on other issues.” (186)“The white South devoted considerable effort to making sense of its profound defeat. White Southerners had suffered relatively far more than Northerners. A higher percentage of their soldiers had been killed or maimed. Their social system had been radically altered through emancipation. Their economy had been disrupted. And they lived for several years wit occupying troops that reminded them of their defeat.” (186-87)“The ‘Myth of the Lost Cause’ was an attempt to fin d something positive I the failed struggle for independence.” (187)“Southerners who held this perspective insisted that honor was not forfeited inlacing to a vastly superior foe. The myth also played down the importance of slavery as a factor in secession, instead stressing constitutional issues.” (187)“Bitterness toward the North lingered for many years in the white South. Confederate monuments were erected throughout the South. Birthdays of treat leaders, such as Lee and Jackson, were celebrated as state holidays well into the 20th century.” (187) flag Like  · see review Oct 31, 2013 L. Lawson rated it really liked it Shelves: audiobook, great-courses very well done audio series. a fellow I knew in Peace Corps got so made when anyone implied the Civil War was about slavery on the Southern side. it was always and only about states' rights. this author fights that rewriting of history by listening to the southern actors of the day--Davis, Lee, etc. they all said it was a war to defend the institution of slavery. this series was about lot more than that, but I appreciated the author focusing on what people said then...not what the historians hav very well done audio series. a fellow I knew in Peace Corps got so made when anyone implied the Civil War was about slavery on the Southern side. it was always and only about states' rights. this author fights that rewriting of history by listening to the southern actors of the day--Davis, Lee, etc. they all said it was a war to defend the institution of slavery. this series was about lot more than that, but I appreciated the author focusing on what people said then...not what the historians have rewritten since then. flag 1 like · Like  · see review Oct 21, 2018 Loretta rated it really liked it Shelves: non-fiction, audiobooks Following my curiousity and interest in the American history around slavery leads, of course, to the Civil War, which I felt I knew near nothing about except that it happened. This was an excellent way for me to learn a lot more about it. The military campaigns weren't really my main interest, so I might have zoned out a bit during some of those chapters (the beauty of audiobooks) but the course also covers a lot of fascinating societal and historical context, in both the North and South: the ec Following my curiousity and interest in the American history around slavery leads, of course, to the Civil War, which I felt I knew near nothing about except that it happened. This was an excellent way for me to learn a lot more about it. The military campaigns weren't really my main interest, so I might have zoned out a bit during some of those chapters (the beauty of audiobooks) but the course also covers a lot of fascinating societal and historical context, in both the North and South: the economics, how women fared (white and black, northern and southern), the political context. It also solidly refutes that whole "the civil war wasn't even about slavery! it was about states rights!" argument. The Civil War was about slavery. The South left the Union because it wanted to preserve the institution of slavery. I also appreciated that the author/teacher didn't exaggerate or glorify either side, and in particular he made quite clear that the North went to war to protect the union; but emancipation was not an easy sell. The North may have defeated slavery but it was also still, overall, a deeply racist place itself. Now I've gotta find something good to read about reconstruction and how we get from the end of the Civil War to today. flag Like  · see review Mar 01, 2019 Neil Pearson rated it really liked it It's taken a long time to get through the course but I have enjoyed it and have a much better idea of what the American civil war was, why it happened and how it wasn't so inevitable that the North would win - the author did a great job of pointing out the south's war goals were far easier to achieve. The technology places the war at a very interesting point in history - it's almost "modern" war but not quite and has an interesting mix of war strategies. I also appreciated how the author was alw It's taken a long time to get through the course but I have enjoyed it and have a much better idea of what the American civil war was, why it happened and how it wasn't so inevitable that the North would win - the author did a great job of pointing out the south's war goals were far easier to achieve. The technology places the war at a very interesting point in history - it's almost "modern" war but not quite and has an interesting mix of war strategies. I also appreciated how the author was always keen to point out the dangers of applying "knowing the outcome to events in which none of the participants knew the outcome. Basically a good history lecturer. flag Like  · see review Sep 06, 2019 Lucky Bradley rated it it was amazing Shelves: military, history-non-fiction, audiobook, historical, civil-war, college-course A fantastic lecture on the American Civil War.You heard it, its 24 hours (48 lectures) on the American Civil War from start to finish. Explanations of the reasoning behind it, a deep surface look of the battles and most importantly, dispelling many myths of the Civil War (such as the Lost Cause, the Superiority of Southern Generals, etc).I am a fan of college lecture courses and Professor Gallagher delivers a clear, entertaining summary of the war. I will definitely catch any more lectures by hi A fantastic lecture on the American Civil War.You heard it, its 24 hours (48 lectures) on the American Civil War from start to finish. Explanations of the reasoning behind it, a deep surface look of the battles and most importantly, dispelling many myths of the Civil War (such as the Lost Cause, the Superiority of Southern Generals, etc).I am a fan of college lecture courses and Professor Gallagher delivers a clear, entertaining summary of the war. I will definitely catch any more lectures by him. flag Like  · see review Nov 19, 2019 Christopher Riley rated it it was amazing So I accidentally bought this book whilst drunk but after I got over my purchase I really did enjoy it. A wonderfully well told story over easy to digest lectures with great insight. Very difficult subject matter at times but the Gary Gallagher was able to break it down and explain it in a way even a relative novice in the subject like myself could understand. Overall I’d recommend this to anyone with any level of interest in the American civil war or general American history and don’t let the f So I accidentally bought this book whilst drunk but after I got over my purchase I really did enjoy it. A wonderfully well told story over easy to digest lectures with great insight. Very difficult subject matter at times but the Gary Gallagher was able to break it down and explain it in a way even a relative novice in the subject like myself could understand. Overall I’d recommend this to anyone with any level of interest in the American civil war or general American history and don’t let the fact that it’s university level content scare you! flag Like  · see review Jul 19, 2020 Jose Vitela rated it it was amazing A thoroughly engaging overview of the war including - a balanced portrayal of General Lee and other Notable confederacy generals such JEB Stewart, and Stonewall Jackson, and James Longstreet- a critique of the myth of the lost cause / I.e., memory over factS.- a reminder of the centrality of slavery in the antebellum aristocratic southern economic, social, and political structures.-the overlooked heroics of General Grant in the Western Theatre- The road to reconstruction and its perilsOverall a A thoroughly engaging overview of the war including - a balanced portrayal of General Lee and other Notable confederacy generals such JEB Stewart, and Stonewall Jackson, and James Longstreet- a critique of the myth of the lost cause / I.e., memory over factS.- a reminder of the centrality of slavery in the antebellum aristocratic southern economic, social, and political structures.-the overlooked heroics of General Grant in the Western Theatre- The road to reconstruction and its perilsOverall a phenomenal presentation of the Civil War. flag Like  · see review Apr 07, 2019 Alexis rated it it was amazing This lecture series has inspired me enough to finally move onto Shelby Foote’s three volume history of the Civil War. Professor Gallagher was gracious enough to recommend several diaries of northern and southern women to accompany my journey through Shelby Foote’s work.The lecture series itself is a great introduction to the intricacies of the Civil War. It makes it clear that there’s so much more to study and be understood if one will make a serious foray into the Civil War era. flag Like  · see review Jan 13, 2020 Aleksandar Totovic rated it it was amazing Amazing book... actually I've listened it through Audible and it was made as a lecture. As European guy I knew only the basic facts about civil war in America. But this war had a huge impact on almost whole modern world and finally I have a full understanding of this historical event and I understand a full context. flag Like  · see review Sep 12, 2019 Nikki rated it it was amazing Balanced! He relies on first hand accounts and is careful to separate out modern perspective from the written evidence in the mid-1800s. I was interested in learning more about the civil war after moving to Atlanta. Now I think this would be a good gift for my grandfather. flag Like  · see review Nov 16, 2019 John Randall rated it it was amazing Wow. The complaint I have is it was not enough! It covered the entire civil war but, because of that, it was not able to go into depth in any area. It was an excellent survey of the entry, prosecution, and completion of the war. flag Like  · see review Jul 30, 2020 Luke rated it it was amazing Shelves: the-great-courses Great lecture series, favorite of The Great Courses so far. Professor Gallagher does a great job giving a comprehensive of not just the military aspects, but the political, economic, social, and home life of both ssd's sides. Clocks in at over 24 hours, but it is well worth it. flag Like  · see review Aug 07, 2020 Patrick rated it it was amazing Shelves: history, the-great-courses-audiobooks This is a balanced and comprehensive overview of both the military and social aspects of this huge conflict. The lecturer is clearly passion and high knowledgeable about the topic and presents everything in a clear and unbiased manner without assuming prior knowledge. Highly recommended. flag Like  · see review Jun 02, 2017 Sandra rated it it was ok The topic was fascinating, but the lecturer needed some mic discipline. flag Like  · see review Nov 28, 2017 G33z3r rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition Shelves: non-fiction, history, audiobook Good enough overview of the civil war campaigns. flag Like  · see review Jun 18, 2019 Jonathan Baldie rated it it was amazing A definitive work on the great conflict that defined much of American history. flag Like  · see review Sep 16, 2019 Steven rated it really liked it The professor shudders sometimes. A editor could make this a masterpiece. flag Like  · see review « previous 1 2 next »

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