By David Williams
The acclaimed sweeping heritage of a country at warfare with itself, instructed right here for the 1st time by way of the folks who lived it.
Bottom-up historical past at its absolute best, A People's heritage of the Civil struggle "does for the Civil warfare interval what Howard Zinn's A People's background of the U.S. did for the research of yankee background normally" (Library Journal). generally praised upon its preliminary free up, it used to be defined as "meticulously researched and persuasively argued" by means of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Historian David Williams has written the 1st account of the yankee Civil conflict notwithstanding the eyes of standard people—foot infantrymen, slaves, ladies, prisoners of warfare, draft resisters, local american citizens, and others. Richly illustrated with little-known anecdotes and first-hand testimony, this pathbreaking narrative strikes past presidents and generals to inform a brand new and strong tale approximately America's so much harmful conflict.
A People's background of the Civil conflict is "readable social historical past" which "sheds interesting gentle" (Publishers Weekly) in this an important interval. In so doing it recovers the long-overlooked views and forgotten voices of 1 of the defining chapters of yankee historical past. 40 b/w pictures.
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Additional resources for A People’s History of the Civil War: Struggles for the Meaning of Freedom
23 Our misleading popular, and too often scholarly, image of Civil War America stems in large part from a general overemphasis on its military and political aspects. Such studies are certainly necessary to a complete understanding of the era. But focusing so much of our collective attention on battles and leaders tends to leave the misimpression that common folk simply drifted with the flow of events as their leaders directed. That misimpression persists largely because historians fail to shed light on the ways common folk influenced those events.
B. Du Bois called a general strike against the Confederacy, enslaved blacks began to travel at will, demand wages for labor, gather freely, refuse instruction, and resist punishment. As early as 1861, an overseer complained to his employer that the slaves would not submit to physical punishment. One slave simply walked away when the overseer told him he was about to be whipped. Another slave drew a knife on an overseer who tried to whip him. A plantation mistress wrote concerning one of her slaves: “Nancy has been very impertinent… .
Allen, a former Alabama slave, personally knew those in bondage who were beaten to death for nothing more than being off the plantation without written permission. ”21 Because slaves had monetary value, death as a direct result of discipline was unusual. More often, the objective of physical punishment was to inflict as much pain as possible without doing permanent damage. Scarring or mutilation might decrease the slave’s resale value or ability to work. ”22 Wide leather straps or perforated wooden paddles were more common than whips.