In this brilliant biography T. J. Stiles offers a new understanding of the legendary outlaw Jesse James. Although he has often been portrayed as a Robin Hood of the old west, in this ground-breaking work Stiles places James within the context of the bloody conflicts of the Civil War to reveal a much more complicated and significant figure.Raised in a fiercely pro-slavery household in bitterly divided Misssouri, at age sixteen James became a bushwhacker, one of the savage Confederate guerrillas that terrorized the border states. After the end of the war, James continued his campaign of robbery and murder into the brutal era of reconstruction, when his reckless daring, his partisan pronouncements, and his alliance with the sympathetic editor John Newman Edwards placed him squarely at the forefront of the former Confederates' bid to recapture political power. With meticulous research and vivid accounts of the dramatic adventures of the famous gunman, T. J. Stiles shows how he resembles not the apolitical hero of legend, but rather a figure ready to use violence to command attention for a political cause--in many ways, a forerunner of the modern terrorist.
Describes the changes brought about by the Civil War, discusses the impact of slavery's end, and looks at the political, economic, and social aspects of Reconstruction
One hundred and thirty-three years after its 1885 publication by Mark Twain, Elizabeth Samet has annotated this lavish edition of Grant's landmark memoir, and expands the Civil War backdrop against which this monumental American life is typically read. No previous edition combines such a sweep of historical and cultural contexts with the literary authority that Samet, an English professor obsessed with Grant for decades, brings to the table.
Whether exploring novels Grant read at West Point or presenting majestic images culled from archives, Samet curates a richly annotated, highly collectible edition that will fascinate Civil War buffs. The edition also breaks new ground in its attack on the "Lost Cause" revisionism that still distorts our national conversation about the legacy of the Civil War. Never has Grant's transformation from tanner's son to military leader been more insightfully and passionately explained than in this timely edition, appearing on the 150th anniversary of Grant's 1868 presidential election.
Winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for HistoryIn this magisterial biography, T. J. Stiles paints a portrait of Custer both deeply personal and sweeping in scope, proving how much of Custer's legacy has been ignored. He demolishes Custer's historical caricature, revealing a capable yet insecure man, intelligent yet bigoted, passionate yet self-destructive, a romantic individualist at odds with the institution of the military (court-martialed twice in six years) and the new corporate economy, a wartime emancipator who rejected racial equality. Stiles argues that, although Custer was justly noted for his exploits on the western frontier, he also played a central role as both a wide-ranging participant and polarizing public figure in his extraordinary, transformational time--a time of civil war, emancipation, brutality toward Native Americans, and, finally, the Industrial Revolution--even as he became one of its casualties. Intimate, dramatic, and provocative, this biography captures the larger story of the changing nation. It casts surprising new light on one of the best-known figures of American history, a subject of seemingly endless fascination.
An abridged version of Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, the definitive study of the aftermath of the Civil War, winner of the Bancroft Prize, Avery O. Craven Prize, Los Angeles Times Book Award, Francis Parkman Prize, and Lionel Trilling Prize.
More than 600,000 soldiers lost their lives in the American Civil War. An equivalent proportion of today's population would be six million. In This Republic of Suffering, Drew Gilpin Faust reveals the ways that death on such a scale changed not only individual lives but the life of the nation, describing how the survivors managed on a practical level and how a deeply religious culture struggled to reconcile the unprecedented carnage with its belief in a benevolent God. Throughout, the voices of soldiers and their families, of statesmen, generals, preachers, poets, surgeons, nurses, northerners and southerners come together to give us a vivid understanding of the Civil War's most fundamental and widely shared reality.
In the autumn of 1864, at the height of the American Civil War, the Confederate raider Shenandoah received orders to "seek out and utterly destroy" the whaling fleets of New England as part of an effort to bleed the Union of its economic strength -- an undertaking that met its greatest success when the raider fell upon a fleet of whalers working the waters near Alaska's Little Diomede Island and sank more than two dozen ships in a frenzy of destruction.
Before the Shenandoah's voyage was over, the raider had captured or sunk thirty-eight ships. She also took more than a thousand prisoners and led the best warships of the Union navy on a twenty-seven-thousand-mile chase that ended with her escape to England, making her the only Confederate vessel to circumnavigate the globe. At the end of her journey -- truly one of the most remarkable in naval history -- the effects of the raider's actions reached far beyond the glow of the flames marking the sky above the Arctic ice. The inferno signaled not only the near-demise of the New England whaling industry, but also the end of America's growing hegemony over worldwide shipping for the next eighty years. These Civil War clashes also helped precipitate the establishment of international laws that remain in effect today.
But more important than the tally of damage was the date the final conflagration began: June 22, the longest day of the year, and almost a full three months after General Lee lay down his sword at Appomattox. Contrary to contemporary belief, it was not on the battlefield in Virginia but high in the Arctic where the last shot of the American Civil War was fired.
Blending high-seas adventure and first-rate research, Lynn Schooler's The Last Shot is naval history of the very first order, offering a riveting account of the last Southern military force to lay down its arms.
President Lincoln oversaw, argued with, and finally tamed his unruly team of lieutenants as the eastern army was stabilized by an unsung supporting cast of corps, division, and brigade generals. With characteristic style and insight, Stephen Sears brings these courageous, determined officers, who rose through the ranks and led from the front, to life and legend. " A] massive, elegant study . . . A staggering work of research by a masterly historian." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review