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The South vs. the South: How Southern Anti-Confederates Shaped the Course of the Civil War

3.66  ·  Rating Details  ·  119 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Why did the Confederacy lose the Civil War? Most historians point to the larger number of Union troops, for example, or the North's greater industrial might. Now, in The South Vs. the South, one of America's leading authorities on the Civil War era offers an entirely new answer to this question.
William Freehling argues that anti-Confederate Southerners--specifically, bord
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Published February 15th 2001 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 2001)
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This is a very interesting and well-reasoned book that looks at the role Southerners played in the Union's victory in the Civil War. The author concentrates on "border state whites," his term for white folks who lived in the Union slave states that bordered the South, such as Kentucky and Maryland. Citizens in those states overwhelmingly chose to serve in the Union army rather than the Confederate army. Those who stayed out of the war proved resistant to Confederate efforts to "revolutionize" th ...more
The South vs the South is disappointing if well put together; it is largely focused on the role of slaves during the war, covering the politics of emancipation splendidly. There is almost nothing said of the effects of dissent and rebellion by white farmers against the Confederacy, nor any serious treatment given to southern deserters; aside from slavery, in fact, the only southerners who get a lot of attention are those in the border states, whose apathy is the principle subject. That said, for ...more
Sean Chick
Dec 05, 2013 Sean Chick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the best books on the war. Freehling's argument is that the South lost because it failed to gain the allegiance of the border states and then lost the loyalty of enough whites and slaves that it gave the Union a vital manpower boost. Freehling is a superb writer who makes his case but rarely overstates it.
David Bates
May 22, 2013 David Bates rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Freehling’s work largely functions by pointing out the divisions within the South as a whole over the issue of secession and tracing how those divisions conditioned the course of the Civil War. Non-Confederate southerners as Freehling terms them, mainly divide into two catagories: border state whites in Missouri, Kentucky, West Virginia and Maryland who did not support secession, and southern blacks. The political inclinations of the white citizens of border states gave the Union a massive advan ...more
Chelsey Ortega
Nov 24, 2015 Chelsey Ortega rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: school, historical
This was a very interesting read. The author tries to explain why the South lost the Civil War (something many historians have tried to do because, let's face it: the South had a great start and it really looked like they were going to win). Anyway, Freehling makes the argument that the South lost because they were divided and against each other because of those divisions. Some of this devisions include: slave owners vs. non slave owners, rich vs. poor, master vs. slave, etc. It is very well wri ...more
Steven Wedgeworth
Jul 21, 2013 Steven Wedgeworth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating look into the internal divisions of the Confederacy. Freehling argues that the divisions within the South instigated the Civil War, by hastening secession, and then brought about the end of the Civil War, with less slave-dependent states deciding to give up rather than prolong the fighting.
May 05, 2009 Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the more compelling books on the Civil War and what ultimately caused Southern secession to fail. Thankfully Freehling avoids painting either Northern forces or Southern forces (or their respective nations) as altruistic or heroic.
David R.
The come-on in the dust jacket was hyperbole given that the content was merely pedestrian. And the case was not compelling: the case studies did not convince me that interior resistance was especially potent.
Dec 11, 2011 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was good because it was short. It didn't repeat itself over and over making the same point, but it was concise and an easy read for an academic-type book.
Apr 05, 2007 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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William W. Freehling is Singletary Professor of the Humanities Emeritus at the University of Kentucky
More about William W. Freehling...

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