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Starving the South: How the North Won the Civil War
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Starving the South: How the North Won the Civil War

3.33  ·  Rating Details  ·  30 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
A historian’s new look at how Union blockades brought about the defeat of a hungry Confederacy

In April 1861, Lincoln ordered a blockade of Southern ports used by the Confederacy for cotton and tobacco exporting as well as for the importation of food. The Army of the Confederacy grew thin while Union dinner tables groaned and Northern canning operations kept Grant’s army
Hardcover, 295 pages
Published April 12th 2011 by St. Martin's Press
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(showing 1-30 of 96)
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Apr 17, 2015 Jim rated it liked it
Smith does a good job of arguing that hunger-and actual starvation-was what done in the South. It wasn't just that the South had concentrated on cash crops like cotton rather than crops for food like corn and wheat but that they couldn't mobilize the agricultural resources that they had. The North, on the other hand, did an unprecedented job of not only increasing agricultural output but getting the food efficiently to the armies at the front.
Smith points out the big difference between the two
Paul Pessolano
Apr 14, 2011 Paul Pessolano rated it liked it
I have read many books about the Civil War and as many books as there are, there are as many reason why the North won. This is the first book that has given food as the reason for the Southern defeat.

Agriculture in the North was basically food products, wheat, oats, corn, while in the South their cash crops were non-food items, such as cotton and tobacco. This worked well for everyone until the outbreak of the Civil War.

As Napolion Bonaparte said, "An army travels on its stomach."

The South hoped
Margaret Sankey
Oct 07, 2011 Margaret Sankey rated it liked it
A food historian considers the importance of logistics and nutrition to the outcome of the Civil War--again, not something new, but in the hands of someone more interested in the contents of the canned goods than the caliber of the bullets, this is interesting. Smith discusses the rise of commercial canning (Borden milk, Underwood deviled ham), the blockade and the sharpening of class differences in the south, letter from starving people on the home front and desertions, the massive Louisville S ...more
Becky Diamond
Nov 27, 2015 Becky Diamond rated it really liked it
I never would have thought that food played such a big role in the outcome of the Civil War. Smith's meticulously researched book provides tons of evidence to support this theory. Lots of interesting tidbits about the strategies and tactics used by the leaders from both sides of the conflict.
Sd Johnson
Feb 10, 2014 Sd Johnson rated it it was amazing
cotton for meat...during the war....
a great book to read.
Jan 09, 2012 Laura rated it liked it
This was really interesting for a big fan of Gone With the Wind - I hadn't realized how widespread the problem of starvation was or how much it impacted the end of the war.
Oct 30, 2012 Amy rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Detailing the role food played in the Civil War. I liked it and it definitely gave me some new insights but it was pretty repetitive at points.
May 14, 2012 Kidada rated it liked it
Useful text for understanding issues re: access to food on the battlefield and on the homefront.
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Andrew Francis Smith teaches food studies at the New School University in Manhattan. He has written more than three hundred articles in academic journals and popular magazines and has authored or edited seventeen books, including The Oxford Encyclopedia on Food and Drink in America, a James Beard finalist in 2005. He has been frequently appeared on several television series, including the History ...more
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