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The Confederate Nation, 1861-1865 (The New American Nation Series)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  142 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
We have for years needed a serious, scholarly, readable work on the Confederate nation that rounds up modem scholarship and offers a fresh and detached view of the whole subject. This work fills that order admirably ... [Thomas] sensibly and deftly integrates the course of Southern military fortunes with the concerns that shaped them and were shaped by them. In doing so he ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published November 1st 1981 by Harper Perennial (first published January 1st 1979)
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Erik Graff
Apr 14, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Americans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: history
I'd long wanted to read a history of the American Civil War from the perspective of the Confederate States. Catton sometimes does sympathetically adopt the Southern perspective in his books, but his basic orientation is Unionist and his perspectives are usually those of the officers and troops. Thomas, however, gave me what I wanted. A retired University of Georgia professor, his vantage is definitely Southern.

Most interesting to me in this book was the discussion of how General Lee was successf
Yann Selosse
Dec 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's more than an another history of the Civil War, it's a study of what formed the Southern particularism and then separatism and how it was confronted to reality in the form of the C.S.A. and war time policies.
Well written, sourced but a little bit short on some issues. For instance, the author kept repeating the Southern nationalism was dying in 1864/65 but does not develop much. How so? What's the public opinion? Examples? And so on, whereas the secession crisis and much other aspects are w
May 08, 2017 rated it liked it
I was looking for a non fiction book that covered the civil war from the confederate end. This book fulfilled that need, it is very informative almost to a fault. The book could have been set up in a more user friendly manor by shortening or breaking up the chapters. Each chapter was very broad and made it a lot harder to keep attention.
Sep 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: political, history
The only reason I decided to give this book four stars out of five is because Thomas makes no mention on how the Confederate government viewed the Emancipation Proclamation. It is often stated by historians that the Emancipation Proclamation was the death blow to the Southern economy. I would have liked to have seen how Thomas tackled this accusation by giving us the accounts of Confederate officials and how they perceived this attack on their peculiar institution. Was the Emancipation Proclamat ...more
Apr 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
For those looking for a single volume on the confederacy’s view of the civil war from the view of the confederate government then look no further. Emory Thomas takes a look less at the military battles and more at the southern political will and organization that was built up around the southern states making up the Confederate States of America (CSA). The book looks at the domestic institutions such as local governments and the post office as well as the military structure of the departments of ...more
Bill FromPA
Oct 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, civil-war
I started reading this in order to provide a larger context for my reading of Mary Chesnut's Civil War, but found it a fascinating book in its own right. A look at the Confederacy which includes aspects of the nascent nation ignored or mentioned only briefly in most military history: such as the constitution, taxation, foreign policy, Indian policy, and the arts and intellectual life. The author's thesis is that a nation founded to preserve the status quo quickly found itself, as the result of w ...more
Rodrigo Melgar
Aug 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Confederate Nation: 1861-1865 is a compelling, thoughtful and thoroughly researched book that provides the reader with a quick, yet comprehensive insight on the affairs of the failed Confederate state from its inception in 1861 up until its dissolution in 1865.

For all the research that the author carried out to write this fine manuscript, however, its succint character renders it unable to tap on its full potential, rendering the book lacking if you expect it to convey anything more than a q
Steven Voorhees
Jan 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Civil War is America's key domestic historical event. Only the Revolutionary War and independence from Britain match the civil war's importance. Many a book's been written about this patriotic mutiny that split the union. But a backbone of it, the Confederacy, hasn't been properly framed or analyzed. With Thomas' THE CONFEDERATE NATION, an analysis now exists. Taking an historiographical approach, Thomas spotlights the rebel nation's origins, sustenance and ultimate failure. Not just in mili ...more
Nov 25, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: 19th-century
A fairly good, if rapid survey of the rise and fall of Confederate nationalism - marred by the author's enthusiasm for his subject(s). I was interested in this book because of the general theme of revolutionary nationalism that is developed. This next book, which I have not yet read, looks to be deeper and subtler:
Jay Perkins
Oct 04, 2015 rated it liked it
With a focus on the origin and development of Confederate nationalism, Thomas explores the history of the short lived Southern experiment. Significantly, the south had to sacrifice many of her core antebellum, laissez-faire, values to create a slaveholders republic. Excellent but not exhaustive, it's an easy and surprisingly quick read.
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  • Three Months in the Southern States: April-June 1863
  • Stonewall Jackson and the American Civil War
  • Fighting for the Confederacy: The Personal Recollections of General Edward Porter Alexander
  • Chancellorsville
  • An Honorable Defeat: The Last Days of the Confederate Government
  • Reading the Man: A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters
  • The Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. Lee (Civil War Library)
  • Mary Chesnut: A Diary From Dixie
  • Lee's Lieutenants: A Study In Command (Volume I: Manassas to Malvern Hill)
  • The Life of Johnny Reb: The Common Soldier of the Confederacy
  • From Manassas To Appomattox
  • Terrible Swift Sword: The Centennial History of the Civil War Series, Volume 2
  • Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam
  • Mary Chesnut's Civil War
  • The Impending Crisis: America Before the Civil War, 1848-1861
  • The Road to Disunion: Volume II: Secessionists Triumphant, 1854-1861
  • Chancellorsville 1863: The Souls of the Brave
  • Apostles of Disunion: Southern Secession Commissioners and the Causes of the Civil War
A noted scholar of the Civil War, Emory Thomas is a Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Georgia.
More about Emory M. Thomas...

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