At the Precipice: Americans North and South during the Secession Crisis

By Shearer Davis Bowman | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Guide to Further Reading

INTRODUCTION

The best historical surveys of the antebellum era are provided in two volumes of the Oxford History of the United States: Daniel Walker Howe, What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815–1848 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007); and James M. McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988). However, it is helpful to read Howe’s volume alongside Charles G. Sellers, The Market Revolution: Jacksonian America, 1815–1846 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991), and John Ashworth, Slavery, Capitalism, and Politics in the Antebellum Republic, vol. 1, Commerce and Compromise, 1820–1850 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995). Likewise, it is best to read McPherson’s chapters on late antebellum sectionalism and the secession crisis (chapters 1–10) in conjunction with Roy Franklin Nichols, The Disruption of American Democracy (New York: Free Press, 1948); J. G. Randall and David Herbert Donald, Civil War and Reconstruction, 2nd ed. (Lexington, Mass.: Heath, 1969), chapters 1–9; Peter J. Parish, The American Civil War (New York: Holmes and Meier, 1975), chapters 1–4; David M. Potter, The Impending Crisis, 1846–1861, completed and edited by Don E. Fehrenbacher (New York: Harper and Row, 1976); Kenneth M. Stampp, The Imperiled Union: Essays on the Background of the Civil War (New York: Oxford University Press, 1980); Bruce Levine, Half Slave and Half Free: The Roots of the Civil War, rev. ed. (New York: Hill and Wang/Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2005); and John Ashworth, Slavery, Capitalism, and Politics in the Antebellum Republic, vol. 2, The Coming of the Civil War, 1850–1861 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007).

Every historian of the Civil War era should do substantial reading in the eight gracefully written, deeply researched, and often wise volumes by Allan Nevins known collectively as The Ordeal of the Union (New York: Scribner’s, 1947–71), the final two volumes published in the year of his death. Every student of the secession crisis must read, at a minimum, chapter 15, “Lincoln Takes the Helm,” in The Emergence of Lincoln, vol. 2, Prologue to Civil War, 1859–1861 (1950). This chapter is also included in Allan Nevins, Ordeal of the Union: Selected Chapters, edited and introduction by E. B. Long (New York: Scribner’s, 1971), which provided me with my initial introduction to Nevins’s work.

For insights into how postbellum Americans tried to make sense of the Civil War years, the essential books are Eric Foner, Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1862–1877 (New York: Harper and Row, 1988); David W. Blight, Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory (Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2001); Heather Cox Richardson, West from Appomattox: The Reconstruction of America after the Civil War (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007); and Douglas A. Blackmon, Slavery by Another Name: The Reenslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II (New York: Anchor, 2008–9).

-339-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
At the Precipice: Americans North and South during the Secession Crisis
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 379

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?