Lincoln on Trial: Southern Civilians and the Law of War

Lincoln on Trial: Southern Civilians and the Law of War

Lincoln on Trial: Southern Civilians and the Law of War

Lincoln on Trial: Southern Civilians and the Law of War

Synopsis

Carnahan has taken a careful and imaginative look at contemporaneous legal authorities and military principles (the "law of war") that informed Lincoln's approach to the Confederate insurrection, much of which could be extended to civil war only with great deliberation and insight, as well as inevitable errors and missteps. There is, of course, a sense in which the wartime destruction and confiscation of life and property - particularly that of civilian bystanders - can never be made fully defensible or comprehensible. However, this is a first-rate and dispassionate examination of the issues that helps the reader understand how and why decisions were made. The author's subtle and comprehensive understanding of international law (then and now) also makes this work relevant to our understanding of contemporary wars and conflicts. Well done.
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