1861: The Civil War Awakening by Adam Goodheart

By Adam Goodheart

An epic of braveness and heroism past the battlefields, 1861 is Adam Goodheart’s account of ways the Civil conflict started and a moment American revolution spread out, atmosphere Abraham Lincoln at the route to greatness and thousands of slaves at the highway to freedom.

In this gripping and unique publication, Goodheart introduces us to a heretofore little-known solid of Civil struggle heroes—among them an acrobatic military colonel, an explorer’s spouse, an idealistic band of German immigrants, a regiment of latest York urban firemen, a group of Virginia slaves, and a tender university professor who may sooner or later turn into president. Their tales take us from the corridors of the White apartment to the slums of long island, from the waters of the Chesapeake to the deserts of Nevada, from Boston universal to Alcatraz Island, vividly evoking the Union at its second of final main issue and decision.

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Extra info for 1861: The Civil War Awakening

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This was a central intention of Mor­ gan’s study of the political thought surrounding the Stamp Act. ” As early as 1765 the Whigs “laid down the line on which Americans stood until they cut their connections with England. ” 21 In other words, from the beginning they consistently denied Parliament’s right to tax them, but at the same time they consis­ tently affirmed Parliament’s right to regulate their trade. ”22 It seemed clear once again after Morgan’s study that the Americans were more sincerely attached to constitutional principles than the behaviorist historians had supposed, and that their ideas could not be viewed as simply manipulated propaganda.

Because the present is so strong and can easily overwhelm and distort interpretations of the past, we historians have to constantly guard against it. Of course, historians live in the present, and they cannot and should not ignore it in their forays into the past; historians are not antiquarians who wallow in the past for its own sake. Indeed, historical reconstruc­ tion is only possible because historians have different perspectives from those of the past about whom they write. The present is important in Introduction | 21 stimulating historical inquiry and the questions historians ask of the past.

By helping to purge our writing about the Revolution of its concentration on constitutional principles and its stifl ing judicial­ like preoccupation with motivation and responsibility, the study serves to open the way for new questions and new appraisals. In fact, it is out of the very completeness of his idealist interpretation, out of his exposition of the extraordinary nature—the very dynamism and emotionalism—of the Americans’ thought that we have the evidence for an entirely different, a behaviorist, perspective on the causes of the American Revolution.

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