The South vs. the South

The South vs. the South : How Anti-Confederate Southerners Shaped the Course of the Civil War

3.68 (160 ratings by Goodreads)

List price: US$74.00

Currently unavailable

We can notify you when this item is back in stock

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks


Why did the Confederacy lose the Civil War? Most historians point to the larger number of Union troops, for example, or the North's greater industrial might. Now, in "The South Vs. the South", one of America's leading authorities on the Civil War era offers an entirely new answer to this question. William Freehling argues that anti-Confederate Southerners - specifically, border state whites and southern blacks - helped cost the Confederacy the war. White men in such border states as Missouri, Kentucky, and Maryland, Freehling points out, were divided in their loyalties - but far more joined the Union army (or simply stayed home) than marched off in Confederate gray. If they had enlisted as rebel troops in the same proportion as white men did farther south, their numbers would have offset all the Confederate casualties during four years of war. In addition, when those states stayed loyal, the vast majority of the South's urban population and industrial capacity remained in Union hands.
And many forget, Freehling writes, that the slaves' own decisions led to a series of white decisions (culminating in the Emancipation Proclamation) that turned federal forces into an army of liberation, depriving the South of labor and adding essential troops to the blue ranks. Whether revising our conception of slavery or of Abraham Lincoln, or establishing the antecedents of Martin Luther King, or analyzing Union military strategy, or uncovering new meanings in what is arguably America's greatest piece of sculpture, Augustus St.-Gaudens' Shaw Memorial, Freehling writes with piercing insight and rhetorical verve. Concise and provocative, "The South Vs. the South" will forever change the way we view the Civil War.
show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 254 pages
  • 163.8 x 243.3 x 24.1mm | 477.74g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • numerous halftones and maps
  • 0195130278
  • 9780195130270

Review quote

... a short, sweeping, and often provocative study ... There is much food for thought here, and much that will surely be controversial. American Nineteenth Century History This is a book that every serious Civil War scholar should read. Journal of American Studies Freehling's thoughtful and engaging narrative reflects the increasing sophistication with which the debate over why the North won and the South lost the Civil War is being waged, and the skill with which he makes his case suggests that it is a debate fully worth continuing. The Journal of American History An excellent study ... interesting, easily read, and thought-provoking. Anyone interested in the American Civil War will benefit from reading it. History This book is a masterpiece of historical research, interpretation, and writing. T. Michael Parrish, past president of the Society of Civil War Historians
show more

About William W. Freehling

William W. Freehling is Professor of History and Otis A. Singletary Chair in Humanities at the University of Kentucky, and is the author of The Road to Disunion, Volume I: Disunionists at Bay, 1776-1854, which won the Owsley Prize. He lives near Lexington, Kentucky.
show more

Rating details

160 ratings
3.68 out of 5 stars
5 19% (31)
4 40% (64)
3 31% (50)
2 9% (14)
1 1% (1)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X