When we talk about the Civil War, we often describe it in terms of battles that took place in small towns or in the countryside: Antietam, Gettysburg, Bull Run, and, most tellingly, the Battle of the Wilderness. One reason this picture has persisted is that few urban historians have studied the war, even though cities hosted, enabled, and shaped Southern society as much as they did in the North. Confederate Cities, edited by Andrew L. Slap and Frank Towers, shifts the focus from the agrarian economy that undergirded the South to the cities that served as its political and administrative hubs. The contributors use the lens of the city to examine now-familiar Civil War-era themes, including the scope of the war, secession, gender, emancipation, and war's destruction. This more integrative approach dramatically revises our understanding of slavery's relationship to capitalist economics and cultural modernity. By enabling a more holistic reading of the South, the book speaks to contemporary Civil War scholars and students alike-not least in providing fresh perspectives on a well-studied war.
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 431 g
Dimensions: 226 x 152 x 20 mm
"For too long historians have gazed at the South from the veranda of the plantation, rarely looking beyond the fields of cotton and tobacco to see the urban South. The essays in Confederate Cities strip away the veneer of a pastoral South to find a dynamic and diversified region imbedded within a world of transatlantic capitalism. The Civil War disrupted global connections and strained relations between town and country, but with the destruction of slavery and transportation expanded, urban spaces became enclaves of freedom for African Americans. Editors Slap and Towers have assembled a cast of superb historians who show a multitude of perspectives on the urban South as it endured the revolutionary consequences of Confederate defeat."--Peter S. Carmichael, director, Civil War Institute, Gettysburg College
"Confederate Cities shows that cities afford a sharp lens for examining the South in the Civil War era, revealing a picture of vigorous urban development, wartime upheaval, and dramatic transition. Among the many volumes of scholarly essays on particular aspects of American history published during the last couple of decades, this is one of the best. Comprising a dozen forcefully argued essays--including the editors' superb introduction--the book also features a fiery foreword by David Goldfield (the dean of urban South historians), along with a welcome conclusion and a real index."--Civil War Book Review