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Oxford University Press Inc
15 March 2019
History; History of the Americas; Modern history to 20th century: c 1700 to c 1900; American Civil War
Loyal Americans marched off to war in 1861 not to conquer the South but to liberate it. So argues Elizabeth R. Varon in Armies of Deliverance, a sweeping narrative of the Civil War and a bold new interpretation of Union and Confederate war aims. Northerners imagined the war as a crusade to deliver the Southern masses from slaveholder domination and to bring democracy, prosperity, and education to the region. As the war escalated, Lincoln and his allies built the case that emancipation would secure military victory and benefit the North and South alike. The theme of deliverance was essential in mobilizing a Unionist coalition of Northerners and anti-Confederate Southerners. Confederates, fighting to establish an independent slaveholding republic, were determined to preempt, discredit, and silence Yankee appeals to the Southern masses. In their quest for political unity Confederates relentlessly played up two themes: Northern barbarity and Southern victimization. Casting the Union army as ruthless conquerors, Confederates argued that the emancipation of blacks was synonymous with the subjugation of the white South. Interweaving military and social history, Varon shows that everyday acts on the ground--from the flight of slaves, to protests against the draft, the plundering of civilian homes, and civilian defiance of military occupation--reverberated at the highest levels of government. Varon also offers new perspectives on major battles, illuminating how soldiers and civilians alike coped with the physical and emotional toll of the war as it grew into a massive humanitarian crisis. The Union's politics of deliverance helped it to win the war. But such appeals failed to convince Confederates to accept peace on the victor's terms, ultimately sowing the seeds of postwar discord. Armies of Deliverance offers innovative insights on the conflict for those steeped in Civil War history and novices alike.
By:   Elizabeth R. Varon (Langbourne M. Williams Professor of American History and Associate Director John L. Nau III Center for Civil War History University of Virginia)
Imprint:   Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 239mm,  Width: 163mm,  Spine: 36mm
Weight:   898g
ISBN:   9780190860608
ISBN 10:   019086060X
Pages:   520
Publication Date:   15 March 2019
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Acknowledgments Introduction: We Are Fighting for Them Part I: Loyalism Ch 1. March of Redemption: From Bull Run to Fort Donelson Ch 2. Ripe for the Harvest: To Shiloh Ch 3. Sacred Soil: Virginia in the Summer of 1862 Ch 4. The Perils of Occupation Part II: Emancipation Ch 5. Countdown to Jubilee: Lincoln's Hundred Days Ch 6. The Emancipation Proclamation Ch 7. Fire in the Rear: To Chancellorsville Ch 8. Under a Scorching Sun: The Summer of 1863 Part III: Amnesty Ch 9. Rallying Point: Lincoln's Ten Percent Plan, December 1863 Ch 10. Is This Hell? Fort Pillow to Atlanta Ch 11. Campaign Season: The Election of 1864 Ch 12. Malice Toward None: The Union Triumphant Epilogue: Behold Him Now the Pharaoh : Andrew Johnson and the Legacy of the Civil War Notes Index

Elizabeth R. Varon is Langbourne M. Williams Professor of American History at the University of Virginia. She is the author of numerous award-winning books, including Southern Lady, Yankee Spy: The True Story of Elizabeth Van Lew, A Union Agent in the Heart of the Confederacy (OUP, 2003), Disunion!: The Coming of the American Civil War, 1789-1859, and Appomattox: Victory, Defeat and Freedom at the End of the Civil War (OUP, 2013).

Reviews for Armies of Deliverance: A New History of the Civil War

Elizabeth Varon has served up a fresh and convincing interpretation of Northern policy and goals in the Civil War. She portrays how an initial purpose to deliver the presumed legions of white Unionists in the South from suppression by Confederate domination evolved into a crusade to liberate whites and blacks alike from the iron grip of the slave power and slavery. This book offers a new perspective on the searing conflict of 1861-1865 that continues to provoke controversy today. - James M. McPherson, author of Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era Drawing on her mastery of the Civil War era, Elizabeth Varon delivers a sweeping and bold synthesis that seamlessly blends the military, political, cultural, racial, and religious currents of the tragic conflict. Her deft use of 'deliverance' as a motif for understanding the wartime motivations of both nations provides an astute perspective on this endlessly fascinating period in United States history. -- Joan Waugh, co-author of The American War: A History of the Civil War Era Armies of Deliverance offers a fresh, innovative, and quite readable account of the American Civil War. By recasting the conflict as a 'war of liberation, ' Varon presents new insights along with revealing evidence (especially from more moderate voices) that make this an important book for historians as well as a most enlightening one for general readers. Students and veteran scholars alike will learn a great deal from this fine book. -- George C. Rable, author of Damn Yankees! Demonization and Defiance in the Confederate South In this sweeping, comprehensive, and informed analysis of the Civil War and Reconstruction, Varon suggests new ways of interpreting old issues and questions. Northerners, she tells us, came to see the war in almost biblical terms; delivering white Southerners from an ill-fated course of secession and slaves from bondage. In white Southerners' rejection of these lofty Northern objectives is to be found the failure of Reconstruction. -- Richard Blackett, author of The Captive's Quest for Freedom: Fugitive Slaves, the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law and the Politics of Slavery Witnessing intense debates over the meaning of Confederate monuments, many twenty-first-century Americans assume that Lost Cause southerners have long had the upper hand in the battle over Civil War memory. In her well-crafted and perceptive narrative, Elizabeth Varon offers a necessary corrective to that view. It was the rhetoric of deliverance, she contends, that not only won the hearts and minds of Union soldiers and shaped Lincoln's policies, but also, in the end, made military victory possible. -- Nancy Isenberg, author of White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America A fresh interpretation of the Civil War that illuminates why Americans took up arms against each other. An accessible work of scholarship that will be of great interest to students of Civil War history. - Kirkus Reviews Elizabeth R. Varon's highly original and sweeping new study, Armies of Deliverance, [is] one of the few histories of the war since James M. McPherson's Battle Cry of Freedom (1988) that deserve to be ranked as essential reading. Had Ms. Varon devoted a smaller book to her case, she would undoubtedly have produced a valuable academic resource. But she has bravely aimed for something bigger, not only inviting us to reconsider the motivation but providing a thorough, highly readable history of the war itself. -- The Wall Street Journal


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