America Aflame

Un libro in lingua di David Goldfield edito da St Martins Pr, 2011

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In this spellbinding new history of the Civil War, David Goldfield crafts the first major reinterpretation of the conflict---its causes and costs---since James M. McPherson's Battle Cry of Freedom. Where past scholars have limned the war as a triumph of freedom, Goldfield sees it as America's greatest failure: a breakdown caused by the infusion of evangelical religion into the public sphere. As the Second Great Awakening surged through the nation, political questions became matters of good and evil---differences serious enough to kill and die for.

The price of the war was horrific, but the carnage also accomplished what statesmen could not: it made the United States one nation and eliminated the divisive presence of slavery. The victorious North became synonymous with America---the land of innovation and industry, whose teeming cities offered squalor and opportunity in equal measure. Science and the gospel of progress supplanted religion, and the South was left behind to nurture its myth of the Lost Cause.

Goldfield's panoramic narrative, sweeping from the 1830s to the end of Reconstruction, sparkles with telling details and memorable figures, from Harriet Beecher Stowe, Frederick Douglass, and Walt Whitman to lesser-known but equally intriguing characters such as Carl Schurz---German immigrant, war hero, and postwar reformer; and Confederate vice president Alexander Stephens---urbane, intellectual, and an eloquent apologist for slavery. America Aflame is a fresh and original account of the era that transformed the United States forever.

"In America Aflame, distinguished historian David Goldfield turns an inflinching eye on a---if not the---central event in American history. The resulting narrative goes far toward correcting the popular tendency to romantixize the Civil War. Few histories of the war make its meaning and impact so central to their narratives."---Gaines M. Foster, author of Ghosts of the Confederacy and Moral Reconstruction

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