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Books > History > Americas > United States > Civil War > Abolition > 0812693124
  1. Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men: A History of the American Civil War
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  2. Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men: A History of the American Civil War

    Delivery: 10-20 Working Days
    Customer Ratings (35 reviews)
    Price R658.00

Additional Information

Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men is an exciting narrative history offering fresh insights into many aspects of the Civil War.

"This is a lucid, edifying account of the Civil War era. Mr. Hummel has an impressive command of the relevant contemporary literature. His interpretations are thoughtful, often provocative, always well worth considering, Civil War buffs will want this book on their shelves". -- Kenneth M. Stampp University of California, Berkeley

"Hummel presents some uncomfortable truths for both sides of the Civil War. For the South, Hummel builds a case that the war was indeed about slavery. For the North, he shows that a war to preserve the union was morally bankrupt and that freeing the slaves was the only justifiable reason for fighting. Yet Hummel demonstrates that even a war for such a noble cause was probably unnecessary, since slavery was politically doomed in an independent South. Hummel also illustrates some of the cost of the war, such as Lincoln g suppression of political opposition, the closing of dissenting newspapers, and the creation of big government under Republicans Lincoln, Johnson, and Grant". -- Library Journal

"In this insightful treatment of the Civil War (addressing the causes, the war itself and Reconstruction), Hummel's text argues against the thesis that armed confrontation was inevitable. With its insight)d analysis (not to mention the extensive bibliographical essays that elaborate each chapter), Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men will supply both the academic and Civil War buff with an added perspective on the causes and consequences of the Civil War". -- Publishers Weekly

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Hummel's position is basically that of the few principled Northern abolitionists who didn't abandon their anarchism for nationalism, e.g. Lysander Spooner ("The principle on which the war was waged by the North was that men may rightfully be compelled to submit to a government they do not want, and that resistance makes them criminals and traitors") and George W. Bassett ("The same principle that has always made me an abolitionist now makes me an secessionist. It is the great natural and sacred right of self-government"). According to Hummel, although the so-called "Civil War" ended with the unintended consequence of emancipating the slaves, by crushing the the right of self-government, it also enslaved all free men.

I did find his total endorsement of the "neo-abolitionist" (his words) contention that slavery was the sole cause of secession extremely disappointing. Elsewhere, Hummel has said that the evidence for slavery as the cause of secession is one of the most... Read more
Hummel has written a book that I feel is more balanced and detailed than either of DiLorenzo's ventures into the topic. I was pleased that much of the historicity of the book was corroborated by what I had read in high school and so the book was for me a refresher on this era in American history. Hummel discusses in-depth the ways in which secession would have undermined slavery and frequently brings up specific entries from many different historical figures to give an accurate and complete picture of the Civil War and the ensuing Reconstruction. I strongly recommend reading this book if possible.

One more thing I was pleased with reading this book: the author is much more detached from the events, rarely approaching the scorn and indignation with which DiLorenzo approaches the topic (if at all). Not to throw DiLorenzo under the bus, but I feel his books are a little misleading at times.
Anyone who would like a history book that goes beyond the typical textbook "North good, South bad" should have this book in their nineteenth century history collection. Hummel considers secession, slavery, economics, and the possible alternatives to war in this balanced approach to understanding a divided nation as well as the divisions within the divided nation.

As our nation is perhaps far more divided than ever, in more ways than ever, this book is just as relevant as it has ever been.
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