The Cause Lost
Myths and Realities of the Confederacy New edition
By (author) William C. Davis
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Cause Lost by William C. Davis
Book DescriptionFor nearly a quarter of a century, Pulitzer Prize nominee William C. Davis has been one of our best writers on the Civil War. His books--including Breckinridge: Statesman, Soldier, Symbol ; Jefferson Davis: The Man and His Hour ; and "A Government of Our Own": The Making of the Confederacy --have garnered numerous awards and enlightened and entertained an avid readership. The Cause Lost extends that tradition of excellence with provocative new insights into the myths and realities of an endlessly fascinating subject. In these pages, Davis brings into sharp focus the facts and fictions of the South's victories and defeats, its tenacious struggle to legitimize its cause and defeat an overpowering enemy, and its ultimate loss of will. He debunks long-standing legends, offers irrefutable evidence explaining Confederate actions, and contemplates the idealism, naivete, folly, and courage of the military leadership and would-be founding fathers. Among the most misunderstood, Davis contends, was Jefferson Davis. Often branded as enigmatic and incompetent, the Confederate president was simply a decent and committed leader whose mistakes were magnified by the war's extraordinary demands. Davis scrutinizes Jefferson Davis' relationship with his generals-most of whom were unproved talents or cronies with proven deficiencies-and reveals why only Robert E. Lee succeeded in winning Davis' confidence through flattery, persuasion, and a sense of responsibility. He also examines the myths and memories of the nearly deified Stonewall Jackson and John C. Breckinridge, the only effective Confederate secretary of war. Davis also illustrates why the cause of the war--a subject of long-standing controversy--boils down to the single issue of slavery; why Southerners, ninety percent of whom didn't own slaves, were willing to join in the battle to defend their homeland; how the personalities, tactics, and styles of the armies in the turbulent West differed greatly from those in the East; what real or perceived turning points influenced Southern decision making; and how mythology and misinterpretations have been perpetuated through biography, history, literature, and film. Revealing the Confederacy's myths for what they really are, Davis nevertheless illustrates how much those myths inform our understanding of the Civil War and its place in Southern and American culture.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780700612543
(229mm x 152mm x 13mm)
Imprint: University Press of Kansas
Publisher: University Press of Kansas
Publish Date: 30-Oct-1996
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author William C. Davis
Inventing Loreta Velasquez, Hardback (September 2016)
This groundbreaking biography of Loreta Janeta Velasquez delves into the life of one of America's early celebrities. She claimed to have posed as a man to fight for the Confederacy, but this book reveals a startling reality that's even more implausible than the myths she created.
Crucible of Command, Paperback (January 2016)
A dual biography and a fresh approach to the always compelling subject of these two iconic leaders
Taste for War, Paperback (May 2011)
A fascinating look at the way food and cooking influenced the fighting and the outcome of the American Civil War.
Lone Star Rising, Paperback (December 2006)» View all books by William C. Davis
In the whirlwind of revolutions in the Americas, the Texas Revolution stands at the confluence of northern and southern revolts. First published in hardback in 2004, this work brings the scholarship to bear on the oldest questions. It features well-known characters such as Sam Houston, Stephen F Austin, and General Santa Anna.
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Author Biography - William C. Davis
William C. Davis is the recipient of three Jefferson Davis Awards as well as the T. Harry Williams Memorial Award, Bell I. Wiley Prize, Fletcher Pratt Award, Phi Alpha Theta Award, and Harry S. Truman Award. His many books include Jefferson Davis: The Man and His Hour, The Union That Shaped the Confederacy (see page 43), and Look Awayl A History of the Confederate States of America.
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