Weekly Recap: Feb 17

Here’s a recap of last week’s Civil War Podcast blog topics, and suggested readings for further study.


Post: How cotton remade the world
The epic story of the rise and fall of the empire of cotton, its centrality to the world economy, and its making and remaking of global capitalism.

Post: The Atlantic slave trade
Between 1492 and 1870, approximately eleven million black slaves were carried from Africa to the Americas to work on plantations, in mines, or as servants in houses. The Slave Trade is alive with villains and heroes and illuminated by eyewitness accounts. Hugh Thomas’s achievement is not only to present a compelling history of the time but to answer as well such controversial questions as who the traders were, the extent of the profits, and why so many African rulers and peoples willingly collaborated.

Post: Word origins
Jam-packed with many amazing facts, Stickler’s Sideburns and Bikinis is an intriguing and entertaining trip through the words and phrases that originated in the military but are now used by soldier and civilian alike.

Post: Post-war Lee
In The Man Who Would Not Be Washington, former White House speechwriter Jonathan Horn reveals how the officer most associated with Washington went to war against the union that Washington had forged. This extensively researched and gracefully written biography follows Lee through married life, military glory, and misfortune. The story that emerges is more complicated, more tragic, and more illuminating than the familiar tale. More complicated because the unresolved question of slavery—the driver of disunion—was among the personal legacies that Lee inherited from Washington. More tragic because the Civil War destroyed the people and places connecting Lee to Washington in agonizing and astonishing ways. More illuminating because the battle for Washington’s legacy shaped the nation that America is today.

Post: Civil War commemorations
Indispensable collection of 150 key places to see and things to do to remember and to honor the sacrifices made during America’s epic struggle. Covering dozens of states and the District of Columbia, this easy-to-use guide provides a concise text description and one or more images for each entry, as well as directions to all sites.

Post: Hawaii in the Civil War
Award-winning author Paul Taylor describes how the economic and military realities of the American Civil War affected the tiny Hawaiian kingdom halfway across the Pacific. For the Islands’ American residents, it was an opportunity to show their overwhelming support for the Union cause, however for the Hawaiian monarchs, the conflict was a political tightrope.

Post: Free State of Jones
In Jones County, Mississippi, a farmer named Newton Knight led his neighbors, white and black alike, in an insurrection against the Confederacy at the height of the Civil War. Knight’s life story mirrors the little-known story of class struggle in the South—and it shatters the image of the Confederacy as a unified front against the Union.

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