Ken Burns's magnum opus is still the definitive record on the Civil War for me, but this seems interesting enough to potentially pursue.
That's a definite purchase. Living in the UK with American history, it's massively important to me to maintain differing perspectives on life. Very little is taught in the UK on American history beyond "it's really ours".
There's a thing that's taught in Canadian history classes that I like to point out to Americans. I ask them what they think the people living in the 13 revolting colonies who didn't join the American Revolution and fled to non-revolting British colonies are referred to as. In Canadian history books, they're called Loyalists.
They're called Loyalists, here, too. In fact, there was quite a significant soul-searching that went on during the time of the American Revolution, as most revolutionaries still considered themselves British, but simultaneously wanted to separate from their monarchy. "American" identity didn't come about until later.
I always have to wonder if the Loyalists fleeing to then British North America were so damn loyal to Britain, why did they feel the need to create their own country in 1867? Yes, remaining within the Commonwealth and paying lip service to the idea of being under the rule of the Crown, but it kind of suggests that they realized in the end that they made the wrong decision to not take part in the whole "self-rule" thing in the 1700s.
This is sure to appeal to readers--especially young readers--who might not be inclined to pick up a regular history book. Glad to see the history of the Civil War being told in a new way for a new audience!
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