History Teaches Us to Hope: Reflections on the Civil War and Southern History
University Press of Kentucky, 07.12.2007 - 416 Seiten
Before his death in 1870, Robert E. Lee penned a letter to Col. Charles Marshall in which he argued that we must cast our eyes backward in times of turmoil and change, concluding that "it is history that teaches us to hope." Charles Pierce Roland, one of the nation's most distinguished and respected historians, has done exactly that, devoting his career to examining the South's tumultuous path in the years preceding and following the Civil War. History Teaches Us to Hope: Reflections on the Civil War and Southern History is an unprecedented compilation of works by the man the volume editor John David Smith calls a "dogged researcher, gifted stylist, and keen interpreter of historical questions."Throughout his career, Roland has published groundbreaking books, including The Confederacy (1960), The Improbable Era: The South since World War II (1976), and An American Iliad: The Story of the Civil War (1991). In addition, he has garnered acclaim for two biographical studies of Civil War leaders: Albert Sidney Johnston (1964), a life of the top field general in the Confederate army, and Reflections on Lee (1995), a revisionist assessment of a great but frequently misunderstood general. The first section of History Teaches Us to Hope, "The Man, The Soldier, The Historian," offers personal reflections by Roland and features his famous "GI Charlie" speech, "A Citizen Soldier Recalls World War II." Civil War–related writings appear in the following two sections, which include Roland's theories on the true causes of the war and four previously unpublished articles on Civil War leadership. The final section brings together Roland's writings on the evolution of southern history and identity, outlining his views on the persistence of a distinct southern culture and his belief in its durability. History Teaches Us to Hope is essential reading for those who desire a complete understanding of the Civil War and southern history. It offers a fascinating portrait of an extraordinary historian.
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It is important to note that Roland published his pioneering book decades before the appearance of a substantial revisionist historical literature that positioned the slaves' agency, slave resistance, and the emancipation process at the ...
Another scholar, Mary Elizabeth Massey, observed that though Roland's work replaced neither Coulter's nor Eaton's books, Roland nonetheless made an important contribution by examining conditions on the home front and in southern cities ...
Many scholars and Civil War enthusiasts consider Roland's third book, Albert Sidney Johnston: Soldier of Three Republics (1964), to be his most original and important work; most agree with historian Grady McWhiney that Roland's ...
Johnston commanded Confederate forces in the strategically vital but vast and vulnerable western department and died in combat at perhaps the most critical moment of one of the war's most important early contests—the battle of Shiloh.
31 Following the humiliating defeats on the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers, Johnston orchestrated the strategic retreat of his army south of the Tennessee River to the important rail center of Corinth, Mississippi.
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