The World the Civil War Made

Edited by Gregory P. Downs, Kate Masur

392 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 4 halftones, 1 map, notes, index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-2418-1
    Published: September 2015
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-1-4696-2419-8
    Published: July 2015
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-4464-4
    Published: July 2015

Steven and Janice Brose Lectures in the Civil War Era

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At the close of the Civil War, it was clear that the military conflict that began in South Carolina and was fought largely east of the Mississippi River had changed the politics, policy, and daily life of the entire nation. In an expansive reimagining of post–Civil War America, the essays in this volume explore these profound changes not only in the South but also in the Southwest, in the Great Plains, and abroad. Resisting the tendency to use Reconstruction as a catchall, the contributors instead present diverse histories of a postwar nation that stubbornly refused to adopt a unified ideology and remained violently in flux. Portraying the social and political landscape of postbellum America writ large, this volume demonstrates that by breaking the boundaries of region and race and moving past existing critical frameworks, we can appreciate more fully the competing and often contradictory ideas about freedom and equality that continued to define the United States and its place in the nineteenth-century world.

Contributors include Amanda Claybaugh, Laura F. Edwards, Crystal N. Feimster, C. Joseph Genetin-Pilawa, Steven Hahn, Luke E. Harlow, Stephen Kantrowitz, Barbara Krauthamer, K. Stephen Prince, Stacey L. Smith, Amy Dru Stanley, Kidada E. Williams, and Andrew Zimmerman.

About the Authors

Gregory P. Downs is associate professor of history at University of California, Davis.
For more information about Gregory P. Downs, visit the Author Page.

Kate Masur is associate professor of history at Northwestern University.
For more information about Kate Masur, visit the Author Page.


“Rather than stretching existing historiographical concepts to fit the seemingly exceptional, these writers suggest ongoing reenvisioning of Civil War origins. . . . Recommended.”--Choice

“A thought-provoking collection that points toward exciting new directions for Civil War and postbellum studies.”--American Historical Review

“Ponder these essays, assign this volume, and join the authors in rethinking the many worlds the Civil War made.”--Journal of American History

“The essays in the collection engage with one another and with these key ideas better than in almost any other edited volume I have read.”--Journal of Southern History

“An undoubtedly important contribution to the literature on Reconstruction. . . . Break[s] new ground and offer[s] excellent suggestions and inspirations for future study.”--Register of the Kentucky Historical Society

"The World the Civil War Made offers myriad vital and exciting new perspectives that transcend previous works and challenge our understanding of the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the American past."--Elliott West, University of Arkansas