Why the South Lost the Civil War

Richard E. Beringer, Herman Hattaway, Archer Jones, and William N. Still Jr.

"Informative . . . present[s] some of the best thinking on the topic."—Osprey Military Journal


"[The authors] show that the Southern states were not united around a single leader or cause. . . . In the end, they discovered that God did not wear gray."
New York Times

"The most comprehensive, sophisticated, and well-informed [book on this subject] I have ever read."
New York Review of Books

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In this widely heralded book first published in 1986, four historians consider the popularly held explanations for southern defeat—state-rights disputes, inadequate military supply and strategy, and the Union blockade—undergirding their discussion with a chronological account of the war's progress. In the end, the authors find that the South lacked the will to win, that weak Confederate nationalism and the strength of a peculiar brand of evangelical Protestantism sapped the South's ability to continue a war that was not yet lost on the field.

Page count: 624 pp.
Trim size: 6 x 9


List price: $30.95

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Richard E. Beringer is a professor of history at the University of North Dakota and the coeditor of a volume of The Papers of Jefferson Davis. Herman Hattaway is a professor of history at the University of Missouri in Kansas City and the coauthor with Archer Jones of How the North Won: A Military History of the Civil War. Archer Jones is emeritus professor of history and former dean at North Dakota State University. William N. Still Jr. is a professor of history at East Carolina University and the author of several books, including Odyssey in Gray: A Diary of Confederate Service, 1863-1865.