Routes of War: The World of Movement in the Confederate South, by Yael A. Sternhell
Cambridge, Ma.: Harvard University Press, 2012. Pp. xii, 260. Maps, notes, biblio., index. $49.95. ISBN: 0674064429.
A unique and thought provoking look at the Civil War, and indeed all war, Prof. Sternhell (Tel Aviv) focuses not on armies and campaigns but rather on how the struggle sparked mass movements of people, and the consequences of these movements.
Stenhell opens by pointing out that at the start of the war we find unprecedented mass movements of as part of mobilization, and then, of course, in the armies as they began to campaign. By then, howeverr, large numbersof ordinary people had also begun to move, voluntarily or not, in numbers that grew as the war went on. There were Unionists fleeing persecution, refugees escaping the fighting, fugitives from slavery, prisoners of war, draft dodgers and deserters, and then, at the end, troops and refugees and exiles returning home or moving on. In Sternhells view, all of this movement, or perhaps displacement, had not only personal effects, but also social, political, and ultimately even cultural influence, such as helping to shape The Lost Cause myth.
A good book for any student of the Civil War, and an important one for those with an interest in how the war shaped modern America, which can be read with profit by any student of the nature and consequences of war, anywhen or anywhere .
Reviewer: A. A. Nofi, Review Editor
Nemo me impune lacesset,
|"The chief aim of all government is to preserve the freedom of the citizen. His control over his person, his property, his movements, his business, his desires should be restrained only so far as the public welfare imperatively demands. The world is in more danger of being governed too much than too little.
It is the teaching of all history that liberty can only be preserved in small areas. Local self-government is, therefore, indispensable to liberty. A centralized and distant bureaucracy is the worst of all tyranny.
Taxation can justly be levied for no purpose other than to provide revenue for the support of the government. To tax one person, class or section to provide revenue for the benefit of another is none the less robbery because done under the form of law and called taxation."
John W. Davis, Democratic Presidential Candidate, 1924. Davis was one of the greatest trial and appellate lawyers in US history. He also served as the US Ambassador to the UK.