Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Noted historian Charles Adams has assembled an extraordinary collection of articles—never before collected and made available for easy study—written by foreign journalists at the time of the U.S. Civil War. These journals are a fount of insights about the war, and readers will be rewarded with a new appreciation for the views of contemporary foreign observers of America's war. Readers will realize that the Europeans seemed to know more about America's "quarrel," as they liked to call the war, than previously thought possible.

Foreign observers wrote in an atmosphere of freedom, without the dangers that crippled and destroyed journalism in America. Foreign writers were not arrested and locked up; nor were foreign journals silenced by armed soldiers, mobs, or by censorship of the mails, nor were their editors hauled off to prison. Also, the American Civil War was not their struggle, and, as the reader will discover, by looking at the quarrel from a distance the foreign correspondents could see what Americans at the scene could not. A broad sweep of views running from pro-North to pro-South, with foreign writers marshalling their arguments with facts and information that had come to their attention, is presented.

Among the many distinguished British journals represented are Blackwood's Magazine, The Saturday Review, Macmillan's Magazine, The Athenaeum, The Cornhill Magazine, The Economist, The Times and two periodicals edited by Charles Dickens—Household Words and All the Year Round. From the continent there are translated articles from the French La Presse and Revue des Deux Monde, the Italian La Civilta Cattolica and Scritti Editie Inediti, and the Spanish Pensamiento Espanol and La Iberia. Civil War historians and students will certainly benefit from the fascinating observations afforded by the golden age of periodical literature presented in Slavery, Secession, and Civil War.

About the Author: Charles Adams, the world's leading scholar on the history of taxation, is the author of the best selling books For Good and Evil, Those Dirty Rotten Taxes, and Fight, Flight, and Fraud.


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