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Chandra Manning: Civil War Saturday: What This Cruel War Was Over

The soldiers of the Civil War had no need for newsreels to know why they were fighting. In Chandra Manning's remarkable new history, What This Cruel War Was Over, they tell us themselves:

"The fact that slavery is the sole undeniable cause of this infamous rebellion, that it is a war of, by, and for Slavery, is as plain as the noon-day sun."

In What This Cruel War Was Over, Chandra Manning reveals the voices of the soldiers of the Union and the Confederacy. Her exhaustive research, using countless diaries, letters, and regimental newsletters, follows in the footsteps of James McPherson, recent recipient of the Pritzker Military Museum & Library Literature Award, in its commitment to uncovering the views of the citizen soldier in the Civil War - the causes that drove them to fight, the views that evolved as the "cruel war" engulfed them. Why did non slave-owners, who accounted for the vast majority of Southerners, take up arms to fight? How did Northerners, who had never thought of themselves as abolitionists and wanted nothing to do with "the negro", react to their first encounters with the violence of slavery?

Described as a rising star among new American historians, Manning's work is in the best tradition of Civil War scholarship, and marks a critical entry in one of the most hotly-contested topics in American military history.

Please note that historian Donald A. Davis (Stonewall Jackson) was originally scheduled to appear after Mrs. Manning, but was unfortunately forced to cancel due to health issues.

Chandra Manning
Chandra Manning received a Master of Philosophy from the National University of Ireland, Galway, and took her Ph.D. at Harvard in 2002. Currently, she is an assistant professor of history at Georgetown University and lives in Alexandria, Virginia, with her husband and son.
Random House