James M. Mcpherson : An American Civil War Essay

1397 WordsNov 3, 20146 Pages
James M. McPherson: James McPherson was born on October 11th 1936, he is an American Civil War historian. He received the 1989 Pulitzer Prize for Battle Cry of Freedom, his most famous book. McPherson was the president of the American Historical Association in 2003, and is a member of the editorial board of Encyclopedia Britannica. In his early career McPherson wanted to leave a legacy as being known for the historian who focusses on more than one point. Through skillful narrative in a broad-ranging oeuvre of essays and books, McPherson has succeeded in telling both stories, combining social, political, and military history to reach a broad scholarly and popular audience, emphasizing all the while that the Civil War constituted a “second American Revolution.” Examining thousands of letters and diaries written by soldiers to gather a better insight and understanding, McPherson argued that deep political and ideological convictions about liberty, slavery, religion, and nation were the fundamental reasons that men on both sides enlisted and fought. McPherson’s views on the Civil War are broad in comparison to many other writers, he believes there are multiple causes to the war but that the underlying cause was slavery and that Southern states used the saying “States’ Rights” to justify their actions of slavery and secession. It became a psychological necessity for the South to deny that the war was about slavery that they were fighting for the preservation, defense and
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