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The thin light of freedom: the Civil War and emancipation in the heart of America

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Publisher:
W.W. Norton & Company,
Pub. Date:
[2017]
Edition:
First edition.
Language:
English
Description
At the crux of America's history stand two astounding events: the immediate and complete destruction of the most powerful system of slavery in the modern world, followed by a political reconstruction in which new constitutions established the fundamental rights of citizens for formerly enslaved people. Few people living in 1860 would have dared imagine either event, and yet, in retrospect, both seem to have been inevitable.In a beautifully crafted narrative, Edward L. Ayers restores the drama of the unexpected to the history of the Civil War. He does this by setting up at ground level in the Great Valley counties of Augusta, Virginia, and Franklin, Pennsylvania, communities that shared a prosperous landscape but were divided by the Mason-Dixon Line. From the same vantage point occupied by his unforgettable characters, Ayers captures the strategic savvy of Lee and his local lieutenants, and the clear vision of equal rights animating black troops from Pennsylvania. We see the war itself become a scourge to the Valley, its pitched battles punctuating a cycle of vicious attack and reprisal in which armies burned whole towns for retribution. In the weeks and months after emancipation, from the streets of Staunton, Virginia, we see black and white residents testing the limits of freedom as political leaders negotiate the terms of readmission to the Union.Ayers deftly shows throughout how the dynamics of political opposition drove these momentous events, transforming once unimaginable outcomes into fact. With analysis as powerful as its narrative, here is a landmark history of the Civil War.
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ISBN:
9780393292633
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID e209a7f3-a020-9230-f8c7-2524efa611fd
Grouping Title thin light of freedom the civil war and emancipation in the heart of america
Grouping Author ayers edward l
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2018-08-11 04:21:02AM
Last Indexed 2018-10-22 04:28:59AM

Solr Details

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author Ayers, Edward L., 1953-
author_display Ayers, Edward L
available_at_santafe Southside Branch
detailed_location_santafe Southside New Books
display_description "Amid the devastation of war rise the first stirrings of freedom in this absorbing, ground-level narrative by an acclaimed historian. Virginia's Great Valley, prosperous in peace with a rich soil and an enslaved workforce, invited destruction in war. Voracious Union and Confederate armies ground up the valley, consuming crops, livestock, fences, and human life. Pitched battles at Gettysburg, Lynchburg, and Cedar Creek punctuated a cycle of vicious attacks and reprisals in which armies burned whole towns for retribution. North of the Mason-Dixon line, in the Pennsylvania portion of the valley, free black families sent husbands and sons to fight with the U.S. Colored Troops. In letters home, even as Lincoln commemorated the dead at Gettysburg, they spoke movingly of a war for emancipation. As defeat and the end of slavery descended on Virginia, with the political drama of Reconstruction unfolding in Washington, the crowded classrooms of the Freedmen's Bureau schools spoke of a new society struggling to emerge. Here is history at its best: powerful, insightful, grounded in human detail."--Provided by publisher.
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local_callnumber_santafe 975.5 Aye
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primary_isbn 9780393292633
publishDate 2017
record_details ils:.b15019421|Book|Books|First edition.|English|W.W. Norton & Company,|[2017]|xxiii, 576 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm.
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Bib IdItem IdGrouped StatusStatusLocally OwnedAvailableHoldableBookableIn Library Use OnlyLibrary OwnedHoldable PTypesBookable PTypesLocal Url
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subject_facet Augusta County (Va.) -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865, Franklin (Venango County, Pa.) -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865, Pennsylvania -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865, Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.) -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865, Slaves -- Emancipation -- United States
title_display The thin light of freedom : the Civil War and emancipation in the heart of America
title_full The thin light of freedom : the Civil War and emancipation in the heart of America / Edward L. Ayers
title_short The thin light of freedom :
title_sub the Civil War and emancipation in the heart of America
topic_facet Emancipation, History, Slaves