For Cause and Comrades Why Men Fought in the Civil War James M. Mcpherson Book Review

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¶ … Men Fought in the Civil War -- James M. McPherson

Reasons for War

James McPherson's non-fictional account of the Civil War, for Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War, provides a fascinating degree of insight into the principle reasons why young men from the same country would willingly, and in some instances wantonly, engage in armed conflict with one another. The author's primary purpose in writing this manuscript was to explore the motivation and the internal impetus that served these soldiers in battle. His aim of determining what the various causes were that allowed these combatants to wage war for the better part of four years is explored in a non-partisan, objective perspective which is open to a number of sources and interpretations of the information which he has uncovered. By striving to figure out why the participants in the Civil War fought with one another, the author ends up revealing some of the most fundamental issues at the forefront of the United States of America in the midst of the 19th century.

In gathering said information, the author employs a highly selective methodology that attempts to strive for unadulterated information from principle sources: which primarily take the form of written correspondence from participants on both sides of the war, the Confederacy and the Union. Prudently, McPherson chooses to eschew letters, diaries and journal entries that have previously been published or written at what he deems to be too great a distance (both literally and figuratively) from the actual encounter. According to the author, such sources "lack the immediacy of the experience" (McPherson 1997, 100). Instead, the author chooses to focus on non-published sources from the Civil War era that "were not looking back from years later through a haze of memory and myth about the Civil War" (McPherson 1997,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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For Cause and Comrades Why Men Fought in the Civil War James M. Mcpherson.  (2012, February 18).  Retrieved January 17, 2020, from

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"For Cause and Comrades Why Men Fought in the Civil War James M. Mcpherson."  February 18, 2012.  Accessed January 17, 2020.