0 thoughts on “Clash of Extremes

  1. I very much enjoyed this book, and in summary it solidified my point of view towards causes of the Civil War, that it was mostly the socio-economical factors and trends, and long-standing geographical and cultural factors growing apart slowly over time since the periods of initial settlement, that pushed the two different societies to conflict, and of course not only slavery. And that slavery, definitely an important pillar of the Southern economy, rose in consideration as a social factor, only

  2. This is a book that claims to be a major revision of Civil War history but really only reflects the growing consensus that both sides were less ideological and more self-interested than they or their subsequent defenders claim. Egnal argues that the Civil War finally erupted because the northern and southern economies were growing apart over the course of the 19th century. Earlier crises had been defused because enough Americans were tied economically to the opposite section that breaking apart

  3. An interesting look at the economics of the antebellum period. The book describes the economics interests of both class and region. It then relates the economics to political affiliation and to position on the approaching Civil War.

    The book is well written. The importance of underlying economic interests to the approach of the Civil War is becoming more widely discussed. Certainly a worthwhile read for anyone interested in American Military History or American History in general.

  4. Marc Egnal, a history professor at York University in Toronto, Canada, makes a powerful, well reasoned (and ultimately unsatisfying argument) that the Civil War resulted more from the clash of the economic systems of the North and South than it did from slavery.

    For me, Egnal’s argument fails to convince because it is hard for him to see how the controversy over the Kansas-Nebraska Act energizing previously disinterested or largely uninvolved Northerners, converting their mild concerns and creepi

  5. An interesting take on the cause of the US Civil War, Egnal argues that it was economics, far more than slavery or states rights that set the two regions on a collision course. Thoroughy researched and full of facts and figures, he also weaves in stories of individuals to make his case. I am not sure I buy into it 100%, but it certainly thought-provoking and worth the read.

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