Review by Choice Review
In this informative, important study, Jones (Univ. of Alabama) builds on a foundation laid in his Union in Peril (CH, Mar'93) to expand dramatically the interpretation of Civil War diplomacy beyond a simplistic antislavery versus King Cotton with the addition of the quixotic, imperial visions of Napoleon III. According to Jones, other major factors prompting the French regime and many British leaders to weigh intervention in the US Civil War were a pervasive belief (until July 1863) that the Union could not prevail and a simple humanitarian revulsion over the dreadful carnage, similar to motivation for recent interventions in Bosnia, Kosovo, and now East Timor. The Lincoln portrayed in this book is much more progressive than the old consensus, the persuasive recent writings of such scholars as Brooks D. Simpson and Herman Belz, and a preponderance of fact would suggest. Like many 1990s scholars, Jones shows Lincoln as an ardent emancipationist eager to slip the restraints of Northern and border-state public opinion, not a man held back by constitutional imperatives and popular whim. Jones's evidence is selective but not wholly unpersuasive. All in all, a valuable study of great importance to Lincoln and Civil War scholarship. General readers; upper-division undergraduates and above. R. A. Fischer; University of Minnesota--Duluth
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
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