Review by Choice Review
Although no previous book has been devoted solely to New York City's participation in the Civil War, such is the city's prominence that scarcely any account of the war fails to mention the activities of at least some of her noted citizens. Thus, many of the anecdotes that dot this chronologically organized narrative of the wartime city that tell of its draft riots, important financial markets, and tempestuous politics will be familiar to anyone well read in the secondary literature of the war. McKay's readable account, however, also cleverly emphasizes the general confusion, mistaken impressions, and misguided efforts of leading New Yorkers as they groped their way through the war, and explains more clearly than before the city's ambivalence toward the war effort and Lincoln's administration. McKay (University of South Carolina, Aiken) relies largely on elite sources--newspapers, letters, diaries--and although he incorporates material about working people, immigrants, blacks, and women, their perspectives on the war are inadequately addressed. The book is appropriate for public or academic libraries that collect extensively in Civil War or New York history. -P. F. Field, Ohio University
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
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