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Apostles of Disunion

Southern Secession Commissioners and the Causes of the Civil War
Charles Dew

BUY Cloth · 168 pp. · 5.5 × 9 · ISBN 9780813939438 · $29.50 · Jan 2017
BUY Paper · 168 pp. · 5.5 × 9 · ISBN 9780813939445 · $14.50 · Jan 2017
BUY Ebook · 168 pp. · ISBN 9780813939452 · $14.50 · Jan 2017
BUY Ebook · 144 pp. · ISBN 9780813921884 · $14.50 · Mar 2002

Charles Dew’s Apostles of Disunion has established itself as a modern classic and an indispensable account of the Southern states’ secession from the Union. Addressing topics still hotly debated among historians and the public at large more than a century and a half after the Civil War, the book offers a compelling and clearly substantiated argument that slavery and race were at the heart of our great national crisis. The fifteen years since the original publication of Apostles of Disunion have seen an intensification of debates surrounding the Confederate flag and Civil War monuments. In a powerful new afterword to this anniversary edition, Dew situates the book in relation to these recent controversies and factors in the role of vast financial interests tied to the internal slave trade in pushing Virginia and other upper South states toward secession and war.


Winner of the 2001 Fletcher Pratt Prize from the Civil War Round Table of New York

"This incisive history should dispel the pernicious notion that the Confederacy fought the Civil War to advance the constitutional principle of states' rights and only coincidentally to preserve slavery."—Allen D. Boyer, New York Times Book Review

"Dew has produced an eye-opening study.... So much for states' rights as the engine of secession."—James M. McPherson, New York Review of Books

"This is an important study, meticulously researched and convincingly argued."—James Oliver Horton, author of The Landmarks of African American History

About the Author: 

Charles B. Dew is Ephraim Williams Professor of American History at Williams College and the author of The Making of a Racist: A Southerner Reflects on Family, History, and the Slave Trade (Virginia) and Bond of Iron: Master and Slave at Buffalo Forge, selected as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.

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