You are here

Crucible of the Civil War

Virginia from Secession to Commemoration
Edward L. Ayers, Gary W. Gallagher, and Andrew J. Torget, eds.

BUY Cloth · 240 pp. · 6 × 9 · ISBN 9780813925523 · $39.50 · Sep 2006
BUY Paper · 240 pp. · 6 × 9 · ISBN 9780813927947 · $24.50 · Dec 2008
BUY Ebook · 240 pp. · ISBN 9780813930497 · $21.50 · Dec 2008

Crucible of the Civil War offers an illuminating portrait of the state’s wartime economic, political, and social institutions. Weighing in on contentious issues within established scholarship while also breaking ground in areas long neglected by scholars, the contributors examine such concerns as the war’s effect on slavery in the state, the wartime intersection of race and religion, and the development of Confederate social networks. They also shed light on topics long disputed by historians, such as Virginia’s decision to secede from the Union, the development of Confederate nationalism, and how Virginians chose to remember the war after its close.


"This is a coherent, lively, and important study."

American Historical Review

"While these essays reach differing perspectives in the Civil War’s continuity/change debate, all are grounded in primary sources, each poses intriguing questions, and their collective chronological, geographic, and topical scope provides valuable insight into the diverse ways Virginians experienced the Civil War era."

Civil War History

"This book deserves a wide readership. Each essay, without exception, contributes significantly to our understanding of the socio-cultural experiences of Virginians in the Civil War."

Studies in American Culture

"Crucible of the Civil War presents a fine collection of essays by a talented group of young historians. Brimming with insights about social, economic, and religious life in Virginia, this book is a valuable addition to a growing body of work that carries the study of the Civil War far beyond the battlefields."

George C. Rable, University of Alabama, author of the Lincoln Prize–winning Fredericksburg! Fredericksburg!

About the Author(s): 

Edward L. Ayers, former Hugh P. Kelly Professor of History and Dean of the College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Virginia, is President of the University of Richmond. Gary W. Gallagher is John L. Nau III Professor in the History of the American Civil War at the University of Virginia. Andrew J. Torget is the Director of the Digital Scholarship Lab at the University of Richmond and a historian of nineteenth-century America.

Interested in this topic?
Stay updated with our newsletters:

Related Books