Review: James McPherson’s ‘The War That Forged a Nation’

March 20, 2015 4:57 PM

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Review: James McPherson’s ‘The War That Forged a Nation’

As the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War looms in April, popular historian James McPherson reminds us that the war is still with us. The conflict and its bitter aftermath defined the modern nation, helped create a world power — and left us haunted by the failure to resolve racial injustice.

McPherson, perhaps the preeminent historian of the war, makes the case in The War That Forged a Nation that our current debates over federal authority, voting rights, citizenship and racial progress are difficult to understand without coming to terms with the 19th century conflict that almost tore t...

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