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America Aflame: How the Civil War Created a Nation (2011)
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In this history, the author offers the a new interpretation of the Civil War era since James M. McPherson's "Battle Cry of Freedom." Where past scholars have limned the war as a triumph of freedom, this author sees it as America's greatest failure: the result of a breakdown caused by the infusion of evangelical religion into the public sphere. As the Second Great Awakening surged through America, political questions became matters of good and evil to be fought to the death. The price of that failure was horrific, but the carnage accomplished what statesmen could not.
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