Why this book?
America Aflame demonstrates how people’s religious views impacted the extended length and divisiveness of the American Civil War. Both sides in the conflict thought God was on their side; they had to keep on fighting. And yet, some Northern Christians condemned slavery for its inhumanity, while some Southerners extolled slavery for its social benefits. In my historical fiction trilogy, I also show the tensions between war’s destructive methods and the religious beliefs of common citizens who refuse to fight. David Goldfield’s storytelling style of non-fiction writing captured my attention, whether describing the tone of this bold new country, or parsing the dueling natures of Abraham Lincoln and Robert E. Lee.
Why should I read it?
What is this book about?
In this spellbinding new history, David Goldfield offers the first
major 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, Goldfield 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 GreatAwakening 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: It made the…