Hyde announces new book on Civil War legacies

Monday, December 8, 2014 Samuel J. Hyde, Jr.
by: Rene Abadie

HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana University Professor of History Samuel C. Hyde Jr. has announced the release of his newly edited book "The Enigmatic South: Toward Civil War and Its Legacies."

Published by Louisiana State University Press, the book includes 10 essays edited by Hyde, who currently holds the Leon Ford Chair of History. Chapters were included from Civil War authority and Pulitzer Prize winner James M. McPherson, the George Henry Davis Professor of American History at Princeton University; LSU Professor of History Gaines M. Foster; and George C. Rable, the Charles G. Summersell Chair in Southern History at the University of Alabama. McPherson provides the forward for the book while chapters were written by other specialists in Civil War and Deep South history.

"The authors are seeking to highlight some less revealed subjects that contributed to the South's movement toward secession, the implications of the Civil War, and the transformation of the South in its aftermath," explained Hyde, who is the director of the Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies at Southeastern.

Topics covered in the book include the roles of religion and education in fomenting secession sentiment, support for the South in the North during the war, and an article that challenges the old belief that it was a "rich man's war, but a poor man's fight," Hyde said.

The book is intended to honor the retirement of LSU Boyd Professor of History William J. Cooper Jr., Civil War historian and author of numerous works on the war and the South.

"A fitting tribute to William J. Cooper Jr., one of the leading historians of the 19th century South, these chapters exemplify the depth of research, clarity of writing and rigor of analysis that we associate with the honoree," said John B. Boles, William P. Hobby Professor of History at Rice University.

The book includes an afterword by LSU's Foster, an expression of appreciation to Professor Cooper. It is available through the web site lsupress.org.


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