Saturday, February 4, 2012

Just Finished Reading

I'm currently on a Border State kick. Unfortunately, there has not been a significant amount of scholarship on this region, but more offerings are being published as of late. The stories from these Upper South states differs significantly from those of the Deep South. They were not as tied to cotton agriculture, so they had a different experience with slavery during the antebellum era than the Gulf states. The main slave-based crops in states like Missouri and Kentucky were hemp, tobacco and various grains. Also different from those states farther South, the Border States had a mix of allegiances, which caused a level of division not experienced in places like South Carolina.

This particular book is filled with transcribed primary sources that cover a variety of topics. It is divided into eight chapters and provides a number of perspectives. There are accounts from slaves, masters, Unionists, secessionists, guerrillas, jayhawkers, conservatives, radicals, women, men, soldiers, civilians, foreigners and politicians.

Missouri's War gives the reader a good feel for the diversity of allegiances that pervaded Missouri and there are few better ways to learn about an area than by reading the accounts left by those that experienced it first hand.

On a scale of 1 to 5, I give it a 4.

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