The Essentiality of Religious Argument in the Public Square

I just finished my second reading (the first was many years ago) of James McPherson’s outstanding single-volume history of the Civil War, Battle Cry of Freedom.  The first time I read the book I was primarily interested in his take on the military history of the war.  Was it a close-run conflict?  Was the outcome inevitable?  This time, however, I was less interested in the now-familiar contours of the Wilderness campaign than I was in the social history — how the union came to split apart, how the war aims changed from reunion to emancipation, and how the nation tolerated casualties at a rate unmatched before or since. [Read more...]


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