The first thing you should know about Ludwell Johnson’s North Against South: The American Iliad 1848-1877 is that it’s controversial. First published in 1978 under the title Division and Reunion, 1848-1877, the book argues that Reconstruction was an extension of the military warfare carried out by the North during the Civil War, that Jefferson Davis was a more able leader than Abraham Lincoln, and that Robert E. Lee was a better military leader than Ulysses S. Grant.
That’s just for starters. Johnson (1927-2017) also says that the writing of Civil War history after World War II has been filtered through the lens of the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. It’s not that this vast multitude of history works are wrong and should be rejected, but more that readers and students need to understand the lens through which the Civil War has been seen and understood.
To continue reading, please see my post today at Dancing Priest.