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Lincoln and the Triumph of the Nation: Constitutional Conflict in the American Civil War (review)

Lincoln and the Triumph of the Nation: Constitutional Conflict in the American Civil War (review) Lincoln and the Triumph of the Nation: Constitutional Confl ict in the American Civil War. By Mark E. Neely Jr. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2011. Pp. 408. Cloth, $35.00.) “This book does not contain a relentlessly focused argument” (17). When Mark Neely wrote that astonishing confession in Lincoln and the Triumph of the Nation, he must surely have guessed wickedly how many reviewers would fall into the trap of agreeing with him. There is, in fact, quite a relentlessly argued focus in this powerful and eccentric tour of American constitutionalism under the stress of the Civil War, and it has to do with how nationalism, North and South, eased the pain of conducting a war under the restraints of both the Federal and Confederate constitu- tions. What is true in Neely’s statement, however, is that, like a number of his previous books, Lincoln and the Triumph of the Nation tends to be narrow and episodic in style, rather than a point-to-point survey of Civil War–era legal problems (such as Stephen Ne ff ’s Justice in Blue and Gray [2010] or Robert Bruce Murray’s Legal Cases of the Civil War [2003]) or a narrative of high crimes http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of the Civil War Era University of North Carolina Press

Lincoln and the Triumph of the Nation: Constitutional Conflict in the American Civil War (review)

The Journal of the Civil War Era , Volume 2 (3) – Aug 29, 2012

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright @ The University of North Carolina Press
ISSN
2159-9807

Abstract

Lincoln and the Triumph of the Nation: Constitutional Confl ict in the American Civil War. By Mark E. Neely Jr. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2011. Pp. 408. Cloth, $35.00.) “This book does not contain a relentlessly focused argument” (17). When Mark Neely wrote that astonishing confession in Lincoln and the Triumph of the Nation, he must surely have guessed wickedly how many reviewers would fall into the trap of agreeing with him. There is, in fact, quite a relentlessly argued focus in this powerful and eccentric tour of American constitutionalism under the stress of the Civil War, and it has to do with how nationalism, North and South, eased the pain of conducting a war under the restraints of both the Federal and Confederate constitu- tions. What is true in Neely’s statement, however, is that, like a number of his previous books, Lincoln and the Triumph of the Nation tends to be narrow and episodic in style, rather than a point-to-point survey of Civil War–era legal problems (such as Stephen Ne ff ’s Justice in Blue and Gray [2010] or Robert Bruce Murray’s Legal Cases of the Civil War [2003]) or a narrative of high crimes

Journal

The Journal of the Civil War EraUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Aug 29, 2012

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