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The Grand Design: Strategy and the U.S. Civil War (review)

The Grand Design: Strategy and the U.S. Civil War (review) The Grand Design: Strategy and the U.S. Civil War. By Donald Stoker. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010. Pp. 512. Cloth, $27.95.) Donald Stoker, a professor of strategy and policy at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, wanted to write a new book about Civil War strategy that would "tell the story of the `how' of strategy in the war--its evolution and the attempts at implementation--as well as show why certain strategic decisions were made and their impact" (10). He did so while apparently avoiding archival repositories. His endnotes have many references to published primary sources, and he often relies on secondary sources to craft his narrative. Stoker wisely assumes that nothing was written in stone. Strategic planners in the Civil War had several options, and several different outcomes could have resulted from their decisions. He believes the Confederacy could have won its independence, but more important he argues that "the North could and should have won sooner" (11). Why it did not end the war faster intrigues Stoker, and much of his discussion is bent toward answering that question. In the process, Stoker has produced a book that serves as an introduction to the complicated topic http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of the Civil War Era University of North Carolina Press

The Grand Design: Strategy and the U.S. Civil War (review)

The Journal of the Civil War Era , Volume 1 (2) – Jun 3, 2011

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © University of North Carolina Press
ISSN
2159-9807
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Abstract

The Grand Design: Strategy and the U.S. Civil War. By Donald Stoker. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010. Pp. 512. Cloth, $27.95.) Donald Stoker, a professor of strategy and policy at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, wanted to write a new book about Civil War strategy that would "tell the story of the `how' of strategy in the war--its evolution and the attempts at implementation--as well as show why certain strategic decisions were made and their impact" (10). He did so while apparently avoiding archival repositories. His endnotes have many references to published primary sources, and he often relies on secondary sources to craft his narrative. Stoker wisely assumes that nothing was written in stone. Strategic planners in the Civil War had several options, and several different outcomes could have resulted from their decisions. He believes the Confederacy could have won its independence, but more important he argues that "the North could and should have won sooner" (11). Why it did not end the war faster intrigues Stoker, and much of his discussion is bent toward answering that question. In the process, Stoker has produced a book that serves as an introduction to the complicated topic

Journal

The Journal of the Civil War EraUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Jun 3, 2011

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