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The Most Complete Political Machine Ever Known: The North's Union Leagues in the American Civil War by Paul Taylor (review)

The Most Complete Political Machine Ever Known: The North's Union Leagues in the American... anthologies, though, this one has its weak spots. While most of the essays fit together, some do not. Judith Giesberg’s article on women’s nascent efforts at building a labor movement in Philadelphia is excellent on its own merits, but it does not nest comfortably with the general theme of the book. Timothy J. Orr’s piece on a labor movement on the other side of the state, in Pittsburgh, is somewhat more successful because his story begins with fifteen workers being fired for allegedly being “disloyal.” The biggest problem with the book is that its representation of the Union is skewed. Four of the ten articles deal with events that took place in Pennsylvania, a fifth piece covers Connecticut, and yet another focuses on New England college elites. A more geographically diverse set of accounts would have been welcome. On the whole, the book is a good primer on the current state of scholar- ship on the Union’s struggle to define “loyalty” and “disloyalty” within its own ranks, even as it fought those whom most northerners agreed were overtly disloyal and arguably traitors: the Confederates. Jennifer L. Weber jennifer l. weber is an associate professor of history at the University http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of the Civil War Era University of North Carolina Press

The Most Complete Political Machine Ever Known: The North's Union Leagues in the American Civil War by Paul Taylor (review)

The Journal of the Civil War Era , Volume 9 (4) – Dec 5, 2019

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

Abstract

anthologies, though, this one has its weak spots. While most of the essays fit together, some do not. Judith Giesberg’s article on women’s nascent efforts at building a labor movement in Philadelphia is excellent on its own merits, but it does not nest comfortably with the general theme of the book. Timothy J. Orr’s piece on a labor movement on the other side of the state, in Pittsburgh, is somewhat more successful because his story begins with fifteen workers being fired for allegedly being “disloyal.” The biggest problem with the book is that its representation of the Union is skewed. Four of the ten articles deal with events that took place in Pennsylvania, a fifth piece covers Connecticut, and yet another focuses on New England college elites. A more geographically diverse set of accounts would have been welcome. On the whole, the book is a good primer on the current state of scholar- ship on the Union’s struggle to define “loyalty” and “disloyalty” within its own ranks, even as it fought those whom most northerners agreed were overtly disloyal and arguably traitors: the Confederates. Jennifer L. Weber jennifer l. weber is an associate professor of history at the University

Journal

The Journal of the Civil War EraUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Dec 5, 2019

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