Don H. DoyleFeb 16, 2015
The Cause of All Nations
An International History of the American Civil War
Basic Books 2015
Many Americans know about the military side of the Civil War, and the private, official diplomacy of the Civil War is also well documented. The Cause of All Nations: An International History of the American Civil War (Basic Books, 2015), though, focuses on public diplomacy -- on the battle for public opinion in Europe (primarily) waged by Union and Confederate officials, private citizens, and their European supporters. White northerners were slower to realize what American blacks and European republicans recognized instinctively -- that what was at stake in the American Civil War was not the political and territorial integrity of the United States, but the causes of progress and self-government. In The Cause of All Nations, Don H. Doyle has done the impossible -- found a hitherto unappreciated feature of the American Civil War that forces us to reevaluate how we understand it.