On the Road to Total War: The American Civil War and the German Wars of Unification, 1861-1871

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On the Road to Total War: The American Civil War and the German Wars of Unification, 1861-1871

Edited by Stig Forster and Jorg Nagler
Cambridge University Press, 1997
705 pp. $84.95
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Some historians have described total war as an artifact of this century, but its roots lie in the terrible decade of conflict described in this volume. The editors, working through the German Historical Institute in Washington, assembled the leading historians of this period in the United States and Germany to discuss the wars that forged two of the greatest powers of modern times. The result is a rich, indeed profound, study of war in its many aspects. In their exploration of such issues as mass mobilization, civil-military relations, and popular attitudes to war, many of these essays shed light on issues that remain with militaries to this day. This is comparative history and collective scholarship at its very best.