The Fall of the House of Dixie: The Civil War and the Social Revolution That Transformed the South

The Fall of the House of Dixie The Civil War and the Social Revolution That Transformed the South In this major new history of the Civil War Bruce Levine tells the riveting story of how that conflict upended the economic political and social life of the old South utterly destroying the Confede

  • Title: The Fall of the House of Dixie: The Civil War and the Social Revolution That Transformed the South
  • Author: Bruce Levine
  • ISBN: 9781400067039
  • Page: 177
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In this major new history of the Civil War, Bruce Levine tells the riveting story of how that conflict upended the economic, political, and social life of the old South, utterly destroying the Confederacy and the society it represented and defended Told through the words of the people who lived it, The Fall of the House of Dixie illuminates the way a war undertaken to preIn this major new history of the Civil War, Bruce Levine tells the riveting story of how that conflict upended the economic, political, and social life of the old South, utterly destroying the Confederacy and the society it represented and defended Told through the words of the people who lived it, The Fall of the House of Dixie illuminates the way a war undertaken to preserve the status quo became a second American Revolution whose impact on the country was as strong and lasting as that of our first In 1860 the American South was a vast, wealthy, imposing region where a small minority had amassed great political power and enormous fortunes through a system of forced labor The South s large population of slaveless whites almost universally supported the basic interests of plantation owners, despite the huge wealth gap that separated them By the end of 1865 these structures of wealth and power had been shattered Millions of black people had gained their freedom, many poorer whites had ceased following their wealthy neighbors, and plantation owners were brought to their knees, losing not only their slaves but their political power, their worldview, their very way of life This sea change was felt nationwide, as the balance of power in Congress, the judiciary, and the presidency shifted dramatically and lastingly toward the North, and the country embarked on a course toward equal rights Levine captures the many sided human drama of this story using a huge trove of diaries, letters, newspaper articles, government documents, and In The Fall of the House of Dixie, the true stakes of the Civil War become clearer than ever before, as slaves battle for their freedom in the face of brutal reprisals Abraham Lincoln and his party turn what began as a limited war for the Union into a crusade against slavery by issuing the Emancipation Proclamation poor southern whites grow increasingly disillusioned with fighting what they have come to see as the plantation owners war and the slave owners grow ever desperate as their beloved social order is destroyed, not just by the Union Army, but also from within When the smoke clears, not only Dixie but all of American society is changed forever Brilliantly argued and engrossing, The Fall of the House of Dixie is a sweeping account of the destruction of the old South during the Civil War, offering a fresh perspective on the most colossal struggle in our history and the new world it brought into being.Praise for The Fall of the House of Dixie This is the Civil War as it is seldom seen A portrait of a country in transition as vivid as any that has been written The Boston Globe An absorbing social history For readers whose Civil War bibliography runs to standard works by Bruce Catton and James McPherson, Bruce Levine s book offers fresh insights The Wall Street Journal More poignantly than any book before, The Fall of the House of Dixie shows how deeply intertwined the Confederacy was with slavery, and how the destruction of both made possible a second American revolution as far reaching as the first David W Blight, author of American Oracle Splendidly colorful Levine recounts this tale of Southern institutional rot with the ease and authority born of decades of study Kirkus Reviews starred review A deep, rich, and complex analysis of the period surrounding and including the American Civil War Publishers Weekly starred review

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    1 thought on “The Fall of the House of Dixie: The Civil War and the Social Revolution That Transformed the South”

    1. Can anything new be written about the American Civil War? You would be surprised. Historians like to say that more than 60,000 books have been written about the war - a number proposed by Jonathan Sarna, a specialist on the history of American Jews, who in 2001 estimated that around 50,000 books have already been written on the war, with 1,500 new volumes appearing each year. It is both the last war fought on American soil and the most deadly in the history of the nation - the number of military [...]

    2. I LOVED THIS BOOK.This is a big deal for me, because I'm not really a big non-fiction fan. I picked this book up because of a happy coincidence of my re-watching Ken Burns' The Civil War on Netflix, having just recently seen Lincoln, and happening upon an interview on Fresh Air with Bruce Levine. Mr. Levine is a compelling interview; he's clear and easy to follow and interesting, and I was inspired to pick up his book to see what else I could learn.I borrowed the book from the library, but I'm g [...]

    3. In 1859, Robert E. Lee, who was to become the greatest general on the Confederate side of the Civil War, recaptured three of his slaves -- a man and two women -- who had escaped to Maryland from his Arlington plantation in Virginia. They were brought back, taken to a barn, stripped to the waist, and given 20 to 50 lashes each. Lee stood and watched, and occasionally urged on the man with the man, telling him to "lay it on well." Lee was considered a Southern gentleman of the highest order.This i [...]

    4. The American Civil War was about slavery. It's dumb to say it isn't. In this book, Bruce Levine comprehensively and meticulously details exactly how dumb.Levine has a clear agenda here, an argument to make, and he makes it very well. He writes with passion, but he backs everything up with logic and facts. He isn't about painting the South as some monolithic evil, or the North as crusading heroes. His focus is both broader and more narrow than that. It's the South's elite, the planter class, the [...]

    5. The book's subtitle references the "Social revolution that transformed the South" and the introduction states that this book is not a battle by battle war book. What I read however, far far more focused on battles and their consequences than it was on any "social revolution" (at least until the very final chapter). I understand that as went the war, so went the South, and any discussion of the fall of the South cannot be accomplished without referencing battles and gains/losses. I guess I was ex [...]

    6. I think this is a fabulous book; impeccably researched and superbly written. The most valuable service this book performs is to put to rest the nonsense that is still, to this day, propagated that the war was one of northern aggression or fought to preserve state's rights. Mr. Levine succinctly states the real reason; the war was fought on behalf of the economic elite of the south, who played on race hatred and fear amongst poor and middle class whites to persuade them to go along with the war t [...]

    7. As someone who finds the Mexican Revolution more interesting than the American Revolution and the Spanish Civil War more interesting than the U.S. Civil War, I often need to "force" myself to get through books about 18th or 19th century America. Except for a few sub-fields (foreign policy, U.S.-Indian relations, and westward expansion) early American history rarely commands my attention. I suspect it might have something to do with that fateful day in the early 1980s, when my community college h [...]

    8. I loved this book. I am a civil war buff aka nerd. This is the best and especially most readable study of morale of both military and citizens alike from both the North and the South. My previous favorite in this category was James McPherson's "For Cause and Comrades". I found Levine to be a better storyteller and outstanding on documenting how morale shifted and politics and strategy shifted with it. The story had an arc of the certainty of the respective causes. The need for the North to make [...]

    9. A beautifully-written narrative history of the Confederacy and why it fell apart and was defeated in the Civil War by the more powerful and numerous North. I don't disagree with any of Professor Levine's conclusions but I felt that, while I was reading, that I had seen it all before. In fact, one can get a much more detailed portrait of why the inherent weaknesses of a society based on the use of slave labor to produce commodities and run on the principles of small government and States' Rights, [...]

    10. This book was one of two books given to me as an early birthday present by my mum [1], and the book’s title is a reference to the Edgar Allen Poe tale “The Fall Of The House Of Usher,” which the author perceptively refers to with regards to the fissures and cracks that developed in the edifice of Southern antebellum society during the course of the Civil War that led to the destruction of the privileged life of the planter elite and the liberation of their human chattel from slavery despit [...]

    11. Some civil war histories look at the military battles and others look at the political battles. "The Fall of the House of Dixie" is a civil war history that looks at the social fabric of the south. This is an interesting idea, but I was disappointed that by page 200 author Bruce Levine had not developed much new material. However, it was around that point when it really took off and made the book a worthwhile read.It's not news that there was some degree of class struggle between poor southern w [...]

    12. An excellent account of the causes of the Civil War and the inevitable loss by the Confederate Southern States. Levine also provides an up close and personal look at the plantation masters and their slaves.The Republicans and the slave holders knew that the South's slave-labor society could only survive by continuing to expand. So, when the South had failed in its efforts to shore up their representation in Congress and the Electoral College by increasing the number of slave states being brought [...]

    13. Well researched history on the context of the U.S. Civil War. What was particularly valuable about this book is that, unlike many Civil War histories, this is not a tedious re-hash of battle upon battle and military strategy. Levine puts the war in the socio political cultural environment of the time. There are fascinating portrayals of powerful southern plantation owners and their slaves and how day to day life transpired for them, before, during and after the war. Like other wars, it was one t [...]

    14. "The Fall of the House of Dixie" is a must read for anyone wanting to understand the Confederacy during the American Civil War. The author, Bruce Levine, details the social, cultural, and political environment, which, he says, led to the fall of Dixie. Using extensive quotes from Confederate leaders, ordinary soldiers, plantation slave owners, and slaves, Mr. Levine documents the central role which slavery played in the Civil War. Of particular interest to me was the many quotes from several whi [...]

    15. Levine's account of how the Civil War changed the economic, political, and (most importantly) social climate of the South offers a broad, narrative view that readers will find beneficial in understanding the mindset driving the (often horrible) decisions made during the leadup to the war, the war itself, and its aftermath. I found the heavy use of quotes from personal letters and journals to be an especially masterful touch, giving life and voice to a topic that's all too often boiled down to a [...]

    16. Stands alone as a well-researched and argued social history of the South during the Civil War. I especially enjoyed Levine's focus on the ideological underpinnings of the slave-holding elite and how it both created and destroyed the Confederacy.

    17. A very interesting account of the social upheaval the South experienced over the course of the Civil War. The author draws on a wealth of contemporary accounts-- diaries, letters, speeches, newspaper articles-- and weaves them together in an engaging narrative. (There is also a good collection of archival photographs and drawings.) While it may seem that there is little new to be written about the era, Levine manages to bring fresh perspectives and illuminate some neglected issues. For example, [...]

    18. Author Bruce Levine does not dance around it. He clearly shows the intent of the rebellion was to preserve slavery. At times he refers to the CSA as the "slaveholders republic", which due to its constitution and a description of its leaders and their rhetoric appears to be quite accurate.First Levine shows the incredible political power of the small group of plantation owners. Their influence extended from their local communities to the Federal Government. They saw the addition of new "free" sta [...]

    19. The grounds of the Texas State Capitol holds a monument commemorating the South's favorite sport, historical revisionism. Confederate soldiers, reads the plaque at its base, "died for state rights guaranteed under the Constitution." Nowhere is the word "slavery" mentioned.As "The Fall of the House of Dixie"makes clear, the Civil War was all about slavery and little more. The book tells the story of America's "Second Revolution" from the standpoint of the South, how a "way of life" was upended by [...]

    20. Great history books weave the writings of the past into a narrative to help the reader understand and feel the events, emotions and motivations of those times. Bruce Levine has written a great history book! The haunting parallels of his quotes and citations to today's events are shivering. Citizen's United and Dred Scot? The speech given by Rand Paul days ago at CPAC about men resisting invasion of their rights to their "property" and the words of the slave masters are hair raisingly similar. Th [...]

    21. "If you ever think about the ending of slavery, you might remember the Emancipation Proclamation, or the series of amendments to the Constitution that brought slavery officially to an end in the United States. But as Bruce Levine shows in his excellent book The Fall of the House of Dixie: The Civil War and the Social Revolution that Transformed the South, this is only part of the story. For Levine, drawing on the work of many scholars of slavery and the Civil War, the conflict between North and [...]

    22. I liked this book overall, and definitely learned a lot. I recommend this wholeheartedly for everyone and their mother. I personally would have liked more info about aftermath and reconstruction, but I guess that's such a big topic that really you'd need a whole 2nd book.As I was reading I alternated between being fascinated and being bored- the boredom came at points that just seemed redundant. I also happened to be in the middle of the Civil War chapter of my other book at the same time, thoug [...]

    23. Some fleeting samples of slavery incidents: beatings, the family separations, “Take me wid you, mammy; take me wid you!” choked me up.I don’t know how God permitted this to happen, and then I remind myself that this happened all over the world, since the beginning of time—torture so bad (dark ages) that things weren’t documented or recorded.A quarter of the book dedicated (at the end) to acknowledgments, bibliography and other misc. does seem a little excessive; more like a filler. Aft [...]

    24. A look at the war through a very different prism — letters, diaries, political speeches, news stories — that elegantly documents, distills and clarifies the institution of slavery, its effects and the impacts of its 19th century rise and fall, on the nation and the South in particular. What a story — and what people will talk themselves into believing when ignorance, fear and self-interest allow it. Fascinating page turner.

    25. We know what like was like for Southern civilians during the Civil War largely through the eyes of Scarlett in the middle section of Gone With the Wind. This book tells a more sweeping, comprehensive, and factually detailed story, drawing from a number of perspectives. Most of the book is set right before and during the war I would have preferred a bit more emphasis on the Reconstruction period.

    26. An excellent, well-written account of politics and the economy that led up to the Civil War, as well as during the conflict. Although I thought I knew a lot a out the Civil War, there were a number of things that I was reading for the first time. Now my interest has been piqued and I am going to read Prof. Levin's next book and have begun reading Shelby Foote's 3-volume The Civil War. I think I am hooked.

    27. THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF DIXIE by Bruce Levine is a book unlike most Civil War books. Exhaustively researched, the focus is not on the military campaigns but on the culture and society of the South and how they changed as the fortunes of the Confederacy armies changed. While I never read Margaret Mitchell’s GONE WITH THE WIND, I’ve seen the motion picture a number of times and scenes came to mind as I read this book. In particular, during the opening barbeque in which the men are gathered, s [...]

    28. A book with a happy ending, -ish. This book follows the demise of the loathsome Confederacy. Looking at how their society was organized, they never had a chance. (Of course the Union did have McClellan so that helped them survive longer than they should have.) Of course this book should be required reading for all who think the Confederacy was about states rights. The only right they were concerned about was buy and selling people's babies. And then beating and killing those babies when they did [...]

    29. Il titolo in italiano è un più banale "la guerra civile americana", mentre il titolo originale è una citazione del titolo di un famoso racconto di EA Poe con Dixie che sostituisce Usher.Il libro racconta soprattutto dei cambiamenti politici e sociali che sono avvenuti negli stati secessionisti durante la guerra di secessione. Non che manchi di ricordare come la guerra abbia proceduto lungo le sue sanguinosissime battaglie, ma l'accento del libro e il suo più grande interesse sta proprio nel [...]

    30. In 1860, the southern slaveowners were so full of themselves, that they dared enough to secede from United States and form the Confederacy. Primed by their own sense of white supremacy and warrior ethos, they expected that the war would end fast and their northern rabble enemies would surrender quickly. Thus, slavery, that 'peculiar institution', the southern way of life would be preserved forever. However, things were not meant to be like that. It was the slaveowners' greed and selfishness whic [...]

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