The Mighty Scourge Analysis

Words: 494
Pages: 2

James M. McPherson’s The Mighty Scourge: Perspectives on the Civil War consists of a string of sixteen separate essays, all focused at examining the causes, roots, course, direction, and outcome of the Civil War. McPherson was born in North Dakota and raised in Minnesota. He pursued his fascination of the Civil War and Reconstruction era at John Hopkins University and was the George Henry Davis '86 Professor of History Emeritus at Princeton University. He has published numerous volumes on the Civil War and won prestigious awards and received praise for his works. On all the subjects he discusses, McPherson welcomes "disagreement and dialogue, for that is how scholarship and understanding advance" (ix). He offers his own scholarly incite and knowledge, yet recommends that the reader take …show more content…
In accordance with the in-class readings and excerpts, he attributes the cause of the Civil War mainly to slavery. Several chapters and essays revolve around Southern themes, such as the dissension within the Confederacy and South, the merits of a defensive strategy for the South, and the ambiguities when categorizing it.
McPherson touches upon several aspects and facets of this era. His essays describe different events at different times involving different factors. He focuses on historical figures, the North and South, and common arguments of the period, setting up an intricate and interesting framework for the reader. In the next essay, McPherson narrows his focus to significant figures in the war. He examines the personalities and leadership styles of Ulysses Grant and William Sherman, as well as their relationship. McPherson describes Grant as the epitome simplicity, using primary sources to deduce so. Grant’s tendency to write extremely lucid orders, his constant display of bravery in battle, and his ability to achieve clearly established goals for his troops, all became hall- marks of his leadership.