NEW BOOKS: Americans Divided. The Civil War. The U.S. Looks Abroad.

Turkey and the West; Fault lines in a Troubled Alliance by Kemal Kirisci. Brookings Institute. Take it easy on Turkey. It is caring for nearly three million refugees from neighboring war-torn neighbors. And the chaos in its neighborhood has disrupted its export markets. Also Turkey is well-integrated into the transatlantic community; and its participation is perhaps essential to a resolution of Syrian difficulties.

Degrade and Destroy; The Inside Story of the War Against the Islamic State by Michael Gordon. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2017. A Times reporter tells the inside story of the U.S. war against the Islamic State.

All Measures Short of War; The Contest for the Twenty-First Century and the Future of American Power by Thomas Wright. Yale University Press, 2017. For nearly two decades American military and economic power has policed an environment capable of peaceful competition. Is that era ending?

Easternization; Asia’s Rise and America’s Decline From Obama to Trump and Beyond by Gideon Rachman. Other Press, 2017. A resurgent East is challenging our post-war supremacy there, a China that is competing with other emerging and ambitious Asian powers, Japan, India, South Korea, and Pakistan and the various Asian Tigers – still around.

Civil Wars; A History in Ideas by David Armitage. Knopf, 2017. We sometimes call them simply conflicts; when do they begin and end; when and why are they finally designated as a Civil War. (Capital C, Capital W.)

Man’s Better Angels; Romantic Reformers and the Coming of the Civil War by Philip Gura. Harvard University Press, 2017. The Panic of 1837 was the opportunity for reformers, animated by ‘self-reliance’, became prophets of a new moral order that would make America great again and provide leadership for Europe.

Frederick Douglass by William McFeely. W.W. Norton, 2017 paper. Born into slavery, this orator, journalists, author, and revolutionary was charismatic for sure but also flawed

Shooting Lincoln; Matthew Brady, Alexander Gardner, and the Photographs That Electrified a Nation by Nicholas Pistor. Da Capo Press, 2017. A professional photographer during the Civil War that took advantage of Lincoln’s love of being photographed.

Stanton; Lincoln’s War Secretary by Walter Stahr. Simon & Schuster, 2017. It must not have been an easy tenure, being Lincoln’s Secretary of War, because things did not go well in the early years of the war. Also Stanton was responsible for a punitive response to New Yorkers and others who opposed the war.

Madness Rules the Hour; Charleston, 1860 and the Mania for War by Paul Starobin. Public Affairs, 2017. Abraham Lincoln’s election was looming, South Carolina could either refuse succession despite the pressure to do so or submit to abolition.

Troubled Refuge; Struggling for Freedom in the Civil War by Chandra Manning. Vintage, 2017 paper. By the end of the Civil War, a half million slaves had chosen to take refuge behind Union lines in what were known as “contraband camps.”

Marrow of Tragedy; the Health Crisis of the American Civil War by Margaret Humphreys. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2017 paper. Unprepared to take care of the wounded and sick soldiers when the war began, both the Union and the Confederacy scrambled to provide medical attention. With only moderate success.

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