Undergraduates are expected to read at least 100 pages a week, and graduate students are expected to read at least 200 pages a week. Students may pick readings from the below options for each class session.

1 General Histories of the War

McPherson, James M. Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era. Oxford University Press, 1988. ISBN: 9780195038637. [Preview with Google Books]

  • The best single volume treatment of the war. Highly recommended.

Guelzo, Allen. Fateful Lightning: A New History of the Civil War & Reconstruction. Oxford University Press, 2012. ISBN: 9780199843282. [Preview with Google Books]

  • The latest history of the war. Well reviewed, thus far.

Nevins, Allan. The War for the Union. Vol. 4. Scribner’s, 1959.

  • The best multi-volume treatment. Strong emphasis on the organizational aspects of the war.

Catton, Bruce. This Hallowed Ground The Story of the Union Side of the Civil War. Doubleday, 1956. (An Older Classic.)

Hattaway, Herman. Shades of Blue and Gray: An Introductory Military History of the Civil War. University of Missouri, 1997. ISBN: 9780826211071. [Preview with Google Books]

Donald, David. Liberty and Union. D. C. Heath & Company, 1978. ISBN: 9780669011524.

Masur, Louis P. The Civil War: A Concise History. Oxford University Press, 2011. ISBN: 9780199740482. [Preview with Google Books]

  • The best brief treatment of the war.

Mitchell, Reid. The American Civil War, 1861–1865. Routledge, 2001. ISBN: 9780582319738.

Maier, Pauline, et al. Chapter 16 in Inventing America: A History of the United States. 2nd ed. W. W. Norton, 2006. ISBN: 9780393926750.

  • A single chapter treatment that emphases the technological aspects of the war.
2 Historiography of the War

Cooper, William, and James McPherson. Writing the Civil War: The Quest to Understand. University of South Carolina Press, 1998. ISBN: 9781570032592.

  • An excellent set of historiographic appraisals of Civil War literature, though somewhat dated.

Woodworth, Steven E., ed. The American Civil War: A Handbook of Literature and Research. Greenwood, 1996. ISBN: 9780313290190. [Preview with Google Books]

Pressly, Thomas J. Americans Interpret their Civil War. The Free Press, 1962.

  • An important contribution that should be read in conjunction with Cooper and McPherson (above).
3 Historiography of Technology

Hindle, Brooke. Technology in Early America: Needs; Opportunities for Study. Chapel Hill, 1966.

Buy at MIT Press Martello, Robert, and Merritt Roe Smith. “Taking Stock of the Industrial Revolution in America.” In Reconceptualizing the Industrial Revolution. Edited by J. Horn, L. Rosenband, and M. R. Smith. MIT Press, 2010, pp. 169–200. ISBN: 9780262515627. [Preview with Google Books]

  • A historiographic treatment of technology in America up to the Civil War.

Usselman, Stephen W. “From Sputnik to SCOT: The Historiography of American Technology.” Organization of American Historians Magazine of American History 24, no. 3 (2010): 9–14.

  • An excellent short treatment of the subject.
4 The Political Scene

Why the Southern States Seceded

Dew, Charles. Apostles of Disunion: Southern Secession Commissioners and the Causes of the Civil War. University of Virginia Press, 2002. ISBN: 9780813921044. [Preview with Google Books]

Abraham Lincoln

Marszalek, John F. Lincoln and the Military. Southern Illinois University Press, 2014. ISBN: 9780809333615. [Preview with Google Books]

Goodwin, Doris Kearns. Team of Rivals (The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln). Simon & Schuster, 2005.

  • This is the book on which the recent film “Lincoln” was based.

Donald, David. Lincoln. Simon & Schuster, 1995. ISBN: 9780684808468.

  • The best single volume biography of Lincoln. There are many.

McPherson, James. Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief. Penguin Press H. C., 2008. [Preview with Google Books]

———. Abraham Lincoln. Oxford University Press, 2009. ISBN: 9780195374520.

Foner, Eric. The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery. W. W. Norton & Company, 2010. ISBN: 9780393066180.

Cohen, Eliot A. Supreme Command: Soldiers, Statesmen, and Leadership in Wartime. Free Press, 2002, pp. 15–51. [Preview with Google Books]

  • A very perceptive discussion of Lincoln as a war president.

Political Implications of the Civil War

Curry, Leonard P. Blueprint for Modern America: Nonmilitary Legislation of the First Civil War Congress. Vanderbilt University Press, 1968.

Richardson, Heather Cox. The Greatest Nation of the Earth: Republican Economic Policies during the Civil War. Harvard University Press, 1997.

Economic Implications of the Civil War

Cochran, Thomas C. “Did the Civil War Retard Industrialization?” In Views of American Economic Growth. Vol. 1. Edited by Thomas C. Cochran and Thomas B. Brewer. McGraw-Hill, 1966, pp. 252–61. ASIN: B000YIX6KO.

Andreano, Ralph, ed. The Economic Impact of the American Civil War. Schenkman Publishing Company, 1967.

Gilchrist, David T., and W. David Lewis, eds. Economic Change in the Civil War Era. Eleutherian Mills-Hagley Foundation, 1965.

McPherson, James M. Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution. Oxford University Press, 1990. ISBN: 9780195055429. (see especially chapter 1)

5 The Battlefield

The War on Land

Grant, U. S. Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant. Vol. 2. Charles L. Webster & Company, 1884. (Also available from Penguin Classics (1999), with introduction by James McPherson.)

Joan Waugh’s reflective essay on the “Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant: A History of the Union Cause.” In More Than a Contest Between Armies: Essays on the Civil War Era. Edited by James Marten and A. Kristen Foster. Kent State University Press, 2008, pp. 219–49. ISBN: 9780873389129.

Ballard, Michael B. U.S. Grant: The Making of a General, 1861–1863. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2005. ISBN: 9780742543089. [Preview with Google Books]

McPherson, James M. Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam. Oxford University Press, 2002. ISBN: 9780195173307. [Preview with Google Books]

———. Hallowed Ground: A Walk at Gettysburg. Crown Publishing Group, 2003.

Wert, Jeffrey D. The Sword of Lincoln: The Army of the Potomac. Simon & Schuster, 2005. ISBN: 9780743225069. [Preview with Google Books]

Hagerman, Edward. The American Civil War and the Origins of Modern Warfare: Ideas, Organization, and Field Command. Indiana University Press, 1988. ISBN: 9780253305466.

Hess, Earl J. The Union Soldier in Battle: Enduring the Ordeal of Combat. University Press of Kansas, 1997. ISBN: 9780700614219.

———. Trench Warfare under Grant and Lee: Field Fortifications in the Overland Campaign. The University of North Carolina Press, 2007. ISBN: 9780807831540. [Preview with Google Books]

———. In the Trenches at Petersburg: Field Fortifications and Confederate Defeat. The University of North Carolina Press, 2009. ISBN: 9780807832820. [Preview with Google Books]

———. The Rifle Musket in Civil War Combat: Reality and Myth. University Press of Kansas, 2008. ISBN: 9780700616077.

Glatthaar, Joseph T. General Lee’s Army: From Victory to Collapse. Free Press, 2008. ISBN: 9780684827872. [Preview with Google Books]

Gallagher, Gary. The Confederate War. Harvard University Press, 1997. ISBN: 9780674160552.

Rafuse, Ethan S. Robert E. Lee and the Fall of the Confederacy, 1863–1865. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2008. ISBN: 9780742551251. [Preview with Google Books]

The War at Sea

Musicant, Ivan. Divided Waters: The Naval History of the Civil War. Harpercollins, 1995. ISBN: 9780060164829.

Symonds, Craig L. The Civil War at Sea. Praeger, 2009. ISBN: 9780275990848. [Preview with Google Books]

Hoogenboom, Ari. Gustavus Fox of the Union Navy: A Biography. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008. ISBN: 9780801889868.

Mindell, David A. War, Technology, and Experience Aboard the USS Monitor. The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000. ISBN: 9780801862502. [Preview with Google Books] (Re-issued as Iron Coffin (2012).)

Roberts, William H. Civil War Ironclads: The U.S. Navy and Industrial Mobilization. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002. ISBN: 9780801868306. [Preview with Google Books]

———. Now for the Contest: Coastal and Oceanic Naval Operations of the Civil War. University of Nebraska Press, 2004. ISBN: 9780803238619. [Preview with Google Books]

Dougherty, Kevin. Strangling the Confederacy: Coastal Operations in the American Civil War. Casemate, 2010. ISBN: 9781935149248.

Symonds, Craig L. Union Combined Operations in the Civil War. Fordham University Press, 2010. ISBN: 9780823232864.

Still, William N., et al. Raiders and Blockaders: The American Civil War Afloat. Brassey’s Incorporation, 1998. ISBN: 9781574881646.

McPherson, James M. War on the Waters: The Union and Confederate Navies, 1861–1865. The University of North Carolina Press, 2012. ISBN: 9780807835883. [Preview with Google Books]

6 Supply Bureaus and Logistics

Union Army

Smith, Merritt Roe. “Army Ordnance and the American System.” In Military Enterprise and Technological Change. MIT Press, 1985, pp. 39–86. ISBN: 9780262192392. [Preview with Google Books]

———. “Yankee Armorers and the Union War Machine: A Technological Perspective on the American Civil War.” In Astride Two Worlds: Technology and the American Civil War. Edited by Barton C. Hacker. Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press, 2016. pp. 25-54. ISBN: 9781935623915

Bruce, Robert. Lincoln and the Tools of War. Literary Licensing, Limited Liability Company, 2011. ISBN: 9781258083427.

Davis, Carl L. Arming the Union: Small Arms in the Union Army. Kennikat, 1973. ISBN: 9780804690447.

Raber, Michael S., et al. Forge of Innovation: An Industrial History of the Springfield Armory, 1794–1968. 2008, pp. 19–25, 41–45, 227–32, 264–69, and 292–309.

Farley, James J. Making Arms in the Machine Age: Philadelphia’s Frankford Arsenal, 1816–1870. Penn State University Press, 1994. ISBN: 9780271028217. [Preview with Google Books]

Tate, Thomas K. General James Wolfe Ripley, Chief of Ordnance: Answers to His Critics. BookSurge Publishing, 2008. ISBN: 9781439207338.

  • Defends Ripley’s actions as the Union Army’s Chief of Ordnance, especially his resistance to the adoption breechloading and repeating firearms.

Nosworthy, Brent. The Bloody Crucible of Courage: Fighting Methods and Combat Experience of the Civil War. Basic Books, 2003. ISBN: 9780786711475.

Bilby, Joseph G. Small Arms at Gettysburg: Infantry and Cavalry Weapons in America’s Greatest Battle. Westholme Publishing, 2008.

Wilson, Mark. The Business of War: Military Mobilization and the State, 1861–1865. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006. ISBN: 9780801883484. [Preview with Google Books]
Also see Wilson’s condensed version of his book in
John, Richard, ed. Ruling Passions: Political Economy in Nineteenth-Century America. Penn State University Press, 2006, pp. 44–73. ISBN: 9780271028972. [Preview with Google Books]

  • Wilson’s work is the best that exists on the work of the U.S. Army Quartermaster Department.

Abrahamson, James L. The American Home Front: Revolutionary War, Civil War, World War I, World War II. University of Michigan Library, 1983, pp. 43–85.

  • A useful overview.

Gates, Paul W. Agriculture and the Civil War. Knopf, 1965.

Hsieh, Wayne Sei-Siang. West Pointers and the Civil War: The Old Army in War and Peace. The University of North Carolina Press, 2009. ISBN: 9780807832783. [Preview with Google Books]

Haupt, Herman. Reminiscences of General Herman Haupt. University of Michigan Library, 1901.

  • An autobiography by Lincoln’s “Railroad General.”

Confederate Army

Vandiver, Frank E. Rebel Brass: The Confederate Command System. Louisiana State University Press, 1984.

———. Ploughshares Into Swords: Josiah Gorgas and Confederate Ordnance. University of Texas Press, 1952.

Coulter, E. Merton. The Confederate States of America, 1861–1865: A History of the South. Louisiana State University Press, 1950. ISBN: 9780807100073.

Wilson, Harold S. Confederate Industry: Manufacturers and Quartermasters in the Civil War. University Press of Mississippi, 2002. ISBN: 9781578064625. [Preview with Google Books]

Tate, Thomas K. From Under Iron Eyelids: The Biography of James Henry Burton, Armorer to Three Nations. Author House, 2005. ISBN: 9781420821260. [Preview with Google Books]

Delfino, Susan, and Michele Gillespie, eds. Technology, Innovation, and Southern Industrialization: From the Antebellum Era to the Computer Age. University of Missouri Press, 2008. [Preview with Google Books]

Davis, Jr., Robert S. Cotton, Fire, and Dreams: The Robert Findlay Iron Works and Heavy Industry in Macon, Georgia, 1839–1912. Mercer University Press, 1998. ISBN: 9780865545984.

Norman, Matthew W. Colonel Burton’s Spiller & Burr Revolver: An Untimely Venture in Confederate Small-Arms Manufacturing. Mercer University Press, 1996. [Preview with Google Books]

Iobst, Richard W. Civil War Macon. Mercer University Press, 1999. ISBN: 9780865546349.

Majewski, John. Modernizing a Slave Economy. The University of North Carolina Press, 2009. [Preview with Google Books]


 Jones, Gordon L. Confederate Odyssey: The George W. Wray Jr. Civil War Collection at the Atlanta History Center. University of Georgia Press, 2014. ISBN:9780820346854

7 Transportation and Communication Networks

Union Railroads

Angevine, Robert G. The Railroad and the State: War, Politics, and Technology in Nineteenth-Century America. Stanford University Press, 2004. ISBN: 9780804742399. [Preview with Google Books]

Abdill, George B. Civil War Railroads. Superior Publishing Company, 1961. ISBN: 9780517012437.

Clark, Jr., John E. Railroads in the Civil War: The Impact Of Management On Victory And Defeat. Louisiana State University Press, 2001.

Turner, George Edgar. Victory Rode the Rails The Strategic Place of the Railroads in the Civil War. Bobbs-Merrill, 1953.

Weber, Thomas. The Northern Railroads in the Civil War. King’s Crown Press, 1952.

 Haupt, Herman. Reminiscences of General Herman Haupt. University of Michigan Library, 1901.

Ward, James R. That Man Haupt: A Biography of Herman Haupt. Louisiana State University Press, 1973. ISBN: 9780807102251.

Thienel, Philip M. Mr. Lincoln’s Bridge Builders: The Right Hand of American Genius. White Mane Publishing, 2000. ISBN: 9781572491984.

Thomas, William G. The Iron Way: Railroads, the Civil War, and the Making of Modern America. Yale University Press, 2011. ISBN: 9780300141078.

Confederate Railroads

Black, Thomas C. The Railroads of the Confederacy. The University of North Carolina Press, 1998. ISBN: 9780807847299.

  • The standard treatment of the subject.

Marrs, Aaron W. Railroads in the Old South: Pursuing Progress in a Slave Society. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009. ISBN: 9780801891304. [Preview with Google Books]


See Delfino (above)

Hunter, Louis C. Steamboats on Western Rivers: An Economic and Technological History. Harvard University Press, 1949. [Preview with Google Books]
A classic.

Gudmestad, Robert. Steamboats and the Rise of the Cotton Kingdom. Louisiana State University Press, 2011. ISBN: 9780807138397.


Hochfelder, David. Chapter 1 in The Telegraph in America. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011. ISBN: 9781421407470.

Cohen, Eliot. Supreme Command: Soldiers, Statesmen, and Leadership in Wartime. Free Press, 2002, pp. 23–29. ISBN: 9780743230490. [Preview with Google Books]

Raines, Rebecca R. Getting the Message through: A Branch History of the U.S. Army Signal Corps. University of Michigan Library, 1996, pp. 3–40.

Thompson, Robert L. Wiring a Continent - The History of the Telegraph Industry in the United States 1832–1866. Princeton University Press, 1947.

Plum, William R. The Military Telegraph during the Civil War in the United States. Vol. 2. Ayer Company Publishers, 1974. ISBN: 9780405060533.

Bates, David Homer. Lincoln in the Telegraph Office: Recollections of the United States Military Telegraph Corps during the Civil War. University of Nebraska Press, 1995. [Preview with Google Books]

  • Bates served in the War Department telegraph office.

Markle, Donald E., ed. The Telegraph Goes to War: The Personal Diary of David Homer Bates, Lincoln’s Telegraph Operator. Edmonston Publishing, 2003. ISBN: 9781892059024.

Wheeler, Tom. Mr. Lincoln’s T-Mails: The Untold Story of How Abraham Lincoln Used the Telegraph to Win the Civil War. Harper Business, 2006. ISBN: 9780061129780.
Articles by James R. Fleming.

8 Medicine and Public Health

Humphreys, Margaret. Marrow of Tragedy: The Health Crisis of the American Civil War. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013. ISBN: 9781421409993. [Preview with Google Books]

Duffy, John. From Humors to Medical Science: A History of American Medicine. University of Illinois Press, 1993. ISBN: 9780252063008. [Preview with Google Books]

  • See chapter on Civil War.

Adams, George W. Doctors in Blue: The Medical History of the Union Army in the Civil War. Henry Schuman, 1952. ISBN: 9780890290866.

  • An oldie but goodie.

Bollet, Alfred Jay. Civil War Medicine: Challenges and Triumphs. Galen Press Limited, 2002. ISBN: 9781883620080.

Denney, Robert E. Civil War Medicine: Care and Comfort of the Wounded. Sterling Publishing Company Incorporation, 1994. ISBN: 9780806908793.

  • Contains some very graphic first-hand accounts of wounded soldiers.

Duncan, Louis F. Medical Department of the U.S. Army in the Civil War. Butternut Press, 1985. ISBN: 9780942211306.

Freemon, Frank R. Gangrene and Glory: Medical Care During the American Civil War. University of Illinois Press, 2001. ISBN: 9780252070105.

Cunningham, H. H. Doctors in Gray: The Confederate Medical Service. Louisiana State University Press, 1993.

  • Another oldie but goodie.

Schroeder-Lein, Glenna R. Confederate Hospitals on the Move: Samuel H. Stout and the Army of Tennessee. University of South Carolina Press, 1994. ISBN: 9780872499645.

Schmidt, James M., and Guy R. Hasegawa, eds. Years of Change and Suffering: Modern Perspectives on Civil War Medicine. Edinborough Press, 2009. ISBN: 9781889020358.

Wilbur, C. Keith. Civil War Medicine. Globe Pequot Press, 1998. ISBN: 9780762703418.

Beller, Susan Provost. Medical Practices in the Civil War. Shoe Tree Press, 1992. ISBN: 9781558702646.

Figg, Laurann, and Jane Farrell-Beck. “Amputation in the Civil War.” Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 48 (1993): 454–75.

Rutkow, Ira M. Bleeding Blue and Gray: Civil War Surgery and the Evolution of American Medicine. Random House, 2005. ISBN: 9780375503153.

Coco, Gregory A. A Vast Sea of Misery: A History and Guide to the Union and Confederate Field Hospitals at Gettysburg, July 1-November 20, 1863. Thomas Publications, 1988. ISBN: 9780939631094.

Calcutt, Rebecca B. Richmond’s Wartime Hospitals. Pelican Publishing, 2005. ISBN: 9781589802971.

Hawk, Alan. “An Amulating Hospital: Or, How the Hospital Train Transformed Army Medicine.” Civil War History 48, no. 3 (2002): 197–219.

Leonard, Elizabeth D. Yankee Women: Gender Battles in the Civil War. W W Norton & Company Incorporations, 1994. ISBN: 9780393036664.

Schultz, Jane E. “Seldom Thanked, Never Praised, and Scarcely Recognized: Gender and Racism in Civil War Hospitals.” Civil War History 48, no. 3 (2002): 220–36.

Oates, Stephen B. A Woman of Valor: Clara Barton and the Civil War. Free Press, 1995. ISBN: 9780028740126. [Preview with Google Books]

Maher, Mary Denis. To Bind Up the Wounds: Catholic Sister Nurses in the U.S. Civil War. LSU Press, 1999. ISBN: 9780807124390.

Smith, George W. Medicines for the Union Army: The United States Army Laboratories during the Civil War. Routledge, 2001. ISBN: 9780789009470.

Steiner, Paul E. Disease in the Civil War: Natural Biological Warfare in 1861–1865. Charles C Thomas Publications Limited, 1968. ISBN: 9780398018528.

Hasegawa, Guy R. Mending Broken Soldiers: The Union and Confederate Programs to Supply Artificial Limbs. Southern Illinois University Press, 2012. ISBN: 9780809331307. [Preview with Google Books]

Ott, Katherine, David Serlin, and Stephen Mihm, eds. Artificial Parts, Practical Lives: Modern Histories of Prosthetics. New York University Press, 2002. ISBN: 9780814761984. [Preview with Google Books]

Fredrickson, George M. The Inner Civil War: Northern Intellectuals and the Crisis of the Union. University of Illinois Press, 1993. ISBN: 9780252062742.

Spar, Ira. New Haven’s Civil War Hospital: A History of Knight U.S. General Hospital, 1862–1865. McFarland, 2013. ISBN: 9780786476824. [Preview with Google Books]

9 Why the North Won

Donald, David, ed. Why the North Won the Civil War. Collier, 1960.

  • The best starting point for discussion of the subject.

McPherson, James M. Chapters 8-9 in Drawn With Sword: Reflections on the American Civil War. Publisher, 1996, pp. 113–50. [Preview with Google Books]

Cowley, Robert, ed. With My Face to the Enemy. Highbridge Audio, 2001, pp. 59–102. ISBN: 9781565114616.

10 Why the Confederacy Lost

Wesley, Charles H. The Collapse of the Confederacy. University of Nebraska Press, 2001. ISBN: 9780803221703.

Kerby, Robert. “Why the Confederacy Lost.” In The American Civil War. Edited by Ethan S. Rafuse. Ashgate Publication Company, 2005, pp. 505–24. ISBN: 9780754625148.

Black, Thomas C. Chapter 22 in The Railroads of the Confederacy. The University of North Carolina Press, 1998. ISBN: 9780807847299. (see above).

Wiley, Bell I. The Road to Appomattox. Macmillan Publishing Company, 1983.

Grimsley, Mark, and Brooks D. Simpson, eds. The Collapse of the Confederacy. University of Nebraska Press, 2001. ISBN: 9780803221703.

Beringer, Richard E., et al. Why the South Lost the Civil War. University of Georgia Press, 1986. ISBN: 9780820308159.

Boritt, Gabor, ed. Why the Confederacy Lost. Oxford University Press, 1992. [Preview with Google Books]

Davis, William C. The Cause Lost: Myths and Realities of the Confederacy. University Press of Kansas, 1996. ISBN: 9780700608096.

Castell, Albert. Chapters 1–2 in Winning and Losing in the Civil War: Essays and Stories. University of South Carolina Press, 2010, pp. 1–32. ISBN: 9781570039171.

———. Articles of War: Winners, Losers, (and Some Who Were Both) During the Civil War. Stackpole Books, 2001, pp. 233–38. ISBN: 9780811700054.

Gallagher, Gary. The Confederate War. Harvard University Press, 1997, pp. 3–13, 153, and 157–72. ISBN: 9780674160552.

Ransom, Roger. Chapter 2 in The Confederate States of America: What Might Have Been. W. W. Norton & Company, 2005. ISBN: 9780393059670.

Rafuse, Ethan S. Robert E. Lee and the Fall of the Confederacy, 1863–1865. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2008. ISBN: 9780742551251. [Preview with Google Books]

Glatthaar, Joseph T. General Lee’s Army: From Victory to Collapse. Free Press, 2008. ISBN: 9780684827872. [Preview with Google Books]

Gallagher, Gary. The Confederate War. Harvard University Press, 1997. ISBN: 9780674160552.

11 Outcomes and Implications

Political Reconstruction of the South

Maier, et al. Alex Keyssar’s chapter on “Reconstruction.” Chapter 19 in Inventing America: A History of the United States. 2nd ed. W. W. Norton & Company, 2006. ISBN: 9780393168167.

Foner, Eric. Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863–1877. Harper Collins, 1988. ISBN: 9780060158514.

Richardson, Heather Cox. The Death of Reconstruction: Race, Labor, and Politics in the Post-Civil War North, 1865–1901. Harvard University Press, 2001. ISBN: 9780674006379.

Morrill Land Grant Act

Nevins, Allan. The State Universities and Democracy. University of Illinois Press, 1962.

Wade, Kathryn L. A. “The Intent and Fulfillment of the Morrill Act of 1862.” (PDF) M. A. Thesis, Auburn University, 2005.

Becker, Carl. Cornell University: Founders and the Founding. Fall Creek Books, 2010. ISBN: 9780801476150. [Preview with Google Books]

Buy at MIT Press Smith, Merritt Roe. “‘God Speed the Institute’: The Foundational Years, 1861–1894.” In Becoming MIT: Moments of Decision. Edited by David Kaiser. MIT Press, 2010, pp. 15–36. ISBN: 9780262113236. [Preview with Google Books]

Curry, Leonard P. Blueprint for Modern America; Non-Military Legislation of the First Civil War Congress. Vanderbilt University Press, 1968. ISBN: 9780826511171.

Richardson, Heather Cox. The Greatest Nation of the Earth: Republican Economic Policies during the Civil War. Harvard University Press, 1997. ISBN: 9780674362130.

Pacific Railroad Act, 1862

Bain, David H. Empire Express: Building the First Transcontinental Railroad. Diane Publishing Company, 1999. ISBN: 9780756764494.

White, Richard. Railroaded: The Transcontinentals and the Making of Modern America. W. W. Norton & Company, 2011. ISBN: 9780393061260.

Klein, Maury. Union Pacific: The Birth of a Railroad, 1862–1893. Doubleday, 1987.

Ambrose, Stephen E. Nothing Like It in the World: The Men Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad, 1863–1869. Touchstone Books, 2000. [Preview with Google Books]

International Arms Trade

Bradley, Joseph. Guns for the Tsar: American Technology and the Small Arms Industry in Nineteenth-Century Russia. Northern Illinois University Press, 1990. ISBN: 9780875801544.

Marcot, Roy. Chapters 2–5 in Remington: America’s Oldest Gunmaker. Primedia, 1998. ISBN: 9781881657002.

Wengenroth, Ulrich. “Industry and Warfare in Prussia.” In 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, pp. 249–62. ISBN: 9780521560719.

Rise of the Machine Tool Industry

Roe, Joseph W. English and American Tool Builders. Yale University Press, 1916.

  • The classic study.

Hounshell, David A. From the American System to Mass Production, 1800–1932: The Development of Manufacturing Technology in the United States. The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1984. ISBN: 9780801829758. For a synopsis of Hounshell’s argument, see his “Mass Production in American History, 1800–1932.” Polhem 1 (1984): 1–28.

Meyer, David R. Networked Machinists: High-Technology Industries in Antebellum America. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006. ISBN: 9780801884719. [Preview with Google Books]

Thomson, Ross. Structures of Change in the Mechanical Age: Technological Innovation in the United States, 1790–1865. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009. ISBN: 9780801891410. [Preview with Google Books]

The Rise of Modern Management (Controlling the Shop Floor)

Chandler, Jr., Alfred D. The Visible Hand: The Managerial Revolution in American Business. Harvard University Press, 1997.

For an excellent synopsis of the V. H., see
Chandler. “The United States: Evolution of Enterprise.” Chapter 2 in The Cambridge Economic History of Europe: Volume VII. The Industrial Economies Capital, Labour, and Enterprise, Part 2. Edited by Peter Mathias and M. M. Postan. Cambridge University Press, 1978, pp. 70–133. ISBN: 9780521215916.

For a critique of Chandler, see
White, Richard. Railroaded: The Transcontinentals and the Making of Modern America. W. W. Norton & Company, 2011, pp. xxix–xxxi, 231–32, 244, and 509. ISBN: 9780393061260.

Wiebe, Robert. The Search for Order, 1877–1920. Greenwood Publishing Group, 1967. ISBN: 9780313226472.

Porter, Glenn. The Rise of Big Business, 1860–1920. 2nd ed. Harlan Davidson, 1992. ISBN: 9780882958828.

Noble, David F. America by Design: Science, Technology and the Rise of Corporate Capitalism. Knopf, 1977. ISBN: 9780394499833.

Nelson, Daniel. Managers and Workers: Origins of the New Factory System in the United States, 1880–1920. University of Wisconsin Press, 1975. ISBN: 9780299069001.

Trachtenberg, Alan. Chapter 4 in Incorporation of America: Culture and Society, 1865–1893. Hill & Wang Publishing, 1982, pp. 79–107. ISBN: 9780809058273.

Licht, Walter. Industrializing America: The Nineteenth Century. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995. ISBN: 9780801850141.

Wrege, Charles D., and Ronald Greenwood. Frederick W. Taylor: The Father of Scientific Management: Myth and Reality. Business One Irwin, 1991. ISBN: 9781556235016.

Buy at MIT Press Kanigel, Robert. The One Best Way: Frederick Winslow Taylor and the Enigma of Efficiency. MIT Press, 2005. ISBN: 978026261206.

Aitken, Hugh G. J. Taylorism at Watertown Arsenal: Scientific Management in Action, 1908–1915. Harvard University Press, 1960.

  • Arguably the best work on scientific management.

Labor Relations (The Response to Industrialism)

Montgomery, David. Beyond Equality: Labor and the Radical Republicans, 1862–1872. University of Illinois Press, 1981. ISBN: 9780252008696.

Johnson, Russell L. Warriors into Workers: The Civil War and the Formation of Urban-Industrial Society in a Northern City. Fordham University Press, 2003. ISBN: 9780823222698. [Preview with Google Books]

Gutman, Herbert. Work, Culture and Society in Industrializing America. Vintage, 1977. ISBN: 9780394722511.

Palladino, Grace. Another Civil War: Labor, Capital, and the State in the Anthracite Regions of Pennsylvania, 1840–1868. Fordham University Press, 2006. ISBN: 9780823225910. [Preview with Google Books]

Wallace, Anthony F. C. Chapter 6 in St. Clair: A Nineteenth Century Coal Town’s Experience with a Disaster-prone Industry. Knopf, 1987. ISBN: 9780394528670.

Bruce, Robert. 1877: The Year of Violence. Bobbs-merrill Company, Incorporations, 1959.

Foner, Philip. The Great Labor Uprising of 1877. Pathfinder Press, 1977. ISBN: 9780873488280.

Bellesiles, Michael. 1877: America’s Year of Living Violently. New Press, 2012.

Stowell, David O. Streets, Railroads, and the Great Strike of 1877. University of Chicago Press, 1999. ISBN: 9780226776699. [Preview with Google Books]

Avrich, Paul. The Haymarket Tragedy. Princeton University Press, 1984. ISBN: 9780691047119. [Preview with Google Books]

Green, James. Death in the Haymarket: A Story of Chicago, the First Labor Movement, and the Bombing That Divided Gilded Age America. Pantheon, 2006. ISBN: 9780375422379.

Krause, Paul. The Battle for Homestead, 1880–1892: Politics, Culture, and Steel. University of Pittsburgh Press, 1992. ISBN: 9780822954668. [Preview with Google Books]

Buder, Stanley. Pullman: An Experiment in Industrial Order and Community Planning, 1880–1930. Oxford University Press, 1967.

Hayes, Samuel. The Response to Industrialism 1885–1914. University of Chicago Press, 1995. ISBN: 9780226321646.

Legacies of the Civil War

Cochran, Thomas C. “Did the Civil War Retard Industrialization?” In Views of American Economic Growth. Vol. 1. Edited by Thomas C. Cochran and Thomas B. Brewer. McGraw-Hill, 1966, pp. 252–61. ASIN: B000YIX6KO.

Warren, Robert Penn. The Legacy of the Civil War. Meditations on the Civil War. Random House, 1961. [Preview with Google Books]

Luvaas, Jay. The Military Legacy of the Civil War: The European Inheritance. University Press of Kansas, 1988, pp. ix–xxx, 1–13, and 203–33. ISBN: 9780700603794.

O’Brien, Patrick. Chapters 1 and 6–7 in The Economic Effects of the American Civil War. Humanities Press, 1988. ISBN: 9780391035614.

Bruchey, Stuart. Chapter 9 in Enterprise: The Dynamic Economy of a Free People. Harvard University Press, 1990, pp. 254–80. ISBN: 9780674257467. [Preview with Google Books]

Schivelbusch, Wolfgang. The Culture of Defeat: On National Trauma, Mourning and Recovery. Granta Books, 2003, pp. 1–101.

Gallagher, Gary, and Alan T. Nolan. The Myth of the Lost Cause and Civil War History. Indiana University Press, 2000. ISBN: 9780253338228. [Preview with Google Books]

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2015