T. J. Jackson Lears

  • Grave Doubts

    The Civil War was by far the bloodiest war in American history. The Union and Confederate armies suffered more than 620,000 fatalities— roughly equivalent to the American dead of the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, and the Korean War put together. Among all combatants, the death rate was six times that of World War II; among Southerners, three times that of Northerners. Noncombatants, too, were swept up in this first modern, total war: An estimated fifty thousand civilians died. The numbers can be fleshed out with images