In his highly readable, sometimes humorous account, which mirrors T. Harry Williams's classic treatment of Lincoln and His Generals (1952), Woodworth discovers a Jefferson Davis who is not as inflexible and indifferent to political needs as his contemporaries and later scholars have insisted, but one whose pride, misplaced loyalty to friends, and, in 1862-64, bad management undercut Confederate command in the West. Woodworth takes a fresh look at the canards and myths surrounding the man. His major new, and most controversial, finding is that Davis lacked self-confidence. A more assured Davis might have won the West and, with it, the war. The argument will fuel debates on the Civil War for some time. Highly recommended. History Book Club main selection.-- Randall Miller, St. Joseph's Univ., Philadelphia
"A long-awaited work on an important topic--a counterpart for T.
Harry Williams's celebrated Lincoln and His Generals.
Woodworth's conclusions are exciting. He writes in a good, clear
style that should appeal to a wide audience. I found many passages
to be pure pleasure to read."--Herman Hattaway, author of
How the North Won: A Military History of the Civil War"Highly
readable, stimulating, and at times provocative. This fast-paced
and compelling narrative provides a very effective overview of
Confederate command problems in the West."--Albert Castel,
author of General Sterling Price and the Civil War in the West
"Brings alive the whole landscape of the Confederate war in the west in a clear and persuasive fashion. Exceptionally well written."--Journal of Military History"A solidly researched, thoughtful and interesting book. The story of Davis is skillfully and interwoven with the account of his Western generals and the relationships they shared--relationships that determined, to a large degree, the Confederacy's fate."--Blue & Gray"Civil War historians, buffs and armchair strategists will find Jefferson Davis and His Generals informative, incisive and sometimes provocative."--America's Civil War"Woodworth cuts to the heart of the issues and contributes significantly to an understanding of why the South lost the Civil War."--Register of the Kentucky Historical Society"A clear, readable, and authoritative overview of the often stranger-than-fiction interactions between Confederate President Jefferson Davis, and his western generals. The personalities of Davis and his high ranking subordinates--and Woodworth's research and writing style--make the work interesting, insightful, and entertaining. Along the way, the reader is treated to fine analyses of campaigns."--Kansas City Star"A highly readable, sometimes humorous account that mirrors T. Harry Williams's classic treatment of Lincoln and His Generals. Woodworth's major new, and most controversial, finding is that Davis lacked self-confidence. A more assured Davis might have won the West and, with it, the war. The argument will fuel debates on the Civil War for some time. Highly recommended."--Library Journal"This well-written study of military and political leadership in the Confederacy provides a valuable reference for both the general reader and the military professional."--Infantry