Free download Ã PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free å Amanda ForemanT marriage and spying are all includedThe involvement of British subjects in the war at various levels sing diaries letters and other documents was very good as was the regular spattering of Punch cartoons and the maps are clear and easy to digest It has left me wanting to read far about some of the people I met in this book most notably William Seward and Lord Lyons At eight hundred pages and counting Foreman s narrative threatens to be a forbidding slog All Things Consoled up a mountain of dispiriting data Mind numbing statistics like Twenty five thousand men were killed wounded or missing on a single day at Antietam loom hazily but large in our collective memory But it isn t In fact Foreman s way with the data is very reader friendlyA World on Fire proceeds mainly through biographical material Family letters personal journals and memoirs are given as much weight as diplomatic correspondences political wrangling and military maneuvers We get to know thesual suspects pivotal diplomatic actors such as William Seward US Secretary of State Lord Lyons Minister of the British legation in Washington and Charles F Adams Minister at the US legation in London at work at home and on holiday Their domestic trials petty personal grievances and the alliances they make or fail to secure over the dinner table flesh out the men behind epoch making decisions Thankfully we also meet people whose lives in official histories are typically buried in statistics the numbers dead wounded or on their feet at the end of the day Among these are British subjects whose personal war stories complement the diplomatic wars being waged in the offices of state as well as the drawing rooms of the rich andor powerful on both sides of the Atlantic Some were colorful career soldiers of fortune for whom the battlefield was their drug of choice Others had volunteered for one side or the other out of often misplaced idealism And there were men like immigrant Edward Sewell formerly of Ipswich who cursed their luck to wake A Gin-Pissing-Raw-Meat-Dual-Carburetor-V8-Son-of-a-Bitch from Los Angeles up one day and find themselves in the army Sewell dozed off riding the train to work in New York then wokep and found myself on board a steam packetI found that I was then in Cracked (Soul Eaters, uniform as a soldier and had been robbed of my money jewels and clothes He d been crimped an illegal Civil War version of impressmentOn the journalism front we follow Frank Vizetelly the most famous war illustrator of the day whose drawings adorn this book and Francis Lawley a debt ridden gambler turned freelance writer Both worked for the Times and both were seduced by the the Confederate elite whom they trailed from battlefield to burned city and back Their reports idealized the Southern cause and strained the truth to the point of misinforming the British public about the South s aims and military achievements And the opinion of the British public mattered a great deal The Southern cotton embargo plunged 15 million Lancastrians into poverty and created a humanitarian crisis in Britain The War between the States was never just that and Forman s focus emphasizes its global reachBoth sides sought legitimacy and aid from Britain and France whose governments maintained a rigorous neutrality even while their economies suffered from trade embargoes Confederate and Federal agents lobbied politicians ran propaganda campaigns and in the case of the Confederates sought to acuire a navy out of Britain s shipyards Ultimately the Confederate agents were mystified by their failure to make allies of Britain snemployed mill workers The Southern elite couldn t seem to get their minds around one simple fact that Confederate General Cleburne acknowledged far too late for remedy England has paid hundreds of millions to emancipate her West India slaves and break p the slave trade Could she now consistently spend her treasure to reinstate slavery in this country Kudos to Amanda Foreman and her editors for maintaining great control over mountain of disparate sources and turning it into a great read Amanda Foreman has written a sweeping narrative full of action on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean The title is exactly what this book is about Britain s often neglected role in the Civil War here Foreman has such a large cast of characters that she helpfully provides a glossary of them at the beginning of the book I consulted this freuently Although I occasionally found someone dropped into the narrative who was not in this glossary and thus I could not really tell what their role or position was She also fills the book with photos drawings made by a British war correspondent named Frank Vizetelly British political cartoons and battle maps All of these help to keep the mammoth narrative flowing Foreman goes back and forth across the ocean spending time in London with American Minister Charles Francis Adams yes of that Adams family Foreign Secretary Lord Russell and the many commissioners that Confederate President Jefferson Davis vainly kept sending over in the hopes that they could help gain recognition for the South On the American side she follows British Minister Lord Lyons Secretary of State William Seward and many of the British volunteers on both sides of the conflict Seward was focused on early but seemed to fall out of the picture somewhat in the later stages of the book Foreman seems to reach a mixed verdict on him criticizing him for his bluster and threats towards England while acknowledging his considerable political talents at home The British legation in Washington DC was one of the least desirable spots that a member of the British Foreign Office could hope to land Lord Lyons made the best of it and helped keep the peace between the two countries no easy feat As ludicrous as it sounds now there were people then who actually wanted to go declare war on Britain while the Civil War was going on The US still had its eyes on taking Canada away from Britain and over many in the North did not appreciate what they thought was a distinctly pro Southern feeling coming out of London I was Surprised At The Amount Of That Pro Southern Sympathy Given at the amount of that pro Southern sympathy Given Britain had already abolished I was surprised at the amount of that pro Southern sympathy Given that Britain had already abolished years before I did not think there would be many people who would naturally gravitate to the Confederacy s side But there were Many people even came and fought for the Confederacy this actually takes p a large part of the book In Britain the prevailing sentiment was that all of America treated blacks poorly I would say this was accurate then and sadly still all too accurate today so the North did not have a monopoly on morals Although you still have to wonder how anyone could openly or even covertly support a cause that was dedicated to preserving slavery Britain also depended on the South for most of its cotton and did not want its supply cut off Nor did many Britons like America in general always wondering when America would make another attempt to wrest Canada away from them Officially the government was neutral Prime Minister Palmerston Russell and many others wanted to steer clear of picking sides But this allowed the South to build and euip warships and other vessels to attempt to run the blockade put Put off thy shoes up by the Federals around Southern ports This became a big bone of contention as the war progressed with the British government often than not sticking their collective heads in the sand like an ostrich so as to claim ignorance Foreman juxtaposes all of this with battle scenes and the recollections of the many Britons who came to fight I noticed that we got much of this on the Confederate side rather than the Union side I am not sureite why that is Was it simply that archival material was available concerning people who had fought for the South than the North Or were their stories interesting to Foreman Or was she interested in focusing on the Southern part of the conflict The Northern part was not ignored I do not wish to imply that But there is a definite imbalance and I am not sure why If you are particularly interested in reading about Abraham Lincoln this is not the book for you He is for the most part on the sidelines of this narrative as is his Cabinet outside of Seward That is not bad nor good just noteworthy in that Lincoln is central to so many Civil War works I was disappointed that Range of Ghosts (Eternal Sky, ueen Victoria was barely mentioned What did she think of the war Did she care who won Did she pressure Palmerston to remain neutral This is not explored It is refreshing to read something about the Civil War that is not focused mainly on the military parts of the war just going from battle to battle Overall this is a very good if lengthy book that reads well and provides a detailed epilogue at the end that allows the reader to find out what happened to many of the vast number of characters that were interwoven throughout the story Grade A This is simply one of the best books ever written on the diplomatic complications between the USA and Great Britain that were caused or exacerbated by the Civil War The smart money at the beginning of the war seemed to be on the Brits supporting the Confederacy not least because the UK s enormous textile industry was dependent on the South for its cotton However it should be pointed out that in spite of support in some sectors it was politically impossible for Palmerston s Liberals to help the rebellion because of the Confederacy s widespreadse of chattel slavery give or take a commerce raider or two So while USAUK relations were occasionally rocky the efforts by statesmen and diplomats in both London and Washington kept those relations on an even keel The role of Lord Lyons Britain s The Brand New Monty Python Papperbok unassuming but hard working minister in America was especially fruitful in this regard It should be said that one of the book s strong points is the author s extensivese of correspondence between the various American and British characters And the cast is vast diplomats journalists soldiers dozens of bored. Exclusively on Britain for guns bullets and ships The Union sought to block any diplomacy between the two and consistently teetered on the brink of war with Britain For four years the complex web of relationships between the countries led to defeats and victories both minute and history making In A World on Fire Amanda Foreman examines the fraught relations from multiple angles while she introduces characters both humble and grand bringing them to vivid life over the course of her sweeping and brilliant narrativeBetween 1861 and 1865 thousands of British citizens volunteered for service on both sides of the Civil War From the first cannon blasts on Fort Sumter to Lee’s surrender at Appomattox they served as officers and infantrymen sailors and nurses blockade runners and spies Through pers. ,
One of the best researched books about the Civil War in recent years The author did mention the pillaging of the Union soldier often then what the Confederates did A readable engaging and fascinating history of Britain s involvement in the American civil war Foreman does a great job describing the widespread sympathy for the Confederacy among the English pper class even though Britain had been a leader in the international movement against the slave trade Wealthy Brits convinced themselves that the Confederacy would end slavery soon after independence and that supporting the South would speed emancipation Foreman makes this flight of self interested fancy almost nderstandableForeman s most important contribution of course is that on diplomatic relations Heavy treatment is given to Lord John Russell British secretary of state for foreign affairs and Lord Lyons the British ambassador to the United States The views and ingenuity of Charles Francis Adams the U S ambassador to the Court of St James and his son and private secretary Henry are vividly portrayed Among those who might be new to readers are such pro Northerners as the Duke of Argyll Lord Privy Seal and William E Forster M P and pro Southerner John Laird M P owner of Laird and Sons shipyard of LiverpoolForeman gives s a great and sweeping history of Britain s complex relations with both the US and Confederate governments While Britain s interests often clashed with those of the US they were just as often in conflict with those of the Confederacy In New Orleans self appointed vigilantes forcibly conscripted British citizens into their army and any northern sympathizers were jailed without trialThe Confederates also tried to blackmail Britain into intervening in the war on their side To do this they imposed a cotton embargo hoping that Britain starved of her cotton most of which came from the southern states would intervene in the war But this did not work because according to the rules of war at the time the Confederacy had to proclaim the Union blockade ineffective if Britain was to recognize them But how could they proclaim the blockade ineffective if no cotton was reaching Europe because of their embargo And the South couldn t admit the existence of the embargo in order to avoid the appearance of blackmailing Britain which was after all what they were doing Even nluckily for the South Britain actually had a surplus of cotton at the time so the Britain didn t really need any Southern cotton plus it was good for the British textile industry As if this isn t hilarious enough the effectiveness of Confederate commerce raiders many of them ironically built privately in Britain in defiance of British neutrality laws in driving the US merchant marine from the seas forced most of the trade to be carried by British ships and not too many Confederates were about to raid them The irony here is delicious Foreman s most egregious error is citing Delaware as Greenhow s burial site when it should be Wilmington NC p685 Certain typos are nderstandable H Adams chief his father becomes a master cook chef on one page but other errors should have been caught with spell check Some maps have missing or inaccurate state borders while the southeast Confederate map omitted towns cited in the text Especially given the level of detail in most parts of the book it is wrong to state Savannah is east of Atlanta Foreman references the45 caliber Colt Single Action Army revolver as being at the 1851 London Exhibition Even though the Colt Single Action Army was produced starting in 1873 4 some 20 years later and is still being manufactured today by Colt She must mean the 1848 Dragoons at44 caliber But that technicality aside Foreman s book proved to be ite an impressive read The book is basically divided into three main topics the direct participation of individual British citizens in the conflict the efforts of both Confederate representatives most of whom were amateurs to secure British support both material and political and the American representatives to deny them that support and finally an examination of the relationship between the US and British Governments which is mostly seen through the lens of relations between Seward and Sumner on the American side and Lyon and Russell on the British side Palmerston is also given heavy treatment and Foreman s portrayal of him is very well done As a realist Palmerston had firm convictions when it came to safeguarding Britain s national interests but he also had strong enmity toward the US as a nation and slavery as an institution The conflict and interplay between Palmerston s views are presented very wellThe slavery The Last of the High Kings (New Policeman, uestion proved to be a stumbling block for both sides in their bid to win the support of the British public The South was fighting to preserve slavery specifically the right to expand slavery into the territories which did not endear them well to the fiercely antislavery British public When dealing with the british the Confederates tried to avoid mention of slavery and emphasized Southern independence and liberty etc but this placed them in a dilemma slavery and Southern independence were each a means as well as an end in a symbiotic relationship with the other each essential for the survival of both Secession was a means of preserving slavery and slavery was a means of preserving the Confederacy The North tried to avoid the issue during the Early Years Of The War Which Also Did Little To of the war also did little to them win British sympathy This last part the formal relations between governments is the strongest part of the book The author reveals how Seward tried early in the war to play both ends against the middle by whippingp popular sentiment against the Brits in a desperate effort to nify the North and South at the same time as he was trying to communicate to the British that he didn t really want to go to war with them Foreman also does a great job of Giving Us A Lot Of Anecdotes From us a lot of anecdotes from who participated some willingly some nwillingly in the Civil War and she does an excellent job of telling the story of the attempts by various Confederate representatives to secure both warships and Things Mother Used to Make ultimately political recognition from Her majesty s government as well as the attempts of the members of the US legation to prevent thisForeman givess a lot of eyewitness accounts by the various Britons that participated in the conflict but the presence of so many Englishmen means that Foreman can too easily slip away from Britain s crucial role to a general history of the war and its every battle However in all this was an excellent read How anyone can rate this book one star without a comment is totally beyond my comprehension I can honestly say that it is one of the best non fiction reads of this year I have the UK edition and hopefully will be next year when it comes out in the US The author ties together national relations between the US and the UK during the Civil War mixes in mini bios of all of the major characters both political and military and discusses many of the major battles She does this effortlessly and despite her huge cast of characters she juggles everything flawlesslyThis book is a true winner in every sense of the word Follow Ghost of a Hanged Man up Just completed the book all 988 pages of it A Herculean effort to get through but well worth the effort superb narrative history and without a doubt one of the best books I ve ever read on the Civil War When I purchased this book over a year ago I sensed that I would bendertaking an Olympian journey because there is much about the history of the American Civil War than meets the eye at first glance The story of Anglo American relations during this period is a very complex and complicated one It abounds in drama with a variety of rich and compelling characters great and small not Fantasy Faerie Erotica Collection - 8 Sexy Gay Stories of Romantic Vampires, Faeries, and Other Magical Lovers unlike that in an epic novel I learned SO SO MUCH from reading A World on Fire I had been largelynaware of the British influence and contribution not always voluntary in both North and South There was also the various pressures both sides placed on Britain which did not always maintain a wholly neutral position Indeed as Dr Foreman asserts neither the North nor the South had seen the contradiction in demanding British aid Both had Mental Math: Tricks To Become A Human Calculator (For Speed Math, Math Tricks, Vedic Math Enthusiasts GMAT, GRE, SAT Students) (Volume 1) unscrupulously stooped to threats and blackmail in their attempts to gain support the Southsing cotton the North Nyx using Canada Both were guilty in their mistreatment of Negroes both had shipped arms from England and both had benefited from British volunteersDr Foreman richly deserves all the plaudits she has received for this book for it is a true tour de force likely to be the definitive source for any readers and historians wanting to betternderstand and analyze the nature and dynamics of the Civil War as it affected Washington Richmond and London I enjoyed the journey and now that it is over I feel somewhat bereft This is a big and weighty book and is a thoroughly interesting approach that focusses on the relationship between Great Britain and the two combatants If you re looking for a book that deals with the battles strategy and tactics in great detail this is not the right volume for you although these are covered to some extent as the narrative progresses with some excellent accounts of predominently British subjects fighting on either side that shows the reach the war had across the Atlantic What the the author does well and I very found interesting is to describe the political strategies and intrigues that were adopted by the two combatants The discussions and disagreements the respective US and CS Governments had and their willingness to influence ignore and provoke Britain and France was fascinating as was the two great powers own reactions and strategies Cotton blockade running ship building slavery newspapers reporting and propaganda financial bonds and cash flow prisons volunteering impressmen. NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER10 BEST BOOKS • THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW • 2011 NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post • The New Yorker • Chicago Tribune • The Economist • Nancy Pearl NPR • Bloombergcom • Library Journal • Publishers WeeklyAcclaimed historian Amanda Foreman follows the phenomenal success of her New York Times bestseller Georgiana Duchess of Devonshire with her long awaited second work of nonfiction the fascinating story of the American Civil War and the major role played by Britain and its citizens in that epic struggleEven before the first rumblings of secession shook the halls of Congress British involvement in the coming schism was inevitable Britain was dependent on the South for cotton and in turn the Confederacy relied almost. Englishmen who relieved their situations by coming to America and volunteering to fight on either side many others were Blanco nocturno unjustly sweptp in the drafts imposed by the Union and Confederate governments politicians from both sides of the pond with their own agendas the list goes on and on I was glad to see that Foreman treated American Sec y of State William Steward with the mixed reviews that he deserves he was certainly not a master of diplomacy and constantly played to the gallery rather than work to soothe the difficult and even dangerous situations the two countries found themselves in over the war and Britain s complicated position of neutrality Certainly a must for any Civil War fan The subject is most interesting emphasizing the role of diplomacy even world diplomacy in deciding what has been looked at as primarily an American military event The way in which the author recaps the major momentum movement of the American Civil War is also helpful But she chooses such a massive subject that she could se some leavening to make her work appetizingMore individual human illustrations would have been helpful in increasing passionate interest in the reader The relationship between British ambassador to the United States Lord Russell and Secretary of State Seward is well documented and she makes the astute observation that Seward imparted political skill to Russell and that Russell imparted diplomatic finesse to Seward In a book of this length of that would have been helpfulMore opportunities taken by the author and historical narrator to back away from the daily at times plodding details and offer insight on human nature would have been intriguing Not that everyone can be Edward Gibbon but these kinds of pause and reflect jewels were what kept me going through his similarly lengthy and plodding workSECOND READING If I still agree with all of the above five years later perhaps I haven t become the discerning patient reader I had hoped Still the work is worth reading and rereading especially to give thoughtful consideration to the influence the culture in which we live like the British expatriates impr This is a very big book about a footnote of the American Civil War That footnote is Great Britain s decision to maintain its neutrality while the Union and Confederacy bled each other white from 1861 1865 Of course I don t mean to diminish the importance of that decision Certainly if Great Britain had entered the Civil War the contours if not necessarily the conclusion of the conflict would have been drastically altered Still this is a decision point that is sually relegated to a sentence or two in most Civil War histories In A World on Fire Amanda Foreman devotes over 800 pages to the topic Following the outbreak of the Civil War both sides North and South figured that Great Britain would support them The North believed it was the legitimate nation state involved and should ve had a diplomatic leg p due to its prior relations The South figured that King Cotton so important to Britain s textile mills would rule the decision Great Britain did recognize the South and turned a blind eye towards the construction of Southern blockade runners and raiders a winking attitude that eventually cost them a hefty settlement Ultimately though despite some tense moments such as the infamous Trent Affair Britain stayed out of the fray The story behind Great Britain s decision specifically its inaction is exhaustively told in Foreman s generous book This volume is overflowing with virtue a large cast of well drawn characters ample space for the story to nfold and a wealth of newspaper clippings period cartoons and other illustrations There is a lengthy dramatis personae at the beginning so you can keep the names straight and there is a glossary at the end And the maps There are global maps and battle maps and even street maps Do I need a street map of 19th century London Not really At least not Simpsons Comics until I finish my time machine right now it s a vacuum cleaner duct taped to a microwave But I m glad it s there In most history books on the market the illustrations and maps are an afterthought At most you get a lazy inset of Library of Congress plates and maybe a map or two that was drawn for another purpose A World on Fire is different The author and the editor and the publishers took their time on this oneThere is so much crammed between these pages it reminds me of one of those Thanksgiving gourds of lore spilling out its bounty That is what this is a history gourd crammed with knowledge And did I mention that there are annotated endnotes Oh yeah Annotated Just in case you wanted another 100 pages of facts and discussion that couldn t be fit into the body of the text Foreman is an extremely capable writer nicely balancing pure narrative with critical analysis She has a good eye for revealing details and colorful personages She also recognizes and letsnspool the many different genre stories within the overall epic of war There are battles to be sure but also romances spy games class conflicts political infighting and diplomatic shenanigans galore The scope is incredible but the dimensions are humanAs Foreman constantly shows the people on this stage are all too human Tragedy and farce sit on the same razor s edge For instance there is Charles Frances Adams head of the US legation in Great Britain taking a break from great britain neutral to engage an Great Britain neutral to engage in an US suabble regarding protocol who stood where in line Anyone who s read about the Civil War before will find some redundancies in Foreman s work That s because she is telling two parallel stories One thread concerns the diplomatic front with Confederate and Union legations struggling for Britain s favor The other thread follows the travails of British subjects in the war itself both observers and participants those who enlisted and those who were dragooned into service It is this second thread that feels a little tired since it is basically a recapitulation of battles that have been written about a hundred thousand times before Still there is a good reason that Foreman includes these stories As she herself points out in the book many of these English observers provide extremely important eyewitness accounts of the war For example British correspondent Frank Vizetelly was the key witness to Jefferson Davis s attempted escape after the fall of the Confederate government Were it not for Vizetelly this period would have been lost to history and the modern reader would not have the pleasure of picturing a cowardly tterly delusional Davis attempting to flee the prison he d made for himself There is very little outcome based drama in history When you pick p a book about the Civil War you know how it s going to end Everyone knows that Great Britain did not intervene If you didn t know thatwell our public schools have failed once again Despite our hindsight Foreman like Shelby Foote before her attempts to interject a lot of process based drama into the proceedings Even though Great Britain doesn t join the Civil War there is a certain thrill to seeing how it all played out in real time Foreman pays close attention to thatStill in my humble opinion it s a bit overblown I don t think there was a chance Great Britain was ever going to war I say this for several reasons First as Foreman herself points out in her handling of the Trent Affair it would ve been devilishly hard for Britain to invade the United States This wasn t 1812 after all The early days of the Republic were over and we no longer depended on ill trained militia and gouty drunken officers for our national defense To the contrary the Union fielded a well euipped army in the tens of thousands with a professional officer class in charge Any troops landed in America would have to cross an ocean and be supplied across that ocean To be sure Britain could ve Discovering Your Heart with the Flag Page used her Navy to open the blockade and threaten American ports But her entry would have risked Canada Undoubtedly Sherman would ve make Saskatchewan howl and today we d talk about his famous march from Regina to the Sea Second most of the support for the South came from gut emotion not logic Many of the pro southern forces in England seemed sweptp in the drama and romance of the breakaway Confederacy You see this in the British observers who traveled to the South and were seduced by the grateful attention lavished Prom Kings and Drama Queens upon them by a Confederacy desperate for aid Here is the thought process of a typical Englishman crossing Rebel lines I am an objective observer from Great Britain I am against slavery but I want to seeOH MY GOD Is that General Lee LOOK at his BEARD It is so white Where are my values again I seem to have misplaced them In General Lee s perfectly manicured beard The thing about passion though is that it burns away while cold logic remains Third Great Britain wasn t going to war for the Confederacy because the Confederacy wasn t ever going to givep her slaves Indeed the South seceded to protect her human chattel Great Britain of course abolished slavery in 1833 There really was no way in hell she was going to back a slave state when the majority of her people were anti slavery Even the most bellicose pro Southern Englishmen recognized this tension Abraham Lincoln was astute enough to realize this as well and it was part of his thinking when he drafted the Emancipation Proclamation Foreman tends to be fairly kind to these Southern leaning Englishmen despite their rank hypocrisy She s also fairly tough on Union politicians especially Secretary of State William Seward Her treatment of Seward s early days in the cabinet make him seem a bit harshly I might add totally Confident Conversation unhinged Really though I have no strong criticisms of A World on Fire It is hugely entertaining well researched and argued and fills a gap left in most previous histories of the American Civil Wa. Onal letters diaries and journals Foreman has woven together their experiences to form a panoramic yet intimate view of the war on the front lines in the prison camps and in the great cities of both the Union and the Confederacy Through the eyes of these brave volunteers we see the details of the struggle for life and the great and powerful forces that threatened to demolish a nationIn the drawing rooms of London and the offices of Washington on muddy fields and aboard packed ships Foreman reveals the decisions made the beliefs held and contested and the personal triumphs and sacrifices thatltimately led to the reunification of America A World on Fire is a complex and groundbreaking work that will surely cement Amanda Foreman’s position as one of the most influential historians of our ti.