Marc Egnal Clash of Extremes:  The Economic Origins of the Civil War  
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This page provides links to blogs and other occasional essays about Clash of Extremes. Please let me know about any online discussions I might have missed.
The Page 99 Test, Jan. 16, 2009. Marshal Zeringue asks authors to comment about their page 99. I responded in part: "Readers will find that Clash of Extremes is more than a new argument about the causes of the war. It's also a story built around the perceptions and actions of many individuals." Click here to read my comments.
Civil War Memory, Feb. 9, 2009. "I recently finished reading Marc Egnal's fine study of the economic origins of the Civil War . . .The book has helped me to place the focus back on the core pieces of the [Republican] Party's economic philosophy and the way in which their position on slavery reinforced it." By Kevin Levin. Click here to read the full review.
Civil War Books and Authors, Mar. 2, 2009. "Egnal's dispassionate scholarship is a welcome breath of fresh air in an economic discussion all too often characterized by its absence. His accessible study is an award worthy effort that is highly recommended." By Andrew Wagenhoffer. Click here to read the full review.
  Delanceyplace, Mar. 31, 2009. "In today's excerpt--the cause of the American Civil War. In the early days of the country, the slavery issue alone, though contentious, had not been enough to sever the country." By Richard Vague. Click here to read this blog, which excerpts lengthy passages from Clash of Extremes.
  Corporate Counsel, Apr. 1, 2009. "Slavery was such a shameful episode in American history that we're always looking for redemption. We try to portray the Civil War as a moment when the country realized that it had to correct a gross moral injustice. But Egnal shows that morality was only part of the calculus that led to slavery's end. Emancipation happened when it did because it had become expedient." By Brian Zabcik. Click here to read the full review.
  First review, Apr. 6, 2009. James Durney awarded the book 4 stars (out of 5). In part he states: "For those interested in the causes of the war this is an excellent book! It will challenge you with logical arguments bolstered by convincing examples." Click here to read the full review.
  Ummagumma, April 22, 2009. "Egnal's work is significant because it offers a reasoned, factual counterpoint to the revisionist social criticism that masquerades as history in contemporary academia." By Keith. Click here to read the full review.
  History News Network, June 1, 2009. In this essay about the Civil War, I suggest that "Obama's Presidency presents a chance to rethink the causes of this great conflict." Click here to read the full article.
  Second review, Sep. 20, 2009. An anonymous reviewer (identified only as "Liberty and Union") awarded the book 2 stars, and comments, "I was really interested in Mr. Engel's [sic] thesis, and wish I liked the book more." Click here to read the full review.
  Best book on causes of Civil War, 2009. Two Civil War blogs listed Clash of Extremes as the best work published in 2009 on the causes of the conflict. Here are the links to and
  Return of the Moderates, Dec. 23, 2009. This is a lengthy, reflective student blog about a talk I gave at City College of New York. Click here to read the full entry.
  Third review, Jan. 22, 2010. Margot Sheehan awarded the book four stars and called it "a marvelously compact yet detailed treatment of the sectional issues leading up to the American Civil War." Click here to read the full review.
  Rorotoko, Feb. 22, 2010. This is an "interview" about Clash of Extremes. (I was given questions or "prompts" and responded to them.) My son, Ben, painted the portrait which illustrates this essay. Click here to see the full interview.
  Steve Goddard's History Wire, Mar. 11, 2010. Goddard notes, "It is the importance of such non-slavery, economic growth issues that is the subject of Marc Egnal's enlightening new book." Click here to read the full entry.
  Fifth review, Apr. 6, 2010. Robert A. Lynn awarded the book five stars and stated it was "highly recommended to those interested in the causes of the War Between the States." Click here to read the full review.
  Minnesota 912 Blog Pages, May 17, 2010. Glenn Mesaros uses the book as a springboard for a discussion of Henry C. Carey and the rise of an activist state. Click here to read Mesaros's blog.
  History.Com, Oct. 2010. This is an interesting, lengthy exchange about the relative merits of my work and James McPherson's. Click here to read this dialogue., Dec. 28, 2010. Bob Reagan sees my book as supporting the contention that "all wars are fought over money." Click here to read Reagan's blog.
  Karl Rove's Blog. Karl Rove (yes, that Karl Rove, adviser to George W.), Mar. 24, 2011, comments, "This book is well worth it for Civil War buffs and students of American economic history. It's well written and provocative." Click here to read Rove's blog.
  My essay, "The Economic Origins of the Civil War," OAH Magazine of History, April 2011. This illustrated article, featured in the Organization of American Historian's magazine for high school teachers, provides an overview of my argument. Click here to read this essay.
  My essay, "Becoming the Party of Freedom," Disunion Series, New York Times, online, July 31, 2011. This article discusses the transformation of the Republican Party during the first year of the war. Click here to read this essay and the readers' comments that follow.
  Russell McClintock, "Essential Reading on the Coming of the Civil War," The Civil War Monitor, Fall 2011. McClintock selects Clash of Extremes as one of the six works "absolutely critical to any real understanding" of the Civil War. He adds: "If all the leading experts in the field were to compile short lists of the books they would most recommend to readers, these titles would be found somewhere on most of those lists, and a few of them would sit near the top of nearly all." Click here to read the full article.
  My essay, "Neither Slavery nor States' Rights? The Economic Origins of the Civil War," North & South, September 2011. In this lavishly illustrated article, I examine the leading explanations of the Civil War--and suggest an alternative. Click here to read the full article.
  My essay, "The Greenback is Born," Disunion Series, New York Times, online, Feb. 27, 2012. This article discusses the clash between Republican politicians and bankers in the battle to create a national paper currency. Click here to read the essay and the readers' comments that follow.
  Goodreads, Jan. 6, 2013. Greg Sumers notes, "I really appreciate this book because it blended the use of statistics and maps within and supporting the prose." Click here to read the full review.
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