The American Civil War has always felt to me to be something that I should know more about. The truth is it has always passed me by. This article from the New York Times shows how remiss this is. Recent statistical work (again note how computers are allowing data analysis to challenge many long held historical “facts”) has revised the death toll up by twenty percent to 750,000 Americans – more than the losses of both World Wars combined.
As Eric Foner states, “it even further elevates the significance of the Civil War and makes a dramatic statement about how the war is a central moment in American history. It helps you understand, particularly in the South with a much smaller population, what a devastating experience this was.”