As part of the all-virtual 2021 Virginia Festival of the Book, historians Adrian Brettle (Colossal Ambitions: Confederate Planning for a Post-Civil War World) and Ann Tucker (Newest Born of Nations: European Nationalist Movements and the Making of the Confederacy) shared their deep research into contemporary resources—letters and diaries, domestic and international newspapers, government documents and more—to gain a Confederate nation world view. Their histories trace the earliest stirrings of southern nationalism, the arguments made to define and legitimize the Confederacy, and a vision of future world leadership that failed to resonate outside of the South. This event was hosted by the Nau Center for Civil War History. Moderated by Will Kurtz.
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“Colossal Ambitions is a polished, well-researched, and well-written book. The level of detail about how Confederates imagined economic development, international relations, cotton production, and slavery is impressive. Brettle has provided a significant work that will help readers grasp what is at stake in understanding the imagination of Confederate thinkers and planners.” —John Majewski, University of California, Santa Barbara, author of Modernizing a Slave Economy: The Economic Vision of the Confederate Nation
“Ann Tucker’s work offers the most complete and thorough analysis to date of the global dimensions of southern nationalist thought. Most importantly, she carefully demonstrates how white southerners crafted both liberal and conservative understandings of their own nationhood, demonstrating that the creation of Confederate nationalism was a much longer, more dynamic, and more vigorously contested process than previously thought.” —Andre M. Fleche, Castleton State College, author of The Revolution of 1861: The American Civil War in the Age of Nationalist Conflict
The Nau Center for Civil War History at UVA