[Marxism] Fwd: Rich Man's War: Class, Caste, and Confederate Defeat in the Lower Chattahoochee Valley: David Williams: 9780820320335: Amazon.com: Books

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Jun 25 16:17:51 MDT 2016

As it turns out, I recommended the wrong book the other day that had 
"Rich Man's War" in the title even though it was germane to the topic of 
refusing to fight for the ruling class. Nelson Blackstock, who knows 
firsthand about the lives of workers in the South, clarified that the 
book he referred me to was about opposition to the Civil War, not WWI 
even though the class dynamics were identical. He was talking about a 
book very much in the spirit of "The Free State of Jones".


In Rich Man's War historian David Williams focuses on the Civil War 
experience of people in the Chattahoochee River Valley of Georgia and 
Alabama to illustrate how the exploitation of enslaved blacks and poor 
whites by a planter oligarchy generated overwhelming class conflict 
across the South, eventually leading to Confederate defeat.
This conflict was so clearly highlighted by the perception that the 
Civil War was "a rich man's war and a poor man's fight" that growing 
numbers of oppressed whites and blacks openly rebelled against 
Confederate authority, undermining the fight for independence. After the 
war, however, the upper classes encouraged enmity between freedpeople 
and poor whites to prevent a class revolution. Trapped by racism and 
poverty, the poor remained in virtual economic slavery, still dominated 
by an almost unchanged planter elite.


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