SLU professor releases new book on Civil War _lowres

Photo provided - Samuel C. Hyde Jr.

Southeastern Louisiana University history professor Samuel C. Hyde Jr. has released his new book, “The Enigmatic South: Toward Civil War and Its Legacies.”

Published by Louisiana State University Press, the book includes 10 essays by Hyde, who holds the Leon Ford Chair of History.

Chapters were included from Civil War authority and Pulitzer Prize-winner James M. McPherson, the George Henry Davis professor of American history at Princeton University; LSU history professor Gaines M. Foster; and George C. Rable, the Charles G. Summersell chair in Southern history at the University of Alabama, a news release from the university said.

McPherson provides the foreword for the book, while chapters were written by other specialists in Civil War and Deep South history.

“The authors are seeking to highlight some less revealed subjects that contributed to the South’s movement toward secession, the implications of the Civil War and the transformation of the South in its aftermath,” said Hyde, who also is director of the Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies at Southeastern.

Topics covered in the book include the roles of religion and education in fomenting secession sentiment; support for the South in the North during the war; and an article that challenges the old belief that it was a “rich man’s war, but a poor man’s fight,” Hyde said.

The book is intended to honor the retirement of LSU Boyd professor of history William J. Cooper Jr., Civil War historian and author of numerous works on the war and the South, the release said.

“A fitting tribute to William J. Cooper Jr., one of the leading historians of the 19th century South, these chapters exemplify the depth of research, clarity of writing and rigor of analysis that we associate with the honoree,” said John B. Boles, William P. Hobby professor of history at Rice University.

The book includes an afterword by LSU’s Foster and an expression of appreciation to Cooper, the release said. It is available through