Review of "Agriculture and the Confederacy: Policy, Productivity, and Power in the Civil War South" by R. Douglas Hurt

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Book Review

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R. Douglas Hurt’s Agriculture and the Confederacy represents part of an emerging field of environmental histories of the American Civil War. In keeping with the various calls for scholarship from Brian Drake’s edited volume, The Blue, the Gray, and the Green, (2015), Hurt joins the chorus of historians who have opted to tackle the environmental history of this crucial period. What sets the author of this work apart, however, is his focus on an environmental history of the war with a decided fusion with the history of capitalism. Despite the rise of the “new” history of capitalism in the wake of 2008 recession, few scholars have waded into the American Civil War. Hurt’s attempt here, then, is a concerted attempt to bring these two worlds closer together—and one that he does quite masterfully.



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