Book Nook: A World On Fire - Britain's Crucial Role in the American Civil War, by Amanda Foreman

Jul 17, 2012

As we mark the 150th anniversary of the Civil War many new books are being published about it.  In "A World On Fire - Britain's Crucial Role in the American Civil War," Amanda Foreman gives readers a rather different perspective on this monumental conflict. Foreman examines the war through the eyes of the British.

In this interview Foreman discusses a number of topics featured in her book. Some of these facts might surprise you. For instance, did you know that when our Civil War began that the Confederates assumed that Great Britain would be sympathetic to their cause? While there were certainly many there who were southern sympathizers this was a terrible miscalculation on the part of the rebels.

Their timing was not very good. There had been a presumption that Great Britain's cotton mills were so dependent on the supply of Confederate cotton that this would cause the British to give diplomatic recognition to the CSA to protect their business interests and cotton supply.

Fortunately for the Union the record setting cotton crops that had preceded the war had created such a glut of raw cotton in England that when the supply was cut off after the southern ports were embargoed it didn't matter. The British had enough cotton to last them for some time.

This is just one of the fascinating subjects in this massive and compelling readable work of history.