Letter to Editor
Thanks for you excellent review of David Goldfield’s argument that the Civil War was unnecessary and pointing out that every other nation that ended slavery did it without a civil war. Goldfield is right that we must get our view of past wars right if we are to avoid future ones.
One way in which our views must change is away from the worldview that allowed you to print this sentence: “The Civil War is still the most costly war we’ve ever waged in terms of loss of human life.” Native Americans are humans. Russians are humans. Koreans are humans. Vietnamese are humans. Iraqis are humans. The US Civil War is nowhere near the most costly war we’ve ever waged in terms of loss of human life.