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Surveillance and Spies in the Civil War: Exposing Confederate Conspiracies in America’s Heartland by Stephen E. Towne (review)

Surveillance and Spies in the Civil War: Exposing Confederate Conspiracies in America’s... as a clear and enjoyable introduction to a complex topic. Experts in this field will find little that is surprising or new, but Doyle’s work is aimed pri - marily at nonspecialists and educated laypeople. It is well crafted to enter- tain and educate its audience. Writing a book of this sort requires one to paint with broad brush strokes, and sometimes the strokes are a little too broad. Aside from his characterizations of European opinion, which are a bit reductionist, Doyle sometimes overstates the power of public diplomacy. This tendency is most evident when he discusses the influence of Giuseppe Garibaldi’s letter “To the English Nation” and the Emancipation Proclamation on European policy toward America. Surely, these documents shaped European public opinion, but their impact on French and British policy specifically is less evident. As a wide array of contemporary observers understood, there was a great difference between the tenor of public opinion and the character of policy toward America; the former was widely seen as governed by senti- ment and the latter by interest. The British cabinet’s deliberations upon intervention in the fall of 1862 make it clear that for Britain’s leaders hard power remained the chief http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of the Civil War Era University of North Carolina Press

Surveillance and Spies in the Civil War: Exposing Confederate Conspiracies in America’s Heartland by Stephen E. Towne (review)

The Journal of the Civil War Era , Volume 6 (1) – Mar 12, 2016

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright @ The University of North Carolina Press
ISSN
2159-9807

Abstract

as a clear and enjoyable introduction to a complex topic. Experts in this field will find little that is surprising or new, but Doyle’s work is aimed pri - marily at nonspecialists and educated laypeople. It is well crafted to enter- tain and educate its audience. Writing a book of this sort requires one to paint with broad brush strokes, and sometimes the strokes are a little too broad. Aside from his characterizations of European opinion, which are a bit reductionist, Doyle sometimes overstates the power of public diplomacy. This tendency is most evident when he discusses the influence of Giuseppe Garibaldi’s letter “To the English Nation” and the Emancipation Proclamation on European policy toward America. Surely, these documents shaped European public opinion, but their impact on French and British policy specifically is less evident. As a wide array of contemporary observers understood, there was a great difference between the tenor of public opinion and the character of policy toward America; the former was widely seen as governed by senti- ment and the latter by interest. The British cabinet’s deliberations upon intervention in the fall of 1862 make it clear that for Britain’s leaders hard power remained the chief

Journal

The Journal of the Civil War EraUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Mar 12, 2016

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