"THE MOST GIGANTIC STRUGGLE OF THE WORLD'S HISTORY": FIRST EDITION OF POLLARD'S CONTEMPORARY CIVIL WAR HISTORY, THE LOST CAUSE, 1866
(CIVIL WAR) POLLARD, Edward A. The Lost Cause; A New Southern History of the War of the Confederates. New York: E. B. Treat, 1866. Thick octavo, original gilt-stamped green cloth. $1400.
First edition of Pollard's contemporary Civil War account, likely "the first book that set forth the Confederate case against the generalship of Ulysses S. Grant… played a pivotal role in shaping the debate" over Grant and his leadership, with steel-engraved frontispiece portrait of Jefferson Davis and steel-engraved plates of the major Confederate figures, including Robert E. Lee, in original cloth.
Pollard's Lost Cause "is a full-blown, argumentative statement of the Confederate point of view with respect to all aspects of the Civil War" (Gallagher and Nolan, eds, Myth of the Lost Cause, 13). As editor of the Richmond Examiner, Pollard had unique access to "a mass of authentic material which was not accessible to any other Southern writer" (Wright II:495), and "was the ablest and most prolific Southern writer of his day" (ANB). Lost Cause is likely "the first book that set forth the Confederate case against the generalship of Ulysses S. Grant… Pollard's book set forth a powerful and widely circulated analysis of the conflict through Confederate eyes. One of his prime targets was the Union's general-in-chief. Pollard repeatedly and diligently denigrated Grant's military record… [and] played a pivotal role in shaping the debate over the generalship of Ulysses S. Grant" (Gallagher and Nolan, 148-150, 166). With steel-engraved frontispiece of Jefferson Davis and five steel-engraved plates, including full-page portrait of Lee: found in original green cloth (this copy) and original brown cloth, no priority determined. Four pages of publisher's advertisements at rear. Howes P455. Sabin 63873. Nevins II:175.
Interior with light scattered foxing, very faint rubbing to bright gilt cloth. Near-fine condition.