I picked this book because I have recently been visiting quite a few Civil War battlefields, and was looking for a narrative to help put what I was learning at these sites into a greater picture, and how everything fit together. This definitely accomplished that, but it's 13 HOURS until this book arrives at Fort Sumpter, and then another 2.5 hours until the next battle at Manassas. I found myself forwarding ahead and listening at high speed because I just couldn't take it anymore.
I was never taught in any civics our history class the struggles of the north and south regarding not only slavery but the Civil War. I can hardly wait to finish volume two. Many other books I've read in the past have only described civil war battles, and completely left out the causes and effects of the slavery issue. I think all Americans should read a book like this to get there compasses reset.
Definitely. Great refresher course / overview of the Civil War.
George Thomas. Never gets his due credit.
Sherman's march from Atlanta.
No, prefer to extend the experience.
Mr. Davis, Please, its BOW, the pointy part of a boat not BOH as on a gift. And TRED-e-gar not Tre-DEE-gar iron works. Minor issues likely more the fault of the director than the narrator. A few other pronunciations, pointed out in other reviews, which brought me up short but did not really detract much from the overall fine quality of the narration. Mr. McPherson's book does not pretend to be anything other than the one volume examination of the Civil War that it is. Comparing it to Shelby Foote's three volume history is rather unfair. And Foote himself has stated that his sympathies were with the South. So discussions of balance also seem a bit unjust. For one whose interest in the Civil War is piqued by this book it provides good direction for seeking more information about the major players.
McPherson's prize-winning work is a definitive narrative history of the Civil War with an amazing amount of detail regarding the political nuances and meticulous research behind the battles and the commanders.
I have edited 38 national best sellers and had a writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
I have been reading one Oxford History of the United States volume after another and finding each one fascinating, insightful, and well-written. I was particularly interested in how President Lincoln responded to the ever-mounting tension between North and South. He kept a cool head, trying to avoid war. The Southerners come across as a bunch of unrealistic hotheads. Had the politicians been thinking analytically, they would have known before the first shot was fired that they couldn't win.
This book was about so much more than the war: western expansion, religion, the birth of the women's movement, industrialization, education, finance, culture, transportation . . . McPherson doesn't miss anything. He organizes the material in a way that is simultaneously macro and micro, and all the pieces fit together. He enables readers to grasp what the United States was about during this era.
Now. Let's. Talk. About. The. Narrator. He read so slowly, I kept picturing him nodding off, chin on chest. I set my iPhone to 1.25 speed, and even at that he did not sound rushed.
Book is detailed, but it covers social, historical, political and geopolitical aspects not covered elsewhere.
Provides accurate insights into the differences between the South and the rest of the country which are as cogent today as they were in the 1850's and 60's. We should have let the South secede. It would have saved us a great deal of social and political conflict that continues to hamper us today. It was also refreshing to read and listen to a book without the errors of grammar and syntax that are so common in many books published currently.
Want to understand the underpinnings of the Tea Party and other right wing organizations in the United States? You can't go wrong starting with this book.
If you want to know what led to the Civil War this is the book for you. It's a little dry since it explores the political aspects starting in 1840 and through 1862. Slavery might have been the ultimate cause of the war, but there were a lot of underlying factors that helped divide the nation on slavery. These factors are discussed in depth. It also sets forth the logistical aspects that affected the conduct of the war, and how the North eventually won this war of attrition. This should probably be required reading for any History degree. I think it won a Pulitzer.
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I agree with all the high ratings. This is a very accessible and interesting survey of the Civil War. After reading this, I have added a number of other Civil War related books to my list to listen to as well. For those who enjoyed this and want a modern take, I highly recommend "Confederates in the Attic" by Tony Horowitz.