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.
Say something about yourself!
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.
Faced with mindless duty, when an audio book player slips into a rear pocket and mini buds pop into ears, old is made new again.
Ironically, it seems timely to read "Battle Cry of Freedom" because of current events in America. It is difficult to believe anyone in America ever believed one human could be another’s personal property. James McPherson shows, as late as the 19th century, many Americans believed it. In the Declaration of Independence Thomas Jefferson writes, “all men are created equal”. America sought independence and fought a civil war to affirm that belief. One might ask how long it will take Thomas Jefferson’s statement to be a reality. One wonders if discrimination is baked into the character of human beings.
McPherson’s "Battle Cry of Freedom" is the coda of the Civil War. Freedom is the heart-felt desire of every Union and Rebel soldier, every White and Black man, every woman and child. This desire for freedom has not changed in eleven thousand years of man’s enslavement by man. The only change seems to have been in who is classified as slave; i.e. that “other-than-me” unequal human being.
McPherson offers an entertaining and educational history of the Civil War in "Battle Cry of Freedom". There are many insights to the generalship of the war, the political opinions of the time, the personalities of great and infamous leaders, and the many steps taken toward American’ freedom. However, like other strides America has taken for freedom, they seem small steps toward erasing the ugly side of human nature.
(This review is for both Volumes 1 and 2.) This is a stellar work. McPherson starts the story many years before the war, and in fact most of the first volume covers events that precede the Civil War. This book is an even-handed account, but it is also an unsparing one that avoids sentimental attitudes. There is a lot here about the attitudes of the people of the time, which helped me to better understand my own fore-bearers, who lived in different parts of the country. The battles are presented in some detail, but not intricate detail, which was fine with me. I imagine the written book supplied maps, and since there are none in this format, I sometimes pulled maps up from the internet. It was hard to put this one down.
I enjoyed all the different perspectives in this book. Listening to Northern and Southern soldiers both and their observations (sometimes on the same battles).
Not sure if I had a favorite but U.S. Grant was prolific in his writings.
I enjoyed most of the readers and their inflections, there was one reader I didn't really enjoy the voice or cadence of, but overall it was good.
Nothing outstanding to sway me either way in particular. I was moved by the scenes of the surrender at Appomattox though.