We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
 >   > 
1861: The Civil War Awakening Audiobook

1861: The Civil War Awakening

Regular Price:$29.95
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

As the United States marks the 150th anniversary of our defining national drama, 1861 presents a gripping and original account of how the Civil War began.

1861 is an epic of courage and heroism beyond the battlefields. Early in that fateful year, a second American revolution unfolded, inspiring a new generation to reject their parents' faith in compromise and appeasement, to do the unthinkable in the name of an ideal. It set Abraham Lincoln on the path to greatness and millions of slaves on the road to freedom.

The book introduces us to a heretofore little-known cast of Civil War heroes - among them an acrobatic militia colonel, an explorer's wife, an idealistic band of German immigrants, a regiment of New York City firemen, a community of Virginia slaves, and a young college professor who would one day become president. Adam Goodheart takes us from the corridors of the White House to the slums of Manhattan, from the mouth of the Chesapeake to the deserts of Nevada, from Boston Common to Alcatraz Island, vividly evoking the Union at this moment of ultimate crisis and decision.

©2011 Adam Goodheart (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Audie Award Winner, History, 2012

“With boundless verve, Adam Goodheart has sketched an uncommonly rich tableau of America on the cusp of the Civil War. The research is impeccable, the cast of little-known characters we are introduced to is thoroughly fascinating, the book is utterly thought-provoking, and the story is luminescent. What a triumph.” (Jay Winik, author of New York Times best-sellers April 1865 and The Great Upheaval)

"Engrossing .... Tension is palpable on every page .... Goodheart's book is an impressive accomplishment, a delightful read, and a valuable contribution that will entertain and challenge." (Harvard Magazine)

"Exhilarating ... inspiring ... irresistible ... 1861 creates the uncanny illusion that the reader has stepped into a time machine." (New York Times Book Review, cover review)

"In his marvelous book... Goodheart brings us into 19th-century America, as ambiguous, ambitious and fractured as the times we live in now, and he brings to pulsing life the hearts and minds of its American citizens." (Huffington Post)

“Jonathan Davis's narration sets the scene with hints of foreboding, creating a feeling of tension about the impending war. He draws listeners into stories of people like recaptured slave Lucy Bagby and future president James Garfield….Goodheart's meticulous research and lively writing will appeal to any history buff.” (AudioFile)

"Beautifully written and thoroughly original--quite unlike any other Civil War book out there." (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (772 )
5 star
 (302)
4 star
 (258)
3 star
 (146)
2 star
 (41)
1 star
 (25)
Overall
4.1 (586 )
5 star
 (249)
4 star
 (183)
3 star
 (112)
2 star
 (27)
1 star
 (15)
Story
4.2 (582 )
5 star
 (259)
4 star
 (205)
3 star
 (92)
2 star
 (15)
1 star
 (11)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Amazon Customer 10-27-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An excellent book"

    This is an excellent book and as such I can highly recommend it as I learned a great deal from it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Douglas. 07-03-15
    Douglas. 07-03-15 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A great story"

    incredible story. Well told. from both sides. It gave great insight about what occurred beyond the usual facts

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer BRONX, NY, United States 04-21-15
    Amazon Customer BRONX, NY, United States 04-21-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Learn Something New Everyday"

    I strive to learn something new every day of my life. This audio book allowed me to learn more about the Civil War.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wendy Y Osenton 03-26-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting though lengthy read"

    Contains much historical information that I had not previously heard. It describes in depth many historical, social, economic and personal factors influencing the reasons for and early progress of the civil war.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sam Motes Tampa 01-13-14
    Sam Motes Tampa 01-13-14 Listener Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    231
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    381
    226
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    23
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Societal look at the coming Civil War"

    Goodheart gives great insight into the events leading up to the Civil War. One would think this has been well covered by other books, but Goodheart tells the events from the perspective of everyday citizens and the thoughts and fears of the time. The Wide Awake movement was very interesting. This is a very good addendum to anyone who likes to read about the Civil War and wants to dig beneath the stories of Lincoln, Lee, Sherman and the other leaders trust into the center stage of history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Josie 09-03-12
    Josie 09-03-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    59
    15
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wow did I learn a lot"

    Sometimes it felt like "Groundhog Day" the movie -- going back over and over the same time. Fascinating to get such a complete national view of the run up to the war. Great accessible history. I would recommend it highly for anyone who simply wants to learn more about America. Staunch defenders of the South -- watch out -- the author does not allow revisionist history pretending that it wasn't about slavery. Staunch Northerners watch out too...not everyone in the North was a far-sighted abolitionist. A great read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark 06-16-12
    Mark 06-16-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    154
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "1861 - North of the Mason Dixon..."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    A good book if you are interested in the B characters in the pro-Union camp. The author writes very little about southerners and very little about happenings in the south. Bull Run gets about a page and a half but Elmer Ellsworth gets page after page. If you are looking for the vast scope of happenings in 1861 I would suggest you look elsewhere.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    I was glad the book was over. It was interesting but narrow in scope.


    Which character – as performed by Jonathan Davis – was your favorite?

    not applicable


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    no


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim United States 03-25-12
    Tim United States 03-25-12 Member Since 2011

    Do you read the book before you dislike my reviews?

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1106
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    493
    489
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    115
    12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Behind the Glass Window"

    You really have to be a history major, which I am not, to enjoy this book because there is too much inside baseball, where you get overwhelmed with information behind the glass window.

    At first, I wasn't too sure in what I was getting into because it start off with personal commentary from the author, which I don't like, but if you get through the first 30 minutes, the book goes in depth on why we had a Civil War,, like slavery, religion, political events and etc.

    This is not your ordinary book on war, but very detail facts on what happen to lead us to the Civil War.

    Toward the end, the book became harder to process because it just goes on and on without an end.

    This title should had been broken up in different volumes in a series because it just got too overwhelming to remain focus on the subject.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike From Mesa 11-30-11 Member Since 2015

    MikeFromMesa

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1725
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    247
    170
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    337
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Plodding, but mildly interesting"

    The author's premise seems to be that the events of 1860 and early 1861, especially the firing on Fort Sumpter, changed the northern US population from an attitude of "co-existence" with slavery to a war fever and follows that conversion through the stories of assorted individuals. While some are well known to history (for example Major Robert Anderson and James Garfield) most are unknown or little known today.

    While I personally find the premise unconvincing (slavery had already radicalized much of the North by the time of the Dredd Scott decision) the stories of the individuals are themselves interesting. I have to admit that although I have read a lot about the lead-up to the Civil War and the war itself much of this information was new to me.

    I have only given this book 4 stars (I would have given it 3 1/2 if I could) because I do not feel that the stories, although interesting, contributed to my knowledge of this period. There is one exception and that is the stories of the "contraband" in Virginia. I knew nothing of this event and it does much to explain the attitude of the southern slaves.

    The narration is adequate but uninspired. I have heard much worse, but also much better.

    4 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teeps Mobile, AL 06-15-12
    Teeps Mobile, AL 06-15-12 Member Since 2013

    teeps

    HELPFUL VOTES
    65
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    91
    18
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wow, is this boring."
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    No. I gave up about half way through, so don't take this review as representing the latter half. As it is, the writing is extremely dry and boring... and fantastically skewed in its interpretations.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Adam Goodheart again?

    Has he written anything else?


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes, both were dry and boring.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    No.


    2 of 5 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.