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1861: The Civil War Awakening | [Adam Goodheart]

1861: The Civil War Awakening

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.
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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

3.9 (617 )
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4.1 (451 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jim Boston, MA, United States 07-20-12
    Jim Boston, MA, United States 07-20-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    119
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    "A well balanced look"

    This is a really well balanced look at the complex forces that shaped the years leading into the Civil War. For me, the most interesting part is the rather ambivalent anti-slavery position of many in the north.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    GD South Africa 06-02-12
    GD South Africa 06-02-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Too much detail dilutes the story"

    It is easy to get lost in the detail that the author gives as he looks at how the American Civil War started. This is not a good 'first read' for readers who want to gain a broad understanding of the American Civil War.
    If you are a serious Civil War aficionado and have already read widely on this subject then you will probably enjoy this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeffrey Petaluma, CA, United States 05-17-12
    Jeffrey Petaluma, CA, United States 05-17-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Stuff before the War"
    If you could sum up 1861: The Civil War Awakening in three words, what would they be?

    It is about the beginning of the Civil War.


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

    Fort Sumter


    Any additional comments?

    A great magnifying glass on the months before the war.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Baldwin Atlanta, GA 09-15-11
    Chris Baldwin Atlanta, GA 09-15-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "This bored the tar out of me...."
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I generally enjoy books such as these but had to stop listening 1/4 of the way through. It was just dry... informative, but dry.


    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Les Stephens 07-22-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not great"

    Filled with trite generalizations and read in a breathless tone, this audio book was not worth finishing.

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teeps Mobile, AL 06-15-12
    Teeps Mobile, AL 06-15-12 Member Since 2005

    teeps

    HELPFUL VOTES
    56
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    84
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    "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.


    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Suzanne Harvie Humacao, PR 04-27-11
    Suzanne Harvie Humacao, PR 04-27-11 Member Since 2003

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
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    "OK...... not great...."

    This book does give (lots) of background info to the start of the war....... But the narrator needs a lesson on pronunciation...... Some of the words made me cringe..

    5 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doug Hamden, CT, United States 04-17-11
    Doug Hamden, CT, United States 04-17-11 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "snore"

    I couldn't listen to this book. For some reason I found if to be one of the most boring books I have ever downloaded. I found myself fast forwarding time and time again waiting for something interesting to listen to, finally I just stopped. I have 415 books in my Audible library, and this is only the second book I have not finished.

    10 of 30 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teresa Adair 06-04-12 Member Since 2008

    An avid listener! My taste runs from Non-Fiction to Sci-Fi and everything in between. Only novel I could not get through . . . 50 SHADES. Terrible! Falling from the reading train due to a busy life made for a boring person and finding Audible in 2008 gave back so much life.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "OHIO IS AN AMAZING STATE"
    What did you love best about 1861: The Civil War Awakening?

    The reason it was writtten and its authors ability to give me information that made me think!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Ohio. I had no idea this state produced so many Presidents.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mahal La Quinta, CA USA 05-20-12
    Mahal La Quinta, CA USA 05-20-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Another bitter Southerner"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Try not to let the authorers personal preferance show thru so much.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Adam Goodheart again?

    Maybe, but probably not.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    no the book itself was not all that great.


    Did 1861: The Civil War Awakening inspire you to do anything?

    Yes, try to find an author in favor of the north wining.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is another up set southerner and is trying to paint the north in a very bad light.

    0 of 6 people found this review helpful
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