©2003 James McPherson; (P)2003 Books On Tape, Inc.
"This book is a very good thing in a remarkably small package." (Publishers Weekly)
"The book is concise, sprightly, and full of personality...When readers have finished this book, the only way they can know Gettysburg better is by going there." (School Library Journal)
"McPherson so articulately injects reminders of what the Civil War was about as to display the crystalline style that has made him one of our finest Civil War historians." (Booklist)
Had I never been to Gettysburg I don't think this book would have kept my interest. You need a visual image to relate to as the author takes you around the battlefield so I would recommend this to those who have at least a general knowledge of the battle or have visited the battlefield. The author does a nice job disposing of some myths and discussing some of the controversies in a consice manner so that in a relatively short listen he is able to be fairly comprehensive.
If you are looking for a book to introduce you to Gettysberg, this is a good one. It balances anecdotes, 'myths', and background data with a solid day by day recitation of critical events. It doesn't get bogged down in unit designations, commander's names, and other 'enthusiast' minutiae.
There are plenty of other books that go into the rich detail which many of us love. But before you dive in to that level, you have to know the basic geography and chronology of what happened. So again, this book or Jeff Shaara's Civil War Battlefields' (either the Gettysburg excerpt or the entire book) are a find place to start.
Even if you have never been to Gettysburg, and do not plan to visit there anytime soon, this is an audiobook that is definitely worth the listening time. You can almost picture what it must've looked like and been like back then. This book is full of both history and practical comments, like what is different about the area now and what existed back then. Excellent naration as well.
If you are planning to visit the Gettysburg Battlefield, this is the book that you need to have with you! Listen to it before your visit and then have it ready as you make your way through the tour.
I started to listen to this before my most recent (2nd) visit, but b/c I didn't have a map and couldn't remember the layout, I quit in frustration. Having spent three days out there, hiking, biking and driving, I'm now greatly enjoying this download. The BOOK would be useful regardless, since you could refer to the map, but unless you have a good sense of the area, the DOWNLOAD could be very frustrating. The reader/author was perfect.
And Buffalo George
Excellent work by a noted professor of American History. This short, 2 hour listen is descriptive of the Civil War battle field at Gettysburg. Not only does McPherson provide the basics of the battle but also some unknown factoids and vignettes not previously known. For example, Daniel Sickles lost a leg and it's still in Philadelphia; he was also largely responsible for the battle field as we see it today. The book should be accompanied by a visit to Gettysburg because it references information on the ground today versus what one would have seen in 1863. It is constructed like an Army "staff ride," designed to teach others about past military history in preparation for the future.
Retired Community Banker. I'm an avid history geek as well as action, mystery and sci fi listener.
I thought it laid out an excellent path for personal discovery.
This was a guide of the battlefield and had many characters.
All played a big role
Buford's decisions on the first day.
This is a must read/listen guide before touring the Gettysburg battlefield.
I enjoyed this book very much - especially the correction of numerous battlefield "errors" over the years. Having been to gettysburg more than once I could easily picture where the author was talking about - but I think it would be a great listen for someone going the first time
Best guide around Gettysburg that I've ever had. Having walk that hallowed ground is one thing but to walk it with one if its most knowledgable scholars was a great treat. If you're serious about your visit to Gettysburg, this book is a must. Great insight and filled with interesting human interest stories. I hated to see it end.
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.