The final work in this series begins in December of 1862. Four months before, the Union Army tasted long-awaited victory at the bloody battle of Antietam. Grant continued on towards Vicksburg, Mississippi. The grim battles that lay ahead would be costly: the Vicksburg campaign, Chattanooga, the Battle of the Wilderness, the Battle of Atlanta and the March to the Sea, the siege of Petersburg. There would be two and a half more years of war before Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, followed by Lincoln’s death just six days later.
©1965 Bruce Catton (P)1990 Recorded Books, LLC
This is the third volume of the Centennial History of the Civil War written in the 1960's. There is nothing old fashioned or out of date about the information or the perspective of the writer. Catton's books remain an excellent survey history of the period. I would say Catton's books are as good as Shelby Foote's only shorter. He includes the political and social history so the book is not just about the battles. Bruce Catton was an excellent writer who painted pictures with words. His writing is not just good history it is good literature. His extensive knowledge of the topic went with his talent for pointing out the relevant facts and showing how they affected the different events covered in the book. The author's little word sketches describing particular events and people are so good they are often quoted in other books on this topic. The narration is just as good as the writing. I will definitely look for more of the narrator's books. Even if you are not a fan of history this is an entertaining and interesting book.
It is no criticism of Catton???s excellent three volume history to say it is a lesser work than Shelby Foote???s Civil War: A Narrative. Foote???s work is on a much grander scale. It is, moreover, great literature. There are no other American histories that really compare. Think Gibbon. No one reads nonfiction better than Nelson Runger. I look forward to the other two volumes.
Nelson Runger is my favorite reader, and I have been waiting so long for Audible to get this series. I wonder why they received permission to publish the third volume in the series but I hope soon they will get the other two: The Coming Fury and Terrible Swift Sword.
The series begins with the final days of Buchanan's administration and events leading up to the war, and the weeks after Lincoln's assassination. No one book can cover every political event and battle but this gives the reader a good sense of the history of that era. Also, listen to Shelby Foote's Civil War and watch the Ken Burns PBS series.
This is the third volume of Bruce Catton's centennial history of the Civil War. Starting in December of 1862 with the Union disaster at Fredricksberg to Lee's surrender at Appomatox Courthouse and Lincoln's assassination 6 days later, Mr. Catton weaves together the threads of all the different theaters of the war.
Mr. Catton was actually born in 1899 and as he was growing up he talk to people who had actually served in the war. He has a deep understanding of the sacrifices that the war placed on those who served and those who were at home. He combines this with a masterful skill at story telling to produce a wonderful history of the defining moment of 19th century America.
And his focus is not just on the tremendous battles of the time, but also how President Lincoln had to deal with the politics of winning the war and putting together plans for reconstructing the country once it was apparent that the Union was going to prevail.
You will be astonished at how quickly this book is finished. I highly recommend it.
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