Wheeler has created a seamless, highly readable yet historically accurate narrative with extracts from letters, diaries, memoirs, and first-person reports from the period. The result is a dramatic and detailed account of this important campaign as one which, though highly destructive, doubtlessly shortened the Civil War appreciably, saving thousands of lives, Rebel as well as Yank.
©1978 Richard Wheeler; (P)1995 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
The author made two major errors in this book. The first is the title. He places a thesis into the title that he spends no time supporting in the text (that it shortened the war). The second error is that he decided not to footnote his book making it of marginal utility to the serious historian.
With those two glaring errors, I still give this book five stars because it is such a great read. What the author has done is take dozens of personal accounts and then chops them into chronological order to create a remarkably smoothly flowing narrative. He also keeps his own comments to a bare minimum. This is done at the risk of allowing blatant falsehoods and self-aggrandizing writings (by the original writer) to work its way into the text. This is unfortunate but I appreciate the author for letting it slide rather than impose his own opinion on the book.
The result is that this books makes an excellent introduction to the subject and a sort of bibliography or guide to primary source material that the reader can then pursue on his or her own. It is also a great read. It is very interesting and easy to read.
I recommend this book to anyone who already has some basic knowledge of the war and wants a mass of primary source material arranged in a readable way.
this is a historical novel , not much Drama and very slow .. great for history buffs but not a fun listen.
very dry .. felt like a history lesson
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