Between 1861 and 1865, the clash of the greatest armies the Western hemisphere had ever seen turned small towns, little-known streams, and obscure meadows in the American countryside into names we will always remember. In those great battles, those streams ran red with blood - and the United States was truly born.
If you've ever wanted to understand the Civil War, this series of 48 startlingly evocative lectures by a leading Civil War historian can serve as both an ideal single course or a solid starting point for further exploration - a richly detailed examination of how this great conflict affected every person in America. For you'll gain not only a deep knowledge of what happened, but new insights into why.
You'll learn how both sides' armies were recruited, equipped, and trained, and about the hard lot of those they took prisoner. You'll hear how soldiers on each of those sides dealt with the rigors of camp life, campaigns, and the terror of combat. And you'll understand how slaves and their falling masters responded to the advancing war, as well as the desperate price paid by the families so many left behind.
Though this series of lectures goes far beyond a simple examination of battles and generals, it also offers detailed analyses of the strategic and tactical dimensions of the Civil War's most important campaigns. At the same time, it never forgets that the conflict involved far more than pins on a map - and indeed claimed a greater cost in human lives than all other American wars combined.
Disclaimer: Please note that this recording may include references to supplemental texts or print references that are not essential to the program and not supplied with your purchase.
©2000 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2000 The Great Courses
Audible has changed my life! Dry , itchy eyes were destroying one of my greatest pleasures - reading. Now I am experiencing books again!
I have been a fan of the Great Courses for a long time. The two biggest drawbacks were price and difficulty of download. So, hooray for Audible for bringing us this collection!
"The American Civil War" is a terrific overview. I have recently moved to "Civil War country" near Antietam and am especially glad to refresh my memory of lessons past and add new knowledge about this subject.
Professor Gallagher gives us military information, of course, but there's also much about the political, social (regional, racial, etc) and other ramifications of the conflict. I especially enjoyed lectures about what was going on at the homefront on both sides during the war - and the attention to the experiences of women and African Americans (slave and free). It's not difficult to understand, hearing this recording, why we still live with so much "baggage" from the Civil War. Also, how fortunate we have been since to experience no warfronts on our homeland.
I learned a great deal from this course and highly recommend it!
Professor Gallagher's course on The American Civil War is the best, most insightful introduction to the subject in any medium. Any listener, from a beginner to an expert, will gain from his profound, unbiased presentation of the most important event in our history.
I purchased this series years ago from The Teaching Company, thus the reason I can write a review on the day it's released on Audible. It's great to have this on Audible, and is a tremendous value.
Professor Gallagher is a world class instructor and this series works very well in the audio format. Since this is a series of 30-min lectures it's very easy to follow and if you want a refresher it's easy to go back and find whatever you're looking for.
I've read probably a hundred Civil War books at this point, and this lecture was the first in-depth I listened to that got me started and interested in the subject. It's a great book for all levels, but certainly the less you know the more you're learn -- this is a great introduction and even if you already know most everything this is an excellent way to refresh your knowledge.
Highly recommended, 5 stars.
I was a history major in college but devoted most of my studies to 20th Century history. I always wanted to learn more about the Civil War and this course was perfect. A fantastic presentation and great selection of topics covering a wide variety of social, military, and political issues. Dr. Gallagher is an engaging lecturer and does an excellent job of cutting through many of the post-war myths and misconceptions and focusing on contemporary accounts.
The variety of topics and depth of treatment.
Engaging lecturer with a clear enthusiasm for the subject matter.
The continued references to and quotation from contemporary, primary source material added great "human interest" to an already fascinating topic.
Outstanding in every respect.
I enjoyed listening to this lecture series. The breaks between the various lectures was a little annoying, but it did offer a means of finding a good "stopping point".
I found two faults with this lecture though. First was his "opinion" thrown in at various points. He was very clear at those times however and stated it was his opinion. I am no professor, but I will just say, I disagreed with one or two of his "opinions".
I did find one other fault, but it was more to do with the recording than with the lecture. When I down loaded my Audible book, it came with 4 parts. Part 1 and 2 followed chronological order just fine. but something happened between Part 2 and 3. Part two ended with Joseph Hooker loosing at Chancellorsville and Part 3 begins with Grant heading for Chattanooga. There is a WEALTH of history between those two points in time. I was really looking forward to hearing his thoughts on Grants campaign to Vicksburg and Johnsons conduct across South Alabama and South Mississippi. Since no one else has has reported or commented on this problem, perhaps it was just my download. :-(
Overall the lecture is very good and very well laid out.
Professor Gallagher is an expert on the Civil War and I've actually read quite a few of his works. This lecture series could go on for years and could be subdivided into many different courses but for an introductory course, this is an excellent job. I'd recommend this to anyone who wants and overview of the main themes and characters of the Civil War. I think anyone wanting to delve in to Shelby Foote's three-volume narrative of the conflict should start here.
It's just a pet peeve of mine but each lecture starts and ends with polite "gold clap" applause. It's obviously fake and inserted after the fact and it is really unnecessary. It's irritating to me, like fingers-on-a-chalkboard irritating. I'm giving it 3-stars for the performance because, well this is a lecture and I don't expect a dramatic reading and because of those silly "golf claps."
I found this course fascinating and very insightful, I learned things i did not no to ask about. I came to an understanding of the importance of the civil war to our history as a nation.
don't miss this course you will not be disapointed.
Near the very top.
If you've read 1776 by David McCullough, it reads much like that but greatly expanded and covering the great depth of the civil war throughout each year of it. From the political, social, military, foreign perspective Professor Gallagher shines a bright light over one of the darkest periods of American history. I've always had an affinity for American history, the revolution in particular. This gave great depth and insight into the time and tensions of the nation. Very rich in battle history, and parsed with quotes and letters throughout. Its an extremely captivating listen.
I dont know so much if he performed any character per say, but he definitely gives deep insight and character to each historical figure. And will quote from letters or diaries at length to give context and meaning to actions by individuals.
All you needed to know and more.
A really great use of a credit.
It wasn't the canned applause and horn music at the beginning and end of each lecture. The professor does a good job on a huge topic, opening avenues for further investigation depending on your interest, e.g. a given battle, region, or topic such as politics or race.
Gallagher's consistent debunking of the "lost cause" school of thought
It's a little dated. Gallagher refers to Gone with the Wind more than a dozen times, I think.
"Spectacularly great history."
I bought this because it looked excellent value and my intention was to get through it in about 12 weeks. I've had it a week now and I'm up to lecture 40 of 48 ! It has surpassed all of my expectations. It's compulsively interesting, told with great verve and authority, yet never solemn nor condescending. Every aspect of the war is covered, it's not in any way a succession of battles and skirmishes, although nothing is left out. There is fascinating discussion of politics, slavery, women's roles, social attitudes, economics, technology, you name it and you'll probably find it. Lincoln plays a massive role and it's interesting to get the low down on Grant and Lee. The pace is fast moving but not so fast you don't have time to picture and imagine it, just right in fact. I thoroughly recommend this to anyone who is interested in real history.
P.S. people complaining about the 'pompous' music at the start of each lecture ought to chill out, the one on here is Brandenburg concerto 2 by JS Bach. Get the album, it's sublime.
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